Apple Finally Does It: >1 Button

I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the day when Apple built a mouse with more than one button. It finally happened. The first blog item I saw this morning in my Safari RSS feed list announced Apple’s new Mighty Mouse which they promote with these four words:

Click, Squeeze, Roll, Scroll.

I’ve always thought Apple was clinging to the single-button mouse as a symbolic matter of principle… kind of a statement of simplicity and design elegance that set them apart (“Sure, we’re powerful… but also elegant enough in our design that you only need one button”). Of course the first thing I’ve done on any Mac I’ve owned is throw the mouse in a drawer and replace it with my latest multi-button, third-party mouse (currently a LogiTech MX700 cordless optical). The MacOS has supported (but not required) multi-button functionality since probably OS 8…

Whatever the case, it wouldn’t be like Apple to just toss out a “normal” mouse after sticking to their principles for this long. The Mighty Mouse apparently has a touch sensitive surface that looks like a single button but acts as two, is “squeezable” and has what amounts to a tiny trackball where most mice have a scroll wheel.

Since it has no physical buttons, it also has a tiny built-in speaker that provides audible “clicking” and “rolling” in place of the tactile clues one normally receives from the mechanical parts of a traditional mouse. [UPDATE: Apparently there is no speaker and the tactile feedback is traditionally mechanical… a lot of us are still puzzling over Apple’s reference to “subtle sound effects” in the website’s marketing materials.]

The one thing I’ve heard everyone moan today, though, in various instant messenger chats is “No bluetooth!?” or “It has a cord!?”. Yeah, I thought that, too… but I’ll give it a chance. Some friends promptly ordered their Mighty Mice this morning, so I’ll give Steve’s a test drive before deciding whether to cast off my nicely weighted, cordless MX700 that fits my hand so well. I suspect, however, that I’ll be changing mice soon… I’d be pretty shocked if Apple waited this long and then got it wrong. 🙂

UPDATE: All in all, the initial review looks good…

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