I freely admit I’ve never even tried the new Apple “Magic Mouse”, but I promise you – it totally sucks. Consider this syllogism: All Apple-designed mice suck. The Magic Mouse is an Apple mouse. Therefore, the Magic Mouse sucks.
I firmly believe one of the main reasons PCs overtook Macs in the 80s/90s is because Apple mice have always sucked. It’s not because of open hardware architecture, it’s not because of better software, and it’s not because Microsoft and Intel are evil corporate megaliths. I mean, yes, okay, it’s because of those things. But it’s also because PC mice had two buttons, while Mac mice had – and still have – only have one (or none).
For anyone with a level of computer literacy surpassing that of a Neanderthal, a mouse isn’t really a device for pointing and clicking. It’s a palm-sized keyboard for your right hand. Would you want to use a keyboard with one button? Apparently, Apple thinks you do.
The absolute worst offender of all time was the infamous “hockey puck” mouse that came with the original iMacs. It was kind of a miracle: it induced carpal tunnel syndrome and post traumatic stress disorder, simultaneously! Who said OS 9 couldn’t multitask?
I only despised the Mighty Mouse slightly less. It was such an insipid, mealy-mouthed attempt on the part of Apple to make a poly-button mouse without really making a poly-button mouse. I hated that stupid little nipple on top. I hated the phony right-click that always triggered a left-click.
The Magic Mouse seems like a very, very minor step forward. Sure, the multi-touch gestures are okay, I guess… but without any kind of audio, visual, or tactile response, it’s basically an iPhone without a screen.
The very first thing I do when I buy a new Mac is throw out the mouse. Right now I use a Logitech POS for all my pointing and clicking. It’s an hideous wart next to my beautiful Mac keyboard. The user interface sucks. But at least it’s got programmable buttons. I hold out absolutely no hope for Apple designing a mouse that actually does what a mouse ought to do.
Apple’s “less is more” philosophy is great most of the time. But if you approach every single problem from the same preconceived set of notions, you’re putting ideology ahead of real progress. Whether you’re George Bush or Jonathan Ive, ideology kills.