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Magic Mouse 2 - A Terrible Design
Category: Mac
by Admin on Monday, October 17th, 2016 at 21:20:20

So, I'm an Apple user. I have issues with Apple – I imagine most users have issues with them – but I like to think they don't often make outright stupid design errors.


This time, with the Magic Mouse 2, they did. Really.


You see that picture over there on the right? This is a rechargeable mouse. There are no user-replaceable batteries. So, bottom line (no pun intended... okay, well, perhaps), in order to charge it, you'll have to flip it on its back — which makes it completely unusable — stick the lightning / USB cord into it, and wait.

So if, for any reason, you let it get to a low charge while you're working... you're screwed. That's right. You'll stop doing whatever you were doing, flip your mouse over into the unusable position, and wait for it to charge.

It would be different if the cord was on the front, so for a little while you'd just be driving a mouse with a typical "tail", but no. Apple put the charging port on the bottom. The bottom!


The original Magic Mouse used a couple of AA Batteries. Run out of juice? Flip it over, change the batteries, back to work. About 30 seconds. Perfect. That's reasonable from every point of view. And of course, because it uses batteries, the mouse has an indefinite, long lifetime. With rechargeable, non-user replaceable batteries, the Magic Mouse 2's lifetime is measured in charge cycles. And if, as a compensating measure for the stupid and very real possibility that you may be put out of work by this idiot design error, you charge your mouse every time you leave your desk, you're shortening the life of your mouse.

Now. If the mouse had ultracaps instead of batteries, it would charge in seconds, and none of this would be an issue. But it doesn't. It has batteries. And they charge very slowly. I checked: I plugged it into my mac, and watched the charge indication. It. rises.. very... slowly....


I long for the days when Steve Jobs would get in front of a design team and go "what, are you stupid???"

[EDIT: It's now January 5th, 2017]

So I put my "Magic" mouse on to charge last night; it was at 16%. Got up this morning, and lo and behold, it was still at 16%. Why didn't I know it wasn't charging? Because there's no charging indicator on the mouse. Another Apple "innovation." Upon testing the lightning cable (oh, gee, another cable I have to keep around), it turns out the cable is good, and so is the power supply, it's the Magic Mouse itself that's gone nipples north — it simply refuses to charge. I've turned it on, off, plugged and unplugged it... nothing. 16%. Well, that's the end of that.

So now, I'm using an old, very tired MicroSoft optical mouse. You know, the old one with the click-wheel and the "tail" (it's corded.) Know what else? It works better than the Magic Mouse.

For one thing, in software that is aware of left, right and left+right mouse button clicks, that actually works. With the Magic Mouse, it magically doesn't.

For another, the Magic Mouse has been driving me crazy by not actually "clicking" when I click, because it thinks I'm moving my fingers on the touch surface. Sometimes it takes three of four clicks to actually get a click.

For another, every once in a while, the magic mouse would lose its connection to the computer.

And finally... ever since I attached the magic mouse 2, if I had to reboot my computer, I'd actually have to power the mouse down and back up, or no mouse pointer would appear on the login screen.

That old Microsoft mouse? It just works. My machine boots correctly, the mouse buttons operate properly, a click is a click and not a twitchy mini-scroll, the mouse doesn't lose its connection, there's no loss of mouse-on-back lost time if I forget to charge it (I don't have to charge it at all)... yeah, it just works.

Oh, the irony.

I'm beyond annoyed. Now I'm just sad. I'll be calling Apple later, as the Magic Mouse is well within the warranty period, and I'm hopeful they'll replace it (and with a Magic Mouse one if I can talk them into it and they have any, as this thing is just a bad design all around), but...

Yeah, okay, no. I just hopped on Amazon and ordered a brand new Microsoft Mouse. For $12.00 instead of almost $80.00. With a tail, and a click-wheel, and real buttons. No more charging problems. Software will know when I'm clicking. The computer will not get confused about whether the mouse is attached. It will boot properly. I won't lose work time if I forget to charge it. I fully expect the mouse to serve in use for years without annoying me at all.

You wanted to know how bad the Magic Mouse 2 is? Now you know. I rate this an unequivocal don't buy.

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