back to article Apple Magic Mouse

For a company that pioneered the widespread use of the mouse as a computer controller, Apple has a surprisingly bad record at making good ones, particularly since the return of Steve Jobs and, with him, industrial design as the prime driver of product creation. Apple Magic Mouse Magic Mouse: Apple gets it right at last? Past …

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Coffee/keyboard

iRotic

"The base of the mouse is nice and smooth though, and ran well on the wooden surface we tried the Magic on - and on flesh and a leather jacket, too."

Yes, I too like to dress this way when I get my new Apple toys. As for the wooden surface...

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meeces

I actually like the standard Mighty Mouse. I had previosuly used a Microsoft Intellimouse but that seems so clunky by comparison. Yes, the side buttons are best left turned off and I never use the middle button. The scroll nipple can get clogged, like an old roller ball mouse would, but it is fairly easy to clean it by just turning the mouse upside down on a piece of cloth and turning it round a dozen times. A little squirt of lighter fuel will disolve any grime. I did get the wireless version of the Mighty Mouse but don't like it. The battery life is only about a month and it feels heavy because of them. I have a little USB battery charger which I just leave on all the time so there is always a spare set of batteries when they are needed.

I've ordered one Magic Mouse to try. It does take a while to get used to a new mouse, just like a pair of shoes. If it is radically different in shape or weight, it will take longer but the human brain is remarkably adaptive.

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Anonymous Coward

Style over substance

You've missed the point. Apple customers don't care how well a product works; only how it looks. And it looks fabulous....

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FAIL

They're so stubborn.

Why won't they just admit that two (or three) buttons are better than one? The keyboard should not be involved in mouse operations. Just like The Independent, they're being different for the sake of it. It doesn't sound useful. The two-button-plus-scrollwheel model is ubiquitous because it's good. No matter how many extra buttons or functions they add to these things, they are a novelty that just gets in the way. I don't think we'll be seeing anyone copy this style in a hurry.

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RSI

My RSI flares up just looking at that thing...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: They're so stubborn.

Mac OS X has supported third-party two-button (possibly three too; I haven't tried) mice for ages. Apple's own mice have had two-button operation for a long time too, though I agree it's daft that this isn't enabled by default. Even the two-fingered 'right click' tap on the laptops' trackpad isn't.

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Coffee/keyboard

Fifty...five...fscking...quid...???

For that small pile of crap? Are they having a laugh?

New keyboard please. Not an Apple one.

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Jobs Horns

Logitech V500

looks like it beats the magic in every way.

If only Logitech made a bluetooth version, I never would have replaced it...

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Thumb Up

It'll be a grower

Add Opera-style mouse gestures on the surface (rather than moving the mouse itself) and we might have a winner

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Thumb Down

whyPod?

Time after time Apple produce poorly designed gimicks... and still the morons lap them up.

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The best mouse to use on a Mac....

....is a Microsoft mouse.

Apple have really put style over function with this mouse. Mac-tards will lap it up and deny all failings.

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Anonymous Coward

pre-empting the pre-empters

Que a load of posters saying "que a load of 'Yeah but does it right click' posts".

Or something.

Well piss my pants, its a mouse.

Is it any good - Yes / No (delete as appropriate)

There's your review.

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Thumb Down

Shame

It's a shame Apple can't produce a decent mouse that's actually good to use and doesn't induce RSI. Bizarrely, it's the one thing Microsoft are better at.

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Anonymous Coward

Nice

Sounds good to me. I've always used a mouse with tips of my fingers, but I can appreciate you might have problems if you lack any finger finesse and grab it like your scared it might run away.

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Does it work in Windows?

And, more importantly, does the right-click register in games?

I like my MacBook Pro's multi-touch pad a lot, but a lot of games don't pick up on the two-finger right-click.

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Heart

Microsoft

....make a surprisingly good mouse for OS x. That one with the buttons on the side can be mapped to Expose (F9 button) among other things that speeds up workflow considerably.

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Pint

Probably still the best Apple mouse to date...

...however little that actually means.

"The Magic uses Bluetooth for connectivity. That might not be as good as the dedicated 2.4GHz radio links found on mice from the likes of Logitech"

So you'd rather a custom 2.4GHz Logitech-only wireless protocol that requires a dongle, over a standards-based 2.4GHz wireless protocol that just works? The only potential argument is that possibly the overhead of Bluetooth results in a feeling of lag - does it?

As to the mouse itself, it sounds like it needs to be 20% bigger. Also they need to get Expose activation as a gesture.

