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Inside the Magic Mouse

post #1 of 129
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Apple's new Magic Mouse brings multitouch technologies first exposed on the iPhone and MacBook touchpad to the venerable mouse.

The new design presents a solid acrylic surface on a low-profile body, lacking any physical buttons or the scroll ball of Apple's previous Mighty Mouse.

More significantly, it shifts the use of the mouse from sensing movement of the device itself over a surface, to one where the user's fingers are sensed as they move across the surface of the device. The new mouse still uses laser optical tracking to find its relative coordinates, but the new multitouch surface turns it into a closer cousin of the trackpad.

The multitouch features of the new Magic Mouse are more closely related to those on the MacBook trackpad than the iPhone. For example, both are designed to accommodate secondary clicks ("right clicking"), something that has no analog on the iPhone. Because finger position is sensed in software, the user can configure secondary clicking for contextual menus to respond to either right or left handed contentions. Like the earlier Mighty Mouse, users can also disable secondary clicking entirely.

The feature differences between the new Magic Mouse, the multitouch trackpads on the latest MacBooks, and the conventional trackpad on earlier notebook models are evident from the preferences presented for each (below).



Scrolling

The new Magic Mouse points and scrolls slightly differently than a MacBook trackpad: it points like a conventional mouse by begin moved over a surface, and can scroll within windows by using one finger on its top surface. The immobile trackpad interprets one finger as pointing, and two fingers as scrolling.

In contrast, the iPhone responds to touch directly as pointing, and scrolls with a single-fingered flick. This momentum-based flick scroll speed feature is adopted by the new Magic Mouse, allowing the user to scroll faster than real time. Trackpads currently don't support this; their existing behavior ties scrolling speed directly to finger speed. Momentum-based scrolling can be disabled as a preference.

Like both trackpads and the iPhone, the new Magic Mouse also supports "360 degree scrolling," allowing smooth up/down and left/right scrolling within a window at the same time.

Zooming

Zooming into the screen (blowing up the display on Mac OS X) works just like existing MacBook trackpad controls; it requires holding down a user selectable key while scrolling. This makes sense because zooming into the screen is not as natural on the Mac desktop as it is on the iPhone, where the small screen and lack of desktop controls or menu bar makes the iPhone's double tap or pinch to zoom features more of a necessary and common request. Zooming on the desktop is more of a fluff novelty feature for most users.

Differences from multitouch trackpads

The trackpad also differs from the Magic Mouse in providing clicking, dragging, drag lock, and two finger secondary clicking options. Performing these actions with a mouse involves moving the mouse itself; the trackpad can only respond to finger touches.

The Magic Mouse does respond to two-fingered swipe gestures for navigating back and forth through webpages or photos or Cover Flow items, similar to the multitouch trackpads (which use three fingers for this). It does not however currently support four-fingered Expose (up/down) or app switching (left/right) shortcuts, and pinch rotation or pinch zooming.

These differences in scrolling behavior are likely based on the limited surface area available on the new mouse. It's also possible that Apple will expand upon the gestures supported by the device's software.



To boldly go where other vendors wouldn't dare

In typical Apple fashion, the new Magic Mouse now only comes in one form: a wireless Bluetooth version. If you want a USB-attached version, the only option is the old Mighty Mouse, which has been renamed Apple Mouse to avoid conflict with another vendor's trademark claim on the former name.

The new wireless Magic Mouse is $69, while the old wired model is $49, which makes it perhaps the most ridiculously priced product in Apple's store. Clearly, Apple doesn't want to monopolize the Mac mouse business, but only wants to provide a differentiated high-end offering. That should appease the third party market for mice and mouse alternatives.



Buyers of new iMac computers will find that the new Magic Mouse wireless keyboard and are now standard equipment; users can still opt for the USB-attached keyboard (which supplies a full numeric keypad) and (separately) a conventional wired Apple Mouse with the old scroll ball design, but this option doesn't make the package any cheaper as it formerly did. Or more precisely, the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse option is no longer a premium-priced extra.

The Mac mini and all notebook models ship without a keyboard or mouse, so adding either version costs extra. Mac Pro systems continue to ship with the standard Apple Mouse and keyboard with numeric keypad, so upgrading to the Magic Mouse costs $20 extra, and opting for the Bluetooth keyboard costs another $20.

