Why I Hate the Apple Magic Mouse

In case you weren’t aware of it, Apple came out with the “Magic Mouse” a couple years ago. The Magic Mouse is a combination of a touchpad and mouse such that instead of having buttons and a scroll wheel, the mouse can intuit which finger is pressing down on the clicker (yes, there’s still one microswitch in that infernal contraption) based on it’s position on the mouse. The user is able to go back and forward without moving the mouse by using two fingers to swipe left and right on the mouse, and scroll by swiping one finger up or down, according to the direction in which they would like the page to scroll.

So, here’s a list of the reasons why I hate the Magic Mouse and would like to have a time machine specifically so I can go back and beg Apple not to do it:

1. It scrolls way too fast. I know it’s variable through the system configuration, but with so many complaints, the scrolling speed is just more fuel for the fire.

2. the two-finger gestures don’t work very well. Or at least, they don’t work when you want them to, and they work when you don’t want them to.

3. Speaking of scrolling, it scrolls when you don’t want it to. Consider working in a spreadsheet, where the cells are practically unlimited in either direction. I work in spreadsheets a lot, and I can say from experience that the wrong move will send the sheet thousands of cells away from your data. No permanent damage, but let it happen three or four times in a row and you tell me if the Magic Mouse is a good idea.

4. Forget about precision control of the cursor. When you’re playing Guild Wars, forget about being able to use the mouse for movement unless you have a backup mouse, like I do. Your character will look in every direction except the one you want them to look in. Trust me.

5. The batteries run down every three weeks or so. I can get twice the battery life out of my wireless Arc Mouse.

6. Do you wan to know what happens when you’re working on a long forum post for your Psychology of Exceptional Learners class and you touch the mouse? Just TOUCH it? The whole post is gone. Bam. Like it never existed.

Screw the Magic Mouse. Worst idea ever, Apple.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

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28 thoughts on “Why I Hate the Apple Magic Mouse”

  1. I disagree that it is the “Worst. Idea. Ever.” And here is why:

    1. The scroll speed is adjustable, and, on those I have used, I’ve found the adjustment very simple.
    2. The two-finger gestures work just as well as the “Magic Trackpad,” which is what I use most frequently – in fact, I haven’t used a mouse of any sort (in my private/home context) in years.
    3. What it sounds like you’re describing in #3 is abused mouse. I’ve seen trackpads and mouses that have been treated like garbage, and the sensors wear excessively quickly, and start miss-scrolling.
    4. I’ve used a magic mouse for design work, and it functions brilliantly, and precisely. But I have never used it for gaming, and, to be perfectly frank, the device was not designed for gaming.
    5. I have no response to this, as I have not used one for a long enough period of time to know.
    6. It sounds like you need to practice more, and tweak your adjustments more. In other words: You’re probably accidentally making a motion you don’t realize, and it does exactly what you accidentally commanded it to do.

    Now, I do not own a “Magic Mouse,” and I haven’t used one for an extended period of time.
    But my point: your complaints about the device seem to all be based upon what you use it for, not what it was designed for. If the device doesn’t function for your most frequent activities, use something else, but don’t dismiss the item entirely, or claim that it’s worthless and a bad idea in its very essence. It really seems like everyone’s complaints about Apple products are based upon what they do with a computer (we have a mutual friend who believes all Apple products are evil, simply because he cannot play games using a Mac, and the adapters on their portable devices aren’t mini-USB).

    To summarize my point further: If it doesn’t work for your purposes, use something else, don’t call it worthless.

    1. The author is correct. Try using a spreadsheet and it “horizontally scrolls like made and when you try to scroll back? it scrolls even further. Horizontal scroll may NOT be turned off, which is awful. You can turn off ALL scrolling, but then you lose vertical as well.

      The mouse does not interpret double finger swipes well. Like he says, does it when you don’t want it too, won’t when you want it too.

      It needs controls built into the mouse that allow more customization, but apple “knows best what you need” a typical and annoying arrogance by geek engineers who don’t listen to customer feed back.

