Apple's latest foray into the fingery world of multi-touch user interfaces, is the Magic Mouse. We've got one, along with the new iMac, and our opinions are divided
Apple's latest foray into the fingery world of multi-touch user interfaces is the Magic Mouse. Although it doesn't outright replace the Mighty Mouse, to all intents and purposes it probably should.
It brings many of the multi-finger gesture controls from the MacBooks to the desktop. The entire surface of the mouse incorporates sensors, so gestures work regardless of where you position your fingers.
For example, swiping two fingers to the left or right within Safari navigates backwards and forwards through Web pages. Swiping two fingers up or down across the surface of the mouse scrolls up and down Web pages or long lists of items within Finder. There's more resistance on the surface than on the glass MacBook trackpads, and sweaty fingers seem to make this worse.
So, do we actually like it?
After using one with the new 27-inch iMac here at the office, most of us appreciate it. But opinion is divided. Nate likes it, but admits it's largely to do with being used to multi-touch gesturing within Safari and Finder on his MacBook. He thinks anyone who hasn't been using multi-touch on a MacBook will probably find it uncomfortable at first, but end up finding it extremely natural over time.
Even Ian had something good to say, and felt the multi-touch scrolling on Web pages was useful, and even complimented the physical feel of the device. "It's got a nice weight to it," he said.
Rich, on the other hand, just thinks "it's a bit pointless" and "an evolutionary cul-de-sac". He reckoned the mouse itself moved too much when he was swiping backwards and forwards with two fingers. And for some reason, he thinks if you're going to use a multi-touch mouse, you might as well just get a Wacom tablet.
The Magic Mouse is only available wireless, and uses Bluetooth to communicate with iMacs and MacBooks running OS X Leopard (10.5.8) or Snow Leopard (10.6 upwards). It ships with all-new iMacs, and will be available at the end of October in the UK for £55 as a stand-alone product. Check out our hands-on photos over the page.