Interestingly, Apple now also offers a new USB compact keyboard without the numeric keypad as a no-cost alternative to the regular USB keyboard on all of its systems.
post #2 of 129
It does not however currently support four-fingered Expose (up/down) or app switching (left/right) shortcuts, and pinch rotation or pinch zooming.


this is a deal breaker for me
post #3 of 129
Yet another AppleInsider article taking forever to say what's obvious to everyone, and passing it off as "analysis." I doubt you actually used the mouse. I could have gleaned this from reading the reviews on Gizmodo and other places

You do a great job on rumors and wrapups, but leave the insight to Ars Technica and others.
post #4 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

It does not however currently support four-fingered Expose (up/down) or app switching (left/right) shortcuts, and pinch rotation or pinch zooming.


this is a deal breaker for me

hahaha.....there isn't enough real estate to swipe 4 fingers on this mouse, unless you're a 4-year-old. What do you expect?!?
post #5 of 129
The thing that worries me most about the new mouse (without having used it yet) is that there appear to be no middle clickwhich some people would regard as almost essential.

Unless I'm missing something, it would also be difficult to add this functionality later as it lacks physical markings to indicate where the middle button would be (i.e. you could easily right click instead of middle click by mistake).
post #6 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

hahaha.....there isn't enough real estate to swipe 4 fingers on this mouse, unless you're a 4-year-old. What do you expect?!?

i know, but don't you think they should have included this feature?
coming from the macbook pro trackpad, i'd feel this as a handicap
post #7 of 129
Well, I respect Apple for swinging for the fences and trying to reinvent the wheel, but it's still a single-button mouse. No center click is a drawback, and also sensitivity of the click surface might be dodgy for people with big hands when they're using the scrolling function (lots of unwanted clicks). Having to lift or move my hand around on the mouse to scroll, and use the keyboard to get more than 2 different click types doesn't interest me.

I love my Logitech MX1100 with it's 8 buttons, and multiple action scroll/click wheel. Very intuitive and functional. Also, I don't have to change hand position to scroll.

At least Apple will finally (hopefully) ditch the worst mouse of all time.
post #8 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

It does not however currently support four-fingered Expose (up/down) or app switching (left/right) shortcuts, and pinch rotation or pinch zooming.


this is a deal breaker for me

I find it hard to believe that anyone would want four finger and pinching gestures on a mouse like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Well, I respect Apple for swinging for the fences and trying to reinvent the wheel, but it's still a single-button mouse. The fact that "right clicking" is accomplished by having 2 fingers down worries me, since both my fingers are usually on the top of the mouse anyways. Having to lift my middle finger when I click to achieve "left click" doesn't really interest me at all.

My thoughts exactly.
post #9 of 129
Does Magic Mouse work in Windows?
post #10 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Well, I respect Apple for swinging for the fences and trying to reinvent the wheel, but it's still a single-button mouse. The fact that "right clicking" is accomplished by having 2 fingers down worries me, since both my fingers are usually on the top of the mouse anyways. Having to lift my middle finger when I click to achieve "left click" doesn't really interest me at all.

I love my Logitech MX1100 with it's 8 buttons, and multiple action scroll/click wheel. Very intuitive and functional. Also, I don't have to change hand position to scroll.

At least Apple will finally (hopefully) ditch the worst mouse of all time.

It's obviously not a mouse for you if you own an 8-button mouse. Sorry but this mouse isn't supposed to replace mouses that act like keyboards.

This mouse is for people that don't expect to use more than two buttons and still want an easy way to scroll content in a window. It also won't have buttons and scrollwheels that will gum up over time or cracks and crevices that will harbor bacteria. Don't get me wrong, I love those kinds of mouses too...I also own an 8-button Logitech mouse. They're comfortable and utilitarian...but, man, the printed logo and the printed back and forward arrows on the thumb buttons are faded, the scrollwheel is gummed beyond repair and the edges of the buttons are filthy.
post #11 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

It does not however currently support four-fingered Expose (up/down) or app switching (left/right) shortcuts, and pinch rotation or pinch zooming.


this is a deal breaker for me

Keep in mind that AI hasn't actually tested this mouse, so I wouldn't call it a broken deal just yet.
post #12 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

It's obviously not a mouse for you if you own an 8-button mouse. Sorry but this mouse isn't supposed to replace mouses that act like keyboards.

