Switching to an Apple Magic Mouse and Bluetooth keyboard

28 July 2015, 08:33

Okay. I admit I’m coming at this one a little late.

I bought a Bluetooth Apple Keyboard and Magic Mouse. And I love them. The keyboard isn’t much different from my USB wired Apple Keyboard although it lacks the numeric keypad and home key arrangement. This is taking a little getting used to, because my hands constantly orientate themselves wrong. The keyboard also doesn’t sit directly in front of me on the desk, but slightly to left of me, which is kinda weird. But I love small keyboards. There’s something pragmatically efficient about them. This one just feels right. The key action is also a little more positive than the older wired keyboard too.

The Magic Mouse was a complete gamble. There are some very negative reviews and feedback out there. I’d tried one at an Apple Store and found it induced instant hand cramp. But one huge failing of Apple Stores is that they’re not really designed to let you try things in a natural environment. The Apple Store designer prefers stools over standard office chairs, for example. iPads are tied to the table for security reasons.

I find the Magic Mouse a completely natural thing. True, it requires some adjustment and if your existing ergonomics aren’t correct then the Magic Mouse will pay you in pain. You need to ensure your arm is level with the mouse surface. Additionally, if you’re using the multitouch surface in the same way you might use a standard PC mouse’s scroll wheel — which is to say you’re leaving your hand on top and just moving your index or middle finger when scrolling — then you’re doing it wrong. The surface is like a trackpad. If you want to use it then you need to move your hand back and to one side and trust in the weight of the Magic Mouse as you swipe up or down.

Get over the adjustment, however, and you’ll once again realise why Apple is so good at design. The Magic Mouse makes total sense. It makes an existing task even easier, and it makes it fun. Windows and PCs are all about “good enough” computing. Things work, and things are good enough to get stuff done, although rarely elegant. Apple goes the extra distance to make using something a joy — to make it enjoyable. There’s no better example of this, I think, than the iPad. This relies on the user enjoying using it. The iPad has to be enjoyable to use, or it couldn’t succeed – and this is shown in the lacklustre market for Android tablets. Prior to the iPad’s arrival we hadn’t learned to simply endure tablet computing devices. If we had, then the iPad story might not be the same.

Alas, I’m fairly certain that I’ve just bought an Apple Magic Mouse right before Apple will announce a new model with Force Click and maybe even haptic feedback. It’s just such an obvious feature upgrade. Still, I’m happy with the mouse and I don’t really use Force Click on my MacBook’s trackpad anyway.

Know better?