Fun With Your Macbook’s Motion Sensor

All the Macbooks manufactured by Apple have a Sudden Motion Sensor in built for preventing damage to the hard drive due to sudden movement. The same hardware can be put to some simple yet fun applications. While you won’t go around shaking and slapping your laptop everyday, these apps surely are very engaging, even if just for a few minutes.

Note: Most of these apps work with all Macbooks. I tested all of them on a Macbook Pro, mid 2009 model. In case the app doesn’t work for you, check the developer page for notes. Usually they have a different version for different hardware. Otherwise, just have fun with the ones that do work. You need a laptop running Snow Leopard and enabled with an SMS(Sudden Motion Sensor) for these applications.

Liquid Mac


This application adds some physics to the particles apart from the motion sensing. Once launched, tilt your laptop to either sides to see the effect. Play with the different parameters and have fun. Gravity level adds most fun to the app. Download LiquidMac from here.



This software renders the orientation of your Macbook and displays it on screen. So basically if you tilt your laptop to the left or rotate it in a circle in the vertical plane you will be able to see the same on screen. However, the movement of the display was not smooth and isn’t as great an experience as the other apps featured on this page. Download here.

Carpenter’s Level


This app is very similar to the Shelf Leveler app and just adds a graphical approach to the same idea. This application is in the form of a dashboard widget. Note that the position of the bubble will indicate whether the surface your laptop is kept on, is perfectly horizontal or not. Link here.



This app is the dorkiest of the lot. Does nothing but make sounds and lights up your keyboard everytime you shake your laptop around yourself. Before you head out to play Jedi with the new light saber make sure you hold the Macbook securely so that you don’t drop it. Link here.



So you already must have guessed from the name that this will be your personal edition of the seismograph to keep at home. This app is done pretty well and shows vibrations along all the three axes. Stomp hard at the floor or tap the table to see the graph change in realtime. You can increase or decrease the speed of the graph refresh rate. Link here.

I personally liked LiquidMac and SeisMac best. Tell us how you like them in the comments. We’ll be back later with more fun apps which make use of the motion sensors. By the way, make sure you don’t hurt your precious Macbooks while you play with these apps.

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2 thoughts on “Fun With Your Macbook’s Motion Sensor”

  1. I wish I had a mac, you know. 🙁 But I’m very happy with my linux. Its performance is just like regular mac (macbook pro is different and is not meant for me). The only thing linux lacks is software support.

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