Apple Goes Buttonless on Multi-Touch Magic Mouse

| Product News

Apple has taken a new tack on the buttonless mouse, announcing Tuesday the release of the new, multi-touch Magic Mouse. The device uses the same multi-touch technology the company uses on the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as the trackpads on its MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, turning the entire top surface into a multitouch interface for your Mac, eliminating the need for buttons.

"Apple is the Multi-Touch leader, pioneering the use of this innovative technology in iPhone, iPod touch and Mac notebook trackpads," Philip Schiller, Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement. "Apple's Multi-Touch technology allows us to offer an easy to use mouse in a simple and elegant design."

The device is a laser-tracking mouse that uses Bluetooth for a wireless connection. The multigestures allow for scrolling, panning, going backwards and forwards in a Web browser (and other apps that support such navigation), and can be configured for both left-handed and right-handed users.

One of the keys to the new mouse is that the multi-touch surface controls allows the mouse to be used as either a single-button or multi-button mouse. This will make it usable by both old-school Mac users who don't have no truck with newfangled multibutton mice, as well as multi-button mice afficiandos.

Apple also said that the mouse was powered by two AA batteries, and that the device includes a power-management system that automatically switches to a low-power mode during periods of inactivity.

The Magic Mouse is shipping with Apple's new iMacs also introduced on Tuesday, and it will be available as a standalone accessory at the end of October for US$69. The device requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.

Magic Mouse
Apple's New Magic Mouse

Comments

Bryan Chaffin

It’s certainly sexy looking. I personally think that Logitech’s MX Revolution is the best mouse on the planet, but I look forward to being able to try this one out.

Lee Dronick

I wonder it can use just one of the AA batteries as I do on my Mighty Mouse to make it lighter in weight. Of course this mouse may be overall lighter.

From what I read it is not expected to be in the Apple Retail Stores until late next week.

deasys

I personally think that Logitech?s MX Revolution is the best mouse on the planet

Not anymore.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I’m getting old. I had to Google “don’t have no truck with” and it’s a pretty dope phrase! 5 points for working it into this article.

Lee Dronick

I?m getting old. I had to Google ?don?t have no truck with? and it?s a pretty dope phrase! 5 points for working it into this article.

I think I remember reading that phrase in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and/or Huckleberry Finn. ‘Course I bought those books back when they were written.

BurmaYank

I’ve also wondered about what a truck/trucking is.

My folks & I’ve talked about trucking around too much stuff (e.g., in my backpack), and I’ve used a “hand-truck” to move pallets around at work.  And Stan Rogers sure caught my attention when he sang,

... But with one fat ball the Yank stove us in
The Antelope shook and pitched on her side
(How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now)
Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs
And the main-truck carried off both me legs

God damn them all, I was told,
We’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns, shed no tears
But I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

Lee Dronick

I?ve also wondered about what a truck/trucking is.

Main Truck when used in the context of those song lyrics had to do with a wooden shape (usually a disk) mounted on a ship’s mast and held sheaves/pulleys hoisting signal flags and lights. The main truck was on the mainmast. The term is still valid for modern ships.

One upon a time I was a ship’s navigator

CityGuide

Did anyone else look at this mouse and think “Mathmos Aduki”?

xmattingly

Gotta agree with Bryan - Apple’s excellent minimalist sleek design, as usual. How functional it is remains to be seen though; I would have preferred to see Apple transfer much of the same functionality as what’s currently in their laptop track pads, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

BurmaYank

... turning the entire top surface into a multitouch interface for your Mac

Hmmm…

I wonder if this mouse has the innards already installed to allow it to function as a graphics input pad someday (like all the old iPhones having all the needed guts already to work as FM radio receivers).

KitsuneStudios

This is definitely one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” instances.

I haven’t used a good Apple Mouse since the Days of Beige. My hands were big enough that I could use the “Puck Mouse” alright on the old iMacs. The single-button rocker-mouse was the completely wrong shape for my hand, and the “Mighty Mouse” didn’t have a true right click: leaving your finger on the left side while clicking the right would count as a left click, and the pinch buttons were awkwardly placed.

This one… it _could_ be great, but I would love it if there was a way to set up multiple button regions. Virtually every mouse actually has three buttons: Left, Right and the scroll-wheel “middle” button, which is used by some cross platform apps like blender, and by many video games. From the demos, it doesn’t seem those buttons exist here. Many mice also have some buttons for the thumb, which may or may not fit the user’s hand. Could there be a programmable spot for “Edge” buttons, to mimic the expose-linked squeeze buttons on the older mice? If there isn’t a physical location for them, it would mean much better ergonomics over trying to match your hand to the existing mouse.

