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Apple's Magic Mouse is magically useless. | Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

There is no love lost between Apple and myself. The limitations imposed on the way Apple products work - especially their software - is one of the greatest blights on digital creativity today.

Apple Magic Mouse

However, I can see how they are skilled at marketing and design intended to appeal to people who like neat, pretty, packaged things and are willing (and able) to plop down a 300% markup on a computer in order to get bouncing glossy icons and a glowing logo on their computers.

One thing, however, that Apple has somehow never, ever been able to create correctly, is a mouse. Even the most die-hard Apple fans I know draw the line at buying / using an Apple mouse, instead going for one of the more usable offerings from Microsoft or Logitech. For some reason, the fascist, rigid design principles that apply to their laptop, keyboard and software engineering divisions do not seem to carry over to their "Mouse Group" or whatever it's called. I am happy to report that their illustrious history of creating what are likely the most craptastic pointing devices ever to sport a USB plug (or Bluetooth chip) remains intact.

Apple Magic Mouse

Apparently, folks in that design group seem to be the dredges of Apple Engineers, a spiteful, dark, hunched-over brooding bunch who hate the world, life and themselves, as evidenced by their latest abomination, the "Magic Mouse" (wasn't that the name of a cartoon character? Mighty Mouse's effeminate cousin or something?).

I had the displeasure of trying out the Magic Mouse just recently. No surprises here when I say that it is way, way less intuitive than using a, you know, regular mouse, with buttons. Touch-surfaces are all good and well on phones, but you definitely want some visible and tactile feedback from your mouse, whether you're clicking it or not. There is also something inherently disturbing about a mouse - and I'm quoting here - that has "a chip that tells it exactly what you want to do". I, for one, plan on welcoming our new robot overlords, but if this is what they look like, that's going to be a pretty lame machine enslavement.

Apple Magic Mouse

Then there's the the perfectly symmetric, nearly-flat and too-small shape, which means that whether you're left-handed or right-handed, Apple has a newer, better, more seamless way to give you carpal fuckin' tunnel syndrome. My hands aren't even very big (but my feet are huge, so don't even go there), and I could easily touch all my fingers to the surface under the mouse while resting my palm on it - a foolproof way of measuring whether a mouse has enough support to use comfortably for long periods of time.

It trips me right out that stuff like this gets released into the marketplace when there are infinitely better alternatives out there for the same price - they're just black monolithic slabs, not silver or white blobs. Inevitably, however, throngs of lemmings will buy them like hotcakes because they are pretty, silver, designed by Apple, and look like a futuristic Android's maxi pad sanitary napkin.

Apple Magic Mouse