      Finally the battery life is rediculously short. I have great mice whose batteries have not been replaced in two years..and this one goes maximum for 3 weeks. Thats the poorest example of engineering I have ever seen.

      And btw? I spent a lot of time understanding this mouse and trying to get it to behave. Poor hardware engineering, poor software controls.

      1. I have a brand new Magic Mouse and there is indeed an issue with the product with respect to the behavior described by the author in item 3. None of the available adjustments resolve the issue. There is additionally an ongoing problem with lost bluetooth connections that is the direct result of a poorly designed battery compartment and door latch. I’m tech savvy, and a Mac fan, but this is a mediocre offering from Apple. Cheaply made, poorly managed Chinese manufacturing sold at a premium price because it sports Apple.

        To summarize: If you’ve no real experience with a product it’s probably best to keep your condescending mouth shut rather than spout baseless opinion.

        1. Dang! I’ll tell you what though, I do have issues with intermittent Bluetooth connections with an apple wireless keyboard I use — honestly, I don’t know why they use Bluetooth at all when standard wireless works just as well with much higher rates of reliability!

    2. The article’s author is 100% right! I’m forced to use this abomination of a mouse for word docs and spreadsheets and its constantly screwing me up and giving me more work.

      In fact, I found this article typing in “I hate my Mac mouse” in the browser.

      Rob, have you foung a replacement mouse that you can recommend?

      1. As a matter of fact, any real mouse is good. I currently use a Logitech m15 with my laptop, but at the time I wrote this post I was using a first generation Microsoft Arc Mouse that I still wouldn’t trade for anything. I need to dig that thing up!

  2. To clarify, I’m not my disagreement is not an attempt to convince you that “it’s your fault the damn thing doesn’t work.” I believe you when you say that it doesn’t work for you, and what you use it for. I’m just trying to convince you that the product isn’t completely worthless, just worthless for the things you are trying to do with it.

  3. Ha ha ha. I hated every word you wrote, but I figure you deserve the right to disagree with me, and it does sound like you’re telling me it’s all my fault. I won’t ever forgive you for that, so we might as well act like it never happened.

  4. Regarding Zach’s number 3 reason, my three colleagues and I have experienced erratic movement of our Magic Mice ever since we got them. We do not abuse our equipment. This has been an ongoing issue. Two of my co-workers have abandoned their mice for other alternatives, but as a Mac user since 1985, I’m determined to get the full, 100% Apple experience. We have our worst problems with the rambling mouse action in InDesign — versions CS4 and CS5. We plan to upgrade to CS6 soon and I don’t expect the issue to clear up. We also have some difficulty with the random motion in FileMaker. It’s been consistent through versions 10, 11 and now 12. We are a productive but sedate group of educators. We don’t use our iMacs for gaming. We don’t throw tantrums and bang our mice on the work surface. One of the original four mice exhibited the battery problem Zach mention in his point number 5. We replaced it and another one, and the replacements continued to zip the cursor across the screen unexpectedly.

  5. This is true! And no config app really saves this! The mouse is horrible to use! The principle is great but in reality it sucks!

  6. Ever since I got it, at least once every half hour it scrolls off in some random direction, highly annoying. I always try and use new technology, so I said to myself I would give MM a fair go. As soon as the battery is dead I am taking it outside and smashing it with a hammer and buying an old usb mouse.

      1. I couldn’t agree more. Bought a gorgeous new iMac a couple of weeks ago. Was persuaded to get the Magic (HA!) Mouse with it, even THOUGH I was skeptical because I’d used one before and wasn’t impressed. Just threw it across the room in frustration, then wired up my 5 year old MOUSE (nothing ‘Magic’ about it), and brought my blood pressure back into a normal range.