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Law
Unhappy

They are missing a trick...

... if they put the older style macbook pro trackpad on one of their dinky wireless keyboards I'd buy one instantly (for a macmini hooked up to a tv)... I'm talking about the button pad, not the new buttonless ones. It's makes more sense to have a trackpad in the living room than a mouse anyway, plus they get to do 4 finger swipes etc.

Traditionally I've not been a big user of trackpads... so I bought a bluetooth mouse (logitech - mighty mouse sucks balls) when I got this laptop years ago, but once I got used to multitouch gestures I've barely used the mouse... now I have the 3/4 finger gestures it is actually more annoying being restricted by a mouse. The fact a tiny "magic" mouse can't support the 3/4 finger gestures means they should think about doing the pad-on-keyboard thing, just please, for the love of satan do NOT make the whole pad physically clickable - that's the only reason I've not updated my laptop this year... it's an abomination - it does nothing for usability, there's nothing more annoying than having to keep the pressure on a pad for the click*, as you scrape your finger across to drag something from one folder to the other.

* ok, you can tap and hold the pad without the pressure, but what happens when you hit the edge of the pad and need to let go!!

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Headmaster

Fingertips

Over the years, I've seen a number of mouse newbies that grip the little critter like their life depended on it, then use their entire forearm to move it, and henceforth finding it difficult to get the tip of the pointer /exactly/ in the desired focus 'zone'.

Much better to rest the heel of your hand on the mousing surface and let your fingers do the fine manipulation. Often, all that's required is a tweaking of the tracking speed to get the forearm/fingers balance right.

I'll be visiting my local Apple store this weekend to see if that technique, er, bears fruit.

PS. At work I've been using an original MS Wireless Intellimouse Explorer for years - the size of a Veedub but great nonetheless.

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Thumb Up

Sounds like it will suit me

I don't like big mice. I tend to use laptop mice where I can. I used to have one of those massive MS Intellimice, but just found it cumbersome to use. I think mice, being a primary contact point with a computer, are a very personal thing. That's why Logtech make so many different shapes and sizes. Maybe Apple need to make S, M, and L versions of the Magic Mouse! At the moment, I'm having to use a thin and very long Dell mouse at work. The buttons are sort of moulded into the shell, which means my fingers ('cos I old my mouse in my fingertips) are right at the end of the pivot point. I find clicking it a real pain.

I also don't see the point of adding yet another radio to a computer -- I have always used BT mice for this reason. It seems insane to add a special dongle when you have a perfectly good BT radio already built in (at least, all my laptops have had BT, since it's been available).

So, I think I'll give this a go. My Bluetooth Logitech laptop mouse is getting a bit tired...

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Mighty mouse

Looks good and has to be an improvement on the mighty mouse, the tiny trackball is infuriating to clean all the time on both the wired and wireless models.

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FAIL

Looks lovely. Shame it will be such hell to use.

Likewise. Love my macs. Even like my mac keyboards - they took a bit of getting used to but I'm a convert and they don't get clogged with crumbs and dust. However give me an M$ mouse any day. Currently favouring the Natural wireless laser mouse 6000 - just a shame they don't do a bluetooth version.

The price isn't bad actually - Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 rrp is £50.

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Jobs Horns

Hmmmm

"Our Logitech V550 Nano has the same pair of Alkaline AAs it had in over a year ago. We don't think the Magic's two AAAs will last significantly less than that"

You don't? Even though typically AAA's have roughly 50% of the capacity of AA's? I'm not convinced.

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Zoom

It also might be worth trying some different modifier keys when using the 'zoom' function. With my Logitech mouse, holding ALT (or Option, or whatever it's called) zooms the whole screen. Personally, I've never really seen the point of this -- it may be useful for those with even worse eyesight than mine.

Instead, if you use the CTRL key, you zoom the window contents.

Try it, it might work!

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(Written by Reg staff)

@RichyS

I did try it, and it doesn't. You can change the modifier key, but whatever you pick, all it does is zoom the entire screen.

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@Tony Smith

OS X recognizes any number of mouse buttons out of the box...it has no problems with the 8 buttons on my Logitech mouse. Even Mac OS pre-X recognized more than one button. As for not enabling the right-click by default, it's better that way--those who have some experience will enable it, and those who don't are better off with one, trust me.

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Anonymous Coward

@Stephen Gray

Exactly - if your elbow moves when you're using your mouse, you're doing it wrong.

Fingertips gentlemen, fingertips.

