Today Apple released a host of new products including a redesigned iMac, Mac Mini, and Macbook. However, the most notable product, for me anyways, is the Magic Mouse. It is the world’s first mouse that incorporates the multi-touch technology originally introduced and made famous by the iPhone, and was gradually incorporated into the notebook line as well.
(See the introduction video here: Introduction to the Magic Mouse – Apple.ca)
However, despite the innovative design, there are several major fails. Most notably, the way one interacts with the trackpad, iPhone, and now Magic Mouse are are all slightly different, which is creating a confusing environment for customers, especially those new to multi-touch technology. Here is a more thorough list of issues which I have noticed before even trying the product, or seeing it for the first time:
1) Momentum is present on the iPhone and now the mouse, but absent on the trackpad (!?). Will this be fixed in a driver update, Apple? I should hope so!
2) Pinch, an action that makes items/text/windows larger and smaller is completely absent from the mouse. This feature is irreplaceable when using Google maps, and in spite of Apple’s demonstration video, which tries to show the functionality of “screen zoom” being similar, it is just not the same!
3) Now for my biggest beef. Scrolling on the iPhone scrolling is incredibly tactile; the direction that you are “flicking” the screen is literally the direction that it is moving, and the document continues in this direction with realistic momentum. But this is not so on the trackpad and mouse. Furthermore, there is STILL no option for trackpad (and now mouse) inversion, so the direction that one flicks the trackpad and mouse is completely opposite that of the phone! To make things more confusing, the scrolling action is done with two fingers on the trackpad and iPhone, but performed with just one finger on the mouse.
Personally I would have preferred a wireless trackpad with inversion and momentum for my desk than a new mouse. Ironically, the most innovative new mouse may not be a mouse at all, it may be a simple glass surface that allows a seemless transition between the portable laptop and home computing experience.
UPDATE: It seems that the Magic Mouse has failed in another way… according to Apple.ca it is available for the low price of “XXX.” Hmm… I thought prostitution was illegal!
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