Apple’s Mighty Mouse: Not a 1 Button Pony

Apple has finally done it. They have cured their Achilles’ heel: their mouse. In the past, Apple fanatics could brag about how much better OS X is than Windows, how much better their PowerBook is for artistic and intuitive productivity and, how much easy it is to use and repair. PC users would have to grudgingly acknowledge all of this in their heads, but out loud, to shut up those Apple users, all they would have to mention is one word: mouse.

Apple mice (or meece?) used to be one trick (button) ponies. They were like trying to navigate OS X with a seashell. Now however, Apple has delivered the Mighty Mouse. It is a $50 tool that, according to Apple, will make up for any mouse missteps of the past.

Apple still held on to its top-shell design (read: seashell), but it added something its mouse had not possessed in the past, and that’s feel. Apple added it to Mighty Mouse in a few ways. First, a so-called “scroll ball” lets you not just zip up and down, but left, right, zig, and zag-in other words, 360 degrees. Obviously, Apple feels that a straight line is not always the quickest way to get yourself around a large digital photo, PDF document, or spreadsheet.

Next, Apple added intuitive-pressure-sensing points on the shell of the Mighty Mouse. There are four of them actually. The two top points work as your standard right and left clickers on a mouse, without actually being buttons. The two side click-points are preprogrammed to activate Expose (Mighty Mouse was specifically designed for Mac OS X Tiger v10.4.2 or later). However, these side pressure points can be programmed to open or activate any other application, such as Dashboard or iPhoto.

And as if to rub PC users’ faces into the wonder of it all a bit further, Apple made Mighty Mouse not just for ibooks and Powerbooks. They made it compatible with either USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 ports so it will work with Windows XP and Windows 2000.

By Matthew Brodsky

Tuesday, August 09, 2005