Ask GadgetGuy: what is Australian scrolling?

As Australians, we can be proud of things made by other Aussies. The black box (which is actually orange) is a very cool piece of tech. The pacemaker, ultrasound, spray-on skin, and WiFi are all brilliant, too. One thing that we haven’t invented, though, has been named after us, and that is a type of mouse scrolling.

Called “natural scrolling” over in the Mac OS camp, “Australian scrolling” is Google’s name for using the touchpad where your gesture for scrolling up actually flicks stuff on your screen down, and where flicking down scrolls – yep, you guessed it – straight up.

The idea comes from using tablets and smartphones which do scroll the opposite way from your fingers when you make those gestures, whereas touch- and trackpads on computers borrow their scrolling from the scroll wheel that sat on (and still does) physical mice.

For us, “natural” scrolling makes sense on a touchscreen, while on a computer, the feeling should echo that of using a computer. While that could just be us, most people we know switch “natural” scrolling off when they purchase a new computer, opting instead for what they consider natural, which is the traditional “up is up” and “down is down” method of scrolling.

As for Google’s naming of “Australian scrolling” in Chromebooks, we suspect it’s named due to Australia being “down under,” compared to where Google is in America.

Unfortunately for the name, we know very few Australians who actually like what is known as “Australian scrolling,” and we don’t think we’re being anti-Australian by saying that we’ll stick to plain old regular traditional scrolling for the moment.

What do you think: do you prefer traditional scrolling, or Australian scrolling?

[poll id=”27″]

  1. Yank here. I prefer the “natural” or “Australian” scrolling. It makes the screen content like it was on a piece of paper, push away to focus on something further down on the page. Chrome’s default is more like a viewport than a piece of paper. I also have my Mac (still running El Capitan) set this way, too, with the magic trackpad.

  2. I noticed while trying a Chromebook yesterday that the touchpad setting is Australian scrolling. I thought it may have been an April 1 joke, never heard of it before, being a Mac user. Anyway, the Acer 720 trackpad is surprisingly good, the Chromebook is very impressive and natural scrolling is really good.
    Perhaps we can get Google to revert to calling freestyle swimming by its original name, Australian crawl (something that was invented down under, I guess).

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