Using Boot Camp 3.3 on Windows 7 SP1, I've enabled the following settings for the trackpad:
- One Finger Tap to Click
- One Finger Dragging
- Two Fingers Secondary Tap
These settings most closely represent the behavior I expect from a Trackpad. I've recently converted to Apple hardware for my laptop, so I'm used to Synaptics touchpads and I'm used to being able to click and drag with a single finger elegantly.
Apple's driver provides a rough approximation, but its implementation leaves much to be desired. In particular, I regularly experience the following problems:
1) When dragging to select something (for example text), there is a noticable delay between when one double-taps and when the mouse-down event occurs. In the meantime, mouse-move events are processed. This means that the cursor will move from the target location before the selection begins. This frequently means that the user must either wait after the double-tap (approximately 500ms) before dragging, or the user should expect that the selection will miss some portion of the selection. Synaptics and other hardware manufacturers supply drivers that respond rapidly and intuitively.
For example, I created a simple text file in Notepad, carefully placed my cursor in front of the second word, "quick". I then carefully double-tapped to select and then dragged past "brown fox". After the cursor stalled for about 500ms, I was left with this selection:
Interestingly, I've noticed that lately (as late as today even), this problem is less pronounced (than just a few days ago). A few days ago, the mouse move events would not stall, but would allow the cursor to move much larger distances in the 500 ms delay. Perhaps there's another factor involved (maybe going to standby is a factor). I'll report more as I discover.
2) It appears to not be possible to use double-tap-to-drag to perform a selection of an image, such as when using the OneNote screen clip tool, I find that if I use the OneNote screen clip tool and attempt to draw a box using the Trackpad, I'm unable to use double-tap-to-drag, as the first tap appears to trigger a single click which clears the ability to drag a selection. Apparently, this issue is specific to OneNote and the Trackpad. If I use the Windows 7 screen clipping tool, it works well. Nevertheless, I don't have this problem with Synaptics touchpads on other systems nor with an external mouse on the Air.
3) Using VMWare Workstation 8.0.1, I run a Linux VM. However, I find that when using the Trackpad inside the VM, click events cause the event loop to stall until the mouse is subsequently moved. For example, I will attempt to launch a browser by clicking on the Firefox icon in the launch bar. The icon will budge slightly (indicating it was clicked) and then freeze. If I move the mouse off of the task bar, the bounce animation completes but the application never launches. I'm not sure why this is, but it's clear that it's related to the way that the mouse driver is passing mouse events to the OS and VMWare. If instead I click the Trackpad, the application will launch naturally. However, even in the application, I experience problems. For example, I'll click the (X) close button. The button will change color, suggesting it was clicked, but the application will stay visible until the mouse is moved away. Using a simple external mouse does not encounter this issue.
All of these issues together suggest that the driver for the Apple Trackpad has some shortcomings that aren't present in competing pointing devices. In my opinion, the current driver provides a rudimentary and inelegant implementation of a pointing device.
I hope this information can help Apple Boot Camp driver developers to better understand the problems present in the current implementation and improve it in future releases.
I'll be happy to provide more technical information or beta-test drivers that might address some of these issues. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can help.