Magic scores with touch features

Magic scores with touch features

Magic Mouse, Apple’s new offering, looks a bit like Dove soap. The attractive contouring is the first thing you notice when you open the box. But beyond aesthetics, the USP of this wireless mouse is its touch technology, adapted from the company’s more iconic products such as the iPhone and the MacBook.

Many believe the Magic Mouse is a huge improvement on the Mighty Mouse, Apple’s earlier Bluetooth tracking device. I tried out the Magic Mouse on the iMac 24 inch, Apple's top-end home desktop till recently. (They now have a faster 27-inch model).
The installation wasn’t easy. To make the iMac Magic Mouse-ready, I installed Snow Leopard, Apple’s latest software upgrade (also called OS 10.6), but the mouse just continued doing basic things, and wouldn’t reveal any of the great tracking features it was being praised for.

The Magic Mouse comes bundled with the new iMac series, but I had heard that it would be compatible with the previous generations of Macs as long as they were running on Snow Leopard. It was puzzling why the mouse wasn’t coming alive fully even after I had installed Snow Leopard. I googled again and found on a user forum that Apple had put out a patch to make the mouse work. I downloaded that as well.

 That didn’t help either. I then went online and got software updates for the OS that came with the nine-month-old iMac, which took overnight to download. All this took me approximately two working days to accomplish (since I was busy with other tasks as well). But once I had restarted the system, and activated the Bluetooth mouse option in Systