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.
Apple's New Magic Mouse