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Terminator

iHands

What you plebs don't realise is that this mouse built to match the new iHand which comes out in January. A brilliant white, perfectly smooth appendage that supersedes your pathetic meat digits. The surgery will only be available in apple stores, and you will need to purchase top level apple care if you want cover for your body's immune system rejecting the iHand.

The bog standard iHand will feature two digits while the iHand Pro includes an opposable thumb, in case you were tempted to use the iHand for non-awesome activities - ie those that don't involve other apple hardware.

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Paris Hilton

@tony smith

Yes, Tony, you have been able to use multi button mice on macs since before MacOSX. Generic USB mice have worked for ages. I have never owned an Apple external maus, and use either MS or Razer mice on my Macs (don't like Logitech, as they don't suit my left-handed hombres).

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Jobs Halo

@Law

You do realise that with the big buttoned track pads you can use the exact same movement as you would with the old ones to click and drag... Hold the track pad down with your thumb, and drag about the place with other fingers.

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AA or AAA

Hi Tony

Keep hearing mixed things about AA vs AAA - every US article I've read seems to indicate AA, rather than AA. Can you confirm which? I guess you're more likely to be right ;)

cf http://news.softpedia.com/news/Apple-Posts-Support-Documents-on-Magic-Mouse-Wireless-Keyboard-124895.shtml (for example)

Cheers

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Megaphone

I'm amazed apple let you change the batteries!

I'm amazed apple let you change the batteries and haven't built them in!

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Zooming

Ctrl to zoom has been around for ever, I think Apple just enabled it by default when you use this mouse but it's just a checkbox in Mouse prefs.

No expose button or gesture on the new mouse kills it for me.

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Happy

@Tony Smith

<ctl>Scroll normally zooms a browser window (on IE and Firefox).

<cmd>Scroll zooms the whole screen (on a Mac). This is *extremely* useful when doing demonstrations, when developing web pages (you can turn off font smoothing to see the pixels if you use <cmd><alt>\), and trying to see some websites where the text is too damn small.

I've used the Mighty Mouse for years and really like it. It's such a pain that you can't remove the ball without major disassembly. It's stunning how much crap accumulates in the ball area (scrotum?).

I'm going to buy a Magic Mouse as soon as I can get one.

BTW, the Logitec mice have one or two great features, then spoil it by shunning Bluetooth or having rechargeable batteries that last a week (and chargers that are bigger than the mouse!). And they're ugly IMHO.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Tom 36

Mea culpa, mistyping on my part: it's AA not AAA.

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Law
Paris Hilton

@ Thomas Davie

9 GCSE's, 3 A-Levels, 1 HND, 1 BSc(hons), 5 years in the industry..... and it never occured to me to try that when playing with the new macbooks in the shop.... I may quit IT, I'm obviously not suited to this profession anymore! :'(

Not sure why I never thought of it... maybe I assumed it would attempt a multi-touch gesture or something. I will give it a try this weekend, if I can stomach it, it may be time for an update! :)

Thanks for the tip. *crawls back under a rock*

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Coat

Dextral

"it should suit the sinistral as well as the right-handed"

I think the word you were groping for is 'dextral' ;)

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But what about the important question?

Does it work in Windows?

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Wireless mice? Feh

Been there, done that, given up. They're ok until the batteries run down or there's interference.

Far better to have a decent USB one like the MX518. It may spoil the line of the desk and occasionally get tangled on other things, but it always works with no hassle.

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There was nowt wrong with the

Hockey Puck mouse if you used it properly. I still use one daily. It just depends on the position of your fingers.

Someone mentioned earlier that the wrist should stay on the mat and the mouse moved with the fingertips - well I agree. I find that my thumb and little finger flick the puck almost anywhere, left, right and forwards, my third finger flips it back to the heal of my hand and the other two fingers are always able to click because of the relatively large click area. I can mouse the entire 23 inch screen without moving my hand. My only complaint is the grot getting into the rollers.

The mouse that followed - the horrible grey acrylic oval - did not suite me at all. the extra length meant that its flickability was severely hampered as it filled most of the space under my hand and therefore its movement was too restricted.

The Mighty Mouse improves with the scroll ball (yes I use one too) however, using it (the ball) causes me such wrist pain.

I wanted to look at the Magic today but somehow the Lovely Ivana managed to steer me away from the Apple Store.

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Alas, the best Mac mouse is still a Microsoft mouse

Having the iPhone gestures available might be nice, but it looks like Microsoft still make the best Mac mice, as people have said.

V. odd, since the appeal of Mac is the ergonomics. And Mr Jobs is getting on a bit, now: surely he too has arthritis beginning in his hands.

