It’s just a cling decal and some software, but for Mac users, it could come to redefine how you interact with your computer. The decal, when paired with the software, becomes the Magic FrogPad, letting your Apple Magic Trackpad do double duty as a mouse and a one-handed keyboard. The software uses the Magic Trackpad’s touch sensitivity to assign letters to different areas, labeled by the decal. Switching between mouse and keyboard modes is as easy as swiping your finger from frog to mouse, or vice versa, on the upper left corner of the Trackpad. The FrogPad hasn’t forgotten you lefties out there, either – they have decals ready-made to accommodate your left-handed needs.
The Magic FrogPad is awesome for mobile Mac users, rendering yet another peripheral (the full QWERTY keyboard) obsolete – as long as you can get used to FrogPad’s radically different key layout. There are some pretty savvy design choices here, though. All of the vowels are located around where the index finger should be, and the most commonly used consonants are easily accessible. It’ll take some getting used to, but about a week or two with the FrogPad should get you up to speed.
Where things might get a little hairy is with the other, lesser used letters. There are only 15 ‘keys’ on the FrogPad dedicated to letters, so some keys carry two letters, one in black and one in green. To get the secondary, green letter, you need to hit the space key and the letter key simultaneously. It’s doable, but if speed is of the essence I can imagine this leading to a lot of frustrating mistakes while typing. Numbers and symbols are handled by hitting the corresponding numbers and symbols keys, which will lock the keys into those modes. The shift key also acts as the caps lock key. Hit it once, and the next letter will be capitalized. Hit it twice, and caps lock is activated.
Once you get used to it, the FrogPad could be a speedy way to cut another peripheral out of your life without sacrificing any functionality. Just make sure both hands are coordinated for those green letters, and the FrogPad should be hopping into your Apple-infused life right away. The Magic FrogPad is selling for $130 right now, and if you grab one soon, you’ll get a free Apple Magic Trackpad thrown in as a bonus.