There you go again using logic...
post #13 of 129
and now we need to keep spending money on batteries??
post #14 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

The fact that "right clicking" is accomplished by having 2 fingers down worries me

It isn't, you right click by clicking the top tight part of the mouse; it doesn't matter whether your other finger is on the mouse or not. They cover this in the video on the Apple website.
post #15 of 129
am i the only one who thinks this mouse is amazing? ergonomic low profile.. aesthetically perfect.. simple intuitive gestures.. as is typical for mac, it doesnt try to do everything (no superfluous features), but what it does it does perfectly. this mouse epitomizes why i love apple products.

as usual there are whiners afraid of change, who lack vision, and who like to complain, but this is always the case, even with apple's best products. i think apple hit a home run with this one, and same goes for the rest of the products released today IMHO.
post #16 of 129
Sounds interesting but I think I'll test drive one before I buy. I didn't care for the mighty mouse so it might be the same deal here.

Anyone love the mighty mouse?
post #17 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSmith View Post

and now we need to keep spending money on batteries??

Does your current wireless mouse use solar panels?
post #18 of 129
No middle click is a big deal for me too.

As a 3D artist, middle click is essential and excluding this from the mouse's functionality is a huge problem. Apple needs to address this soon.
post #19 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

It does not however currently support four-fingered Expose (up/down) or app switching (left/right) shortcuts, and pinch rotation or pinch zooming.


this is a deal breaker for me

How you going to keep the mouse in place while doing the four-fingered shortcut?!

It might not be as convenient but every new Apple keyboard contains Expose and Dashboard shortcut. It might require less effort to use these that to try to keep the mouse in place to perform the four-fingered action on the mouse itself.
post #20 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

It's obviously not a mouse for you if you own an 8-button mouse. Sorry but this mouse isn't supposed to replace mouses that act like keyboards.

An 8 button mouse isn't a keyboard replacement.

I use a keyboard for inputting text, and a mouse for controlling all aspects of the work environment. Needing one hand on the keyboard and one on the mouse to get right-click or centre-click functionality is ridiculous, not to mention needing to juggle the mouse around to scroll.

The mighty mouse was an attempt at being unique that resulted in epic fail, and rather than address the fundamental issue of what people want/need in a pointing device, Apple has again decided to try and slap their notebook pointer onto the back of a mouse. It's a great image/branding move though, just like the mighty mouse was, since it sets apple apart and looks really cool. Hell, check out Steve Jobs and "The Worlds Coolest Mouse" on YouTube when he launched the original iMac, and the shittiest mouse of all time (the hockey puck mouse). Nobody thought that mouse was remotely functional, but the company trumpeted it as some sort of marvelous gift to humanity.

While I think the new Macbook touchpad is very functional (although practically speaking not much more functional than the previous design) in addition to being flashy, I don't think this mouse will work very well, but I guess we'll see once it get released.
post #21 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Does your current wireless mouse use solar panels?

Lots of modern mouses have a dock and a rechargeable battery.

I'd be interested in the battery life of the bluetooth mouse vs. an RF one, though. My logitech is RF and gets 10-12 months per pair of batteries, and I never turn it off...

On the bright side, the apple mouse, keyboard and remote are now the only Apple products with user-replaceable batteries, so I guess we can consider ourselves lucky that that hasn't changed.
post #22 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Does your current wireless mouse use solar panels?

It's wired ... no batteries to replace.
post #23 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post

The thing that worries me most about the new mouse (without having used it yet) is that there appear to be no middle clickwhich some people would regard as almost essential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krankerz View Post

No middle click is a big deal for me too.

As a 3D artist, middle click is essential and excluding this from the mouse's functionality is a huge problem. Apple needs to address this soon.

Since when did middle click become the thing to have? Also, since when do 3D artists ever use the stock mouse with a computer?
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post #24 of 129
Good catch on the lack of middle click.

A few years ago that would've been a big deal-breaker for me, but these days I spend most of my time using the MacBook trackpad and I get along just fine without middle click. Even when I'm using my Mighty Mouse I often Command-click rather than middle click out of habit.
post #25 of 129
Not sure why they could just make a mouse that works just like the mighty mouse, with a small tracking area instead of a scroll ball.. You'd still have all the buttons and scroll features. Simple, clean, elegant, Apple.