  7. Glad I found this. My spouse being a big mac fan, I totally have tried to adjust to this stinky mouse.
    I’ve been using the magic mouse now for less than a month. Already changed the batteries. I HATE IT. For all the reasons I mentioned here, except #1. I like the faster scrolling – though it does sometimes scroll when I don’t want it too. I turned off paging… but it still manages to send me into the rocket desktop constantly. Which I don’t use.
    I also find the runners on the bottom get dusty pretty easily and all it takes is the odd piece of fuzz on there to make the mouse completely unusable for any type of accurate pointing of the pointer!
    And in fact it seems those runners on the bottom interfere with accurate precision. And here my spouse said that well macs are better for my graphics work… Then why on earth does the mouse rot so badly in that way??? It’s like they expect you to be using this mouse like you would your iphone touch screen to read e-books, watch youtubes, & check your social media. This is a mac – it needs a mouse that works properly.

  8. It’s not your fault; these mice suck. I’m a nice sedate editor and I do not abuse my mouse–and it’s constantly draining batteries, flicking me off to parts unknown, and resizing my screens regardless of my work preferences. I hate this thing. So glad I’m not the only one. Totally tempted to throw or smash it like the commenters above, but it belongs to work, not to me.

  9. The author is on point: Worst. Mouse. Ever. Anything that is a barrier to the user experience, that depreciates instead of enhances the user experience, is totally worthless. This mouse is just that – worthless.

    And to ZACH H and all of the other die hard militant Mac automatons who have their Cupertino Product Release dials set by default to “OMG! AMAZING!” – you need to hit the rewind button and re-watch Apple’s 1984 commercial introducing the Mac; you are now no different than the Orwellian masses Jobs decried.

    With the exception of El Capitan, I have used every Mac OS since System 6 (…on a Mac Plus. Sigh.), and throughout all of those years, I have watched in amazement as the Mac community transcended the bounds of healthy product loyalty to now kneel down and worship at the Temple of Apple. Many will aggressively and arrogantly defend even the smallest perceived slight against Mac products, lecture you on why you are misguided if you don’t love all things Mac, give you the old “it’s you, not the Mac” crap, and gush like a prepubescent Bieber fan anytime a widget drops off the end of an Apple assembly line.

    So ZACH H, let me summarize *my* point – lighten up, man… Mac is a system, not a religion. Apple devices are just material possessions, you know.

    And to everyone else out there that thinks that anything less than a Mac is uncivilized, I have a novel suggestion for you – Think Different.

  10. Number 6: EXACTLY! I was coloring a picture on the internet of pikachu and pichu, and I was almost done, then I have no idea why, but I’m on a different page. I worked two hours on that! I’m glad I’m not in college yet!! ;D

  11. I found this post when I google’d “MUTHERF*CKING MAGIC MOUSE”. Glad we can all relate! I need to get a Wacom pad or Logitech MX. 🙂

  12. Today is the day I love my Magic Mouse 2 again!

    The story:
    I used MagicPrefs on Mavericks to stop the insane scrolling detection on the complete mouse surface: MagicPrefs has an option to narrow the detection to a small stripe, which solves the mess of unintended scrolls and swipes.
    Unfortunately MagicPrefs stopped working after upgrade to El Cap, so I bought Better Touch Tool, hoping it will solve this. It’s not. I wrote to the developer: No response. BTT is overblown anyway.

    The solution:
    After two weeks of suppressing the impulse a hundred times a day throwing this magic crap on the wall, I gave MagicPrefs another try and !BAM! it still works after a fresh install! The key seems to remove any MagicPrefs files from old installations and do a clean install.

    What I learned once more:
    I was so dumb to believe the babbling on different forums, claiming that MagicPrefs is abandonware and wont work on El Cap. Lesson learned: DIY.

    Now I have a future again. (Not so sure for Apple…)

    1. Well that is definitely a story-worthy solution! You know, we just sold that Mac too after all these years, and I breathed a sigh of relief because – speaking of El Capitan – it seemed like every time I upgraded the OS the darned thing got slower and crappier and no amount of work I could do to it would make it come back. I just should have left well enough alone. I should have left it on Snow Leopard! But had I known about MagicPrefs, I’d have been all over that. 🙂

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