Otherwise, I guess my quest continues for a good $60 Mouse. MS is in the lead for usefulness, but I find they become unreliable over time. Logitech are nice, but the last one I owned had hyper-sensitive buttons, and would occasionally cause the camera in WoW to freak out and spin over my character’s head. Right now I’m using a Verbratim model which is… meh. It tends to rock from side to side, meaning a bit of side-to—side motion of the cursor at bad times. The scroll wheel counts as “Page Up, Page Down” in some programs, for some unknown reason, and the software is so skimpy I have no idea how to modify that behavior.

Bah, sorry for the rant.

iJack

  Bryan Chaffin said:

  I personally think that Logitech?s MX Revolution is the best mouse on the planet

Not anymore.

What’s that supposed to mean?  As great as this mouse appears to be ( video: http://www.apple.com/magicmouse/ ), it couldn’t possibly do all the things an MX Revolution can.  Unless there’s something else….?

Bryan; you neglected to mention the zoom in/out function - very useful for graphics pros.

xmattingly

Bryan; you neglected to mention the zoom in/out function - very useful for graphics pros.

Not exactly; that only zooms the screen - not within a document. I can recall few, if any times that I’ve ever actually had to zoom in on the full screen for work that I’m doing.

Of course, you’ll be able to option+scroll to zoom within Adobe apps, but that leaves pretty much anything else out. No support for pinch zooming OR hot keys for Expose? It seems like this new mouse is functionally a hybrid between a Mac track pad & the Mighty Mouse, but with a glaring lack of useful tricks from both predecessors.

I’m looking forward to seeing some product reviews, but right now I’m pretty darn skeptical of this right now. Lack of Expose support looks like a deal breaker to me; which is where you would definitely be better off w/ an MX Revolution if you want to compare apples to Apples.

Mikuro

This sounds very OS-specific. How will this affect cross-platform users? Has Apple included drivers for Windows, and if so, what kind of functionality do they include?

As for Linux, I don’t expect it to be really usable. Even the Mighty Mouse was a pain to use, from what I’ve heard.

This doesn’t seem so unjustifiably gimmicky as the Mighty Mouse and its quirky button simulation (would it kill you to just use real buttons, Apple? Really), but I’m still skeptical.

daemon

Um… Touch surface on a mouse seems like a bad idea. I will have to try this mouse out excessively to see if it’s really as bad as I think it will be.

furbies

One upon a time I was a ship?s navigator

Hello Sailor!

iJack

This sounds very OS-specific. How will this affect cross-platform users?

Who cares?  The Mac is first and foremost a Mac OS machine.  Use a different mouse if you don’t like it.

Um? Touch surface on a mouse seems like a bad idea. I will have to try this mouse out excessively to see if it?s really as bad as I think it will be.

Again, who cares if it’s not for you?  But please, do try it out “excessively.”

Lee Dronick

Um? Touch surface on a mouse seems like a bad idea.

Like anything new it will take getting used to, but yes I want to try it before making a decision to buy it.

If you all will check my old posts then you will that I thought of this mouse sometime ago.

How about a touch surface on a keyboard? Say where the page navigation keys or numeric keypad are now. The would have to to be some sort of provision for left handed people, maybe a way to move that section to the left side.

Mikuro

Who cares?  The Mac is first and foremost a Mac OS machine.  Use a different mouse if you don?t like it.

Ummm…well, I care, for one. Hence my question. It was not rhetorical.

Alphaman

I had the pleasure of getting to play with one yesterday.  The multi-touch?  Well, I might get used to it, I might disable it.  I did enjoy using it to navigate forward and backward on webpages in Safari, but frame-forward and -back in QuickTime seemed a little janky.  But I am still going to get one.

Why?  Because of the dropping of the dirt-magnet scrollball!  The single-finger 360 degree scrolling is Fan-frickin’-tastic!!

And I’m also looking forward to seeing if the new laser will work on my glass coffee table.  That’s not critical, but it sure would be a nice bene if it did.

Can’t wait for them to arrive in-store!

daemon

And I?m also looking forward to seeing if the new laser will work on my glass coffee table.  That?s not critical, but it sure would be a nice bene if it did.

Rumour has that it doesn’t work on glass. But there’s a pretty easy way to test it, take a hand mirror with you to the Apple store and use it as your mouse pad raspberry

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