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Idiots

The problem is that most of the people posting here aren't bright enough to realize that no one mouse works for everyone. Apple's mouse doesn't, Microsoft's mouse doesn't. Logitech's mouse doesn't.

Apple offers a mouse that is different. If you haven't tried it, you have no business commenting. If you've tried it and don't like it, no big deal - it won't appeal to everyone.

People who think Macs don't support two buttons are obviously not interested in reality - they have their own Mac-bashing world and can't be bothered with facts. If you wanted multiple menus, you could use almost any generic 2 (or more) button mouse on Macs for at least 10 years (I did). Or, you could use any Apple mouse made in the last 5 years or more (the Mighty Mouse is actually a 4 button mouse).

Personally, I like Apple mice, but that's largely because I use them the way they're meant to be used. For example, the 'hockey puck' mouse was widely criticized by people who thought the only way to hold a mouse was to grab it with your entire fist and hold on for dear life. People who were willing to adapt and use it with their fingertips often loved the mouse.

Similarly, I love my mighty mouse. As long as you don't grab it and hold on for dear life, it works well - at least for me. People who are so anti-Apple that they won't even give it a try will, of course, be disappointed.

I haven't tried the Magic Mouse so I can't comment. I'll probably buy one to try it because the concept sounds good - I like the CONCEPT OF the ability to do more things with the mouse, but won't know if it works well until I've tried it. So those of you who haven't tried it (which is probably 99% of the posters) should just shut up.

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WTF?

ONLY TWO BUTTONS?!

Am I right in thinking that this only has two buttons? I dunno about you guys but I used the mighty mouses nipple as a third button that opens links in a new tab in Safari. I couldnt live without that.

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Silver badge
Flame

Thank god we can use PC mice with macs

You never know, Apple might decide that hardware they did not sell should not work with their software... Like, say, a pré with iTunes...

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Go

Mice Schmice

Apple has directly supported right-button clicks on the System level since Mac OS 8.5 back in 1997. You could buy third-party programmable multi-button mice since the late 80's. So, what's the point?

For novice users,yes studies have been done, multi-button mice can be confusing and daunting. From the beginning, Apple designed the OS to be completely navigable BOTH from mouse and keyboard or (obviously) in tandem. Although Apple does a splendid job of hiding features from users!

As for the Magic Mouse (dopey name indeed!) being any more RSI inducing that every other mouse on the planet is silly. Mice are essentially poor ergonomically, even though some have been designed trying to minimize it.

Me? I like trackballs. They're FAST, accurate, need little desktop space and are perfect for multiple monitor setups, especially.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Bat-rees not included

If it's anything like their last wireless mouse, there won't be enough batteries in any given building to feed it for more than a few weeks. I was running NiMH batteries with a backup pair in a charger on my desktop just to keep up with it. That said, I'm actually surprised Apple didn't include some sort of a "mouse hole" charger and an irreplaceable battery for a cool [£,$,€]159.

Fail because it just feels right.

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Jobs Horns

@ Joe Ragosta

Idiot. "People are so anti Apple they won't give it a try". People are anti-changing something that works just for the sake of it. Its not like a mouse is difficult or hard to use, yet Apple insist on making theirs work differently and even most Mac owners will replace a Might Mouse.

Apple offers a mouse that is different but its standard on their iMacs, meaning if you don't like it you have to buy a 3rd party mouse to replace it. By the way there is no way in hell to use a puck mouse with your finger tips.

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Wouldn't mind one myself

...looks nice, and since getting used to a multi-touch trackpad I actually find a regular mouse a bit clunky for some kinds of pointer manipulation (while being head and shoulders above a trackpad for others). I don't have a Mac though, and I'm not going to be buying a Mac, so the big question is "can you use it with Linux?"

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Gates Halo

Title

Apple's mice choices have always left me a little perplexed, especially in the right-hand button department. Will have to pop into an Apple Store, to see how this one goes. My Initial reaction is "It doesn't look that comfy.."

Say what you like about their Operating Systems, but Microsoft Mice and Gamepads have always been solid, practical Workhorses. Still use a Clutch of Wireless Optical 1000 mice around the home and office, and use a crossfire adaptor to get the wireless 360 gamepads working on my PC.

Microsoft keyboards would be in that list too, save for that stupid F-Lock shite....

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Ha!

"For us, it's just too darn thin. We like to hold a mouse not push it around delicately with our fingertips, and so the Magic casts no spell on us."

And that's exactly why I'm going to buy one.

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