It just seems like Apple doesn't care about professionals anymore.

I never want a wireless mouse either. I know some people love them, but wired should always be an option.
post #26 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSmith View Post

and now we need to keep spending money on batteries??

At least they're cheap and available everywhere... ...and you don't have to send your mouse to California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

am i the only one who thinks this mouse is amazing? ergonomic low profile.. aesthetically perfect.. simple intuitive gestures.. as is typical for mac, it doesnt try to do everything (no superfluous features), but what it does it does perfectly. this mouse epitomizes why i love apple products.

as usual there are whiners afraid of change, who lack vision, and who like to complain, but this is always the case, even with apple's best products. i think apple hit a home run with this one, and same goes for the rest of the products released today IMHO.

I love Apple products in general, but have hated every mouse they've ever brought out. I couldn't get a Mighty Mouse to do anything I wanted it to.

On the other hand, I looove Apple trackpads, especially when I have to use a Windows TP for more than 10 seconds and start swearing. And the more I use TP's, Mac TP's that is, which are always where I want them to be, the less I like fumbling around for a mouse.

The most "innovative" thing to do IMHO would have been to offer an optional KB that included the current MBP TP! Also one less piece of desktop clutter, one less device with batt's to go dead.

Does any 3rd party offer such a thing?? Or could they even do so without violating Apple IP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Sounds interesting but I think I'll test drive one before I buy. I didn't care for the mighty mouse so it might be the same deal here.

Anyone love the mighty mouse?

Hardly. See above.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #27 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Originally Posted by Superbass

Well, I respect Apple for swinging for the fences and trying to reinvent the wheel, but it's still a single-button mouse. The fact that "right clicking" is accomplished by having 2 fingers down worries me, since both my fingers are usually on the top of the mouse anyways. Having to lift my middle finger when I click to achieve "left click" doesn't really interest me at all.

After your edit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Well, I respect Apple for swinging for the fences and trying to reinvent the wheel, but it's still a single-button mouse. No center click is a drawback, and also sensitivity of the click surface might be dodgy for people with big hands when they're using the scrolling function (lots of unwanted clicks). Having to lift or move my hand around on the mouse to scroll, and use the keyboard to get more than 2 different click types doesn't interest me.

If you are going to change your original posting, have the decency to admit you were wrong in the first place.
post #28 of 129
Can't wait to piv up one of these. Seems like exactly the mouse I've been waiting for, especially after experiencing the Wacom Bamboo Multifail trackpad.
post #29 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Sounds interesting but I think I'll test drive one before I buy. I didn't care for the mighty mouse so it might be the same deal here.

Anyone love the mighty mouse?

I do. Just sucks that the mini ball stops working well eventually. But this new mouse should be even better. My Air is the first laptop I've had doesn't make me want to plug in a mouse. Adding multi-touch to the mouse should be the best of both worlds.
post #30 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

The most "innovative" thing to do IMHO would have been to offer an optional KB that included the current MBP TP! Also one less piece of desktop clutter, one less device with batt's to go dead.

Does any 3rd party offer such a thing?? Or could they even do so without violating Apple IP?

Been waiting for the same combo unit. BT keyboard with a touchpad. Search and searched but can't come up with one.
post #31 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

An 8 button mouse isn't a keyboard replacement.
Needing one hand on the keyboard and one on the mouse to get right-click or centre-click functionality is ridiculous, not to mention needing to juggle the mouse around to scroll.

What are you talking about?

Right-click: click on the right side of the mouse, just like I do now on my "single-button" mighty mouse.

Scroll: scroll my finger down the center of the mouse, just like I do now on my mighty mouse, but without the physical ball that tends to get dirty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

The mighty mouse was an attempt at being unique that resulted in epic fail

The epic fail here is you not understanding how these mice actually work.

The only thing I'm unsure of is the middle-click. I am hoping that it's adjustable so that clicking near the center of the mouse can be configured to act as 'third button' like I can now on the mighty mouse. It shouldn't be the default, but it should work, just as it does now on the mighty mouse.
post #32 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Lots of modern mouses have a dock and a rechargeable battery.

