Meet Apple's Amazing Magic Mouse

PHOTO Apple introduces the Magic Mouse, the world?s first multi-touch mouse.Courtesy Apple
Apple introduces the Magic Mouse, the world?s first multi-touch mouse.

When you're at a computer, there is little you use more than a mouse, so it is strange that it's taken this long to design the extraordinary Magic Mouse from Apple.

The Magic Mouse is the world's first "multi-touch" mouse, which means that when you swipe your fingers across the mouse's surface, it knows what you want it to do.

There isn't a scroll wheel. There are no mechanical buttons. Instead, the device consists of a very sleek, glassy white surface, with all the buttons and parts hidden, er, magically, inside.

The Magic Mouse also keeps a very low profile. Its top is only about an inch off of the table. Still, it fits very comfortably in the hand.

Apple learned that most people enjoy holding their input devices, such as mice, between their thumbs and last two fingers, allowing them to cup the surface of the small gadget when moving it.

To Move Cursor Around the Screen, Users Swipe Fingers Across the Mouse

You can scroll up, down, left and right with one finger, swipe through Web pages and photos with two, and click, or double-click (right or left), anywhere.

The brains of the operation are deep inside the Magic Mouse. And the device knows exactly what you want to do. It won't confuse a scroll with a swipe. It even knows when you're just resting your hand on it.

Apple introduced gestures to the trackpad in its laptop line a couple years ago (and part of the iPhone's success can be credited to the multi-touch display). The company is now bringing that technology to the mouse.

Let's say you have a Web browser open and want to go back three pages. Just swipe the mouse's surface with two fingers, from right to left, to go back. No need to move the mouse and click on the arrows.

Magic Mouse works wirelessly (no cables or adapters needed) up to 33 feet away from the computer. It runs for several months on two AA batteries (included).

Magic Mouse Conserves Power When You're Not Using It

It has an on/off switch on the bottom, but even if you leave it on, Magic Mouse manages power smartly by recognizing when you are not using it. I've used it every day for a month and the computer claims I have 90 percent of battery life remaining.

It connects via Bluetooth to any equipped Mac or PC, but a Mac is required if you want to make the most of its multi-touch wizardry.

There is no software to install, but be prepared to "pair" the mouse to your Mac via Bluetooth, then download a software update. Then you have to enter the control panel to turn on features like right button clicking.

There ought to be an easier process for adding a mouse. I also wish it came with rechargeable batteries, but since it means you don't need another charging station on your desktop, I believe Apple chose simplicity over clutter.

The Magic Mouse now comes with every Apple iMac desktop computer and can be purchased separately for $69.