Newsletter Issue #527: Giving the Magic Mouse a Second Chance

January 3rd, 2010

As I’ve made quite clear in recent years, the flat form factor pointing device has presented problems for me, particularly when Apple builds the product. While I do recall favorable encounters with the original Ergonomic Mouse of old, the hockey pock version that premiered with the iMac was a non-starter.

Of course, that product came at a time when form definitely overwhelmed function for some of Apple’s gear, and that may have been particularly true when the Cube arrived, although the squarish form factor survived and was reimagined with the Mac mini, AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule and even Apple TV.

In any case, Apple ultimately reverted to the traditional mouse shape and size and, in response to more and more customer demands about a multibutton model, they begat the Mighty Mouse.

The Mighty Mouse, a descendant of the Apple Pro Mouse, is still available under the name Apple Mouse because of trademark issue. Indeed, it looks for all the world nearly identical to the regular mouse shipped with Macs for years, except for a tiny button used for scrolling. The entire surface consisted of a single switch that somehow could be coaxed to provide right-click functions as well, with suitable changes to the preference pane. Need I say it’s also regarded by some as one of Apple’s ten worst products of the decade.

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