I'd be interested in the battery life of the bluetooth mouse vs. an RF one, though. My logitech is RF and gets 10-12 months per pair of batteries, and I never turn it off...

On the bright side, the apple mouse, keyboard and remote are now the only Apple products with user-replaceable batteries, so I guess we can consider ourselves lucky that that hasn't changed.

The reason I like Apple mouse is that I don't need a wireless dongle or recharging base. You just take it out of your laptop bag and turn it on and it start working right away. If you are concern about battery you can use rechargeable AA batteries available at Walmart.
post #33 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

At least they're cheap and available everywhere... ...and you don't have to send your mouse to California.

The batteries are user-replaceable, and rechargeable batteries are cheap and available everywhere as well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

I couldn't get a Mighty Mouse to do anything I wanted it to.

I'm curious, what can't you get a mighty mouse to do? I'm a programmer, and after giving the mouse a few days, I now prefer it. The only downside is the ball getting dirty, so I'm looking forward to this new mouse.

The might mouse has left, right, middle click, and scrolling to a fine degree (as long as the ball stays clean). What can't you get it to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

The most "innovative" thing to do IMHO would have been to offer an optional KB that included the current MBP TP! Also one less piece of desktop clutter, one less device with batt's to go dead.

Apple is attempting to solve two problems with this mouse:

Lack of gestures when on a desktop computer, and dirty wheels/balls preventing smooth scrolling.
post #34 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

am i the only one who thinks this mouse is amazing? ergonomic low profile.. aesthetically perfect.. simple intuitive gestures.. as is typical for mac, it doesnt try to do everything (no superfluous features), but what it does it does perfectly. this mouse epitomizes why i love apple products.

as usual there are whiners afraid of change, who lack vision, and who like to complain, but this is always the case, even with apple's best products. i think apple hit a home run with this one, and same goes for the rest of the products released today IMHO.

I am sure you are right on all counts for the average user. However, I want to know if it is as capable of the same precise and accurate movement required on a 30" ACD doing detailed work as the wired USB one is. I love my wireless mouse but I always have to switch to a wired for work. I am really hoping this model will be up to the task.
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post #35 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by orion123 View Post

Yet another AppleInsider article taking forever to say what's obvious to everyone, and passing it off as "analysis." I doubt you actually used the mouse. I could have gleaned this from reading the reviews on Gizmodo and other places

You do a great job on rumors and wrapups, but leave the insight to Ars Technica and others.

Dang! did the wireless mouse crawl up your ass, or what!?
post #36 of 129
The main reason that I could never use the Mighty Mouse was that it had so much latency that it drove me nuts. I tried several units on a couple of machines, and they all had the same issue. I don't know if this is an inherent issue with Bluetooth, or if it had something to so with the design of the MM itself, but I am curious to see how the new unit compares. I am a bit surprised to see that nobody else has commented on this. I can't wait for the hands-on reviews to start coming in.
post #37 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post

The thing that worries me most about the new mouse (without having used it yet) is that there appear to be no middle clickwhich some people would regard as almost essential.

Unless I'm missing something, it would also be difficult to add this functionality later as it lacks physical markings to indicate where the middle button would be (i.e. you could easily right click instead of middle click by mistake).

Yeah, I really scoured Apple's website for some more in-depth info on the mouse. I'm sure support documentation will be added eventually. But at this point, I'm perplexed that they would eliminate the optional click abilities of the old mouse. I really need to be able to activate Spaces from the mouse.\
post #38 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Sounds interesting but I think I'll test drive one before I buy. I didn't care for the mighty mouse so it might be the same deal here.

Anyone love the mighty mouse?

I'm actually very comfortable with it. I've never had any roller ball troubles. If anything bothers me a little, it's that I prefer a shape that tapers a little narrower into the palm then the Mighty Mouse.
post #39 of 129
I'm surprised they didn't add something like a 3-finger click to support Spaces or Dashboard, or even middle click. Certainly the hardware can detect when there are three fingers pressing down.
post #40 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrosmash View Post

I'm surprised they didn't add something like a 3-finger click to support Spaces or Dashboard, or even middle click. Certainly the hardware can detect when there are three fingers pressing down.

maybe they add them in the future if people whine enough? who knows if such thing could happen
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