Here I Come to Save the Day…

Mighty Mouse is on the way. The latest toy from Apple is (unbelievably) called the Mighty Mouse. It’s the first multi-button mouse offered by Apple, and as always, it’s innovative. It doesn’t look like a multi-button mouse, the left and right buttons are touch-sensitive regions on the top of the mouse. Instead of a scroll wheel, it has a finger-tip sized trackball that allows scrolling in two dimensions. Instead of clickable side buttons, it has “force sensitive” regions where side buttons should be.

When I first saw this, I was ready to hop in the car and head to the local Apple Store to pick one up. As I’ve noted before, the single button mouse heretofore offered by Apple just doesn’t cut it with me; I need at least 4 buttons including scroll wheel. On further inspection, however, my enthusiasm was dampened somewhat.

For one thing, the mouse is only available (for now, anyway) with a tail. I’ve been searching for a good Bluetooth mouse for use with my iMac since I bought it. I’m a bit surprised there’s no bluetooth option; perhaps battery life is an issue given the touch sensitive technology at play. Also, it appears that certain key features- namely, reprogramming the button actions- are only available when using Tiger. I have been putting off that upgrade while I wait for it to stabilize a bit. Plus, it doesn’t really offer anything I’m dying to get my hands on. I find this deficiency deplorable, since my Microsoft Intellimouse lets me reprogram my buttons just fine on OS X 10.3.

Next time I’m in the Apple store, I will definately try one out. The bluetooth issue is minor; I can alwas pick up a wired one now, and use it as a hand-me down for another machine (yes, it works with windows too) when/if a Bluetooth model appears. But to get that all-critical ability to make the side button map to my browsers back button will require Tiger, turning this $50 toy into a $179 investment. You can do better, Apple.

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6 Responses to “Here I Come to Save the Day…”

  1. khad Says:

    http://www.dvforge.com/themousebt.shtml

    Although it comes with but three buttons. Alas…

  2. Jan Says:

    After going to the Apple store to check out “mighty mouse”, Apple employees told me and we inspected the software…there is no way to may the side buttons to the back button on your browser. Poor design on Apple’s part. This mouse is no better than a plain old two button mouse with no extra functions.

  3. Jason Says:

    Side buttons<br/>

    Jan-

    I tried out the MightyMouse at the Apple Store last night. I didn’t try reprogramming the side buttons, however, it might work for me. I use Firefox instead of Safari, and I think you can setup firefox to recognize button 4 for back; I’m pretty sure you can program the side buttons as mouse button 4. As long as you can make it act like a ‘standard’ mouse button, I’m pretty sure there’s third party tools to translate that into CTRL+left arrow, which functions as Back in most browsers. This is how my MS mouse is set up, although the MS software lets me do that in the mouse driver.

    For me, the much bigger issue is the side buttons themselves. The “force sensitive” buttons, well, suck. I really hated them. They are uncomfortable and poorly positioned. I could not active them using just my thumb, so they may as well not be there. I’ve seen other reviews complain about the side buttons, maybe Apple will take the feedback into account for the next revision.

    For now, my MS mouse stays. And if it dies, I’ve got an unopened spare right here on the shelf.

  4. Marlene Says:

    Thought you might find this comic amusing:

    http://news.yahoo.com/comics/foxtrot;ylt=Ao5A2LgbpeuW7MGHDxWyVQ4Ab4F;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

  5. Marlene Says:

    Sorry that last link to today’s Foxtrot comic was too long. This should work better: http://news.yahoo.com/comics/foxtrot

  6. Jason Says:

    Thanks Marlene, that was great. Here’s the clickable link for those who haven’t read it yet. Although, if it were going to freeze, the switch to Intel chips should have done the trick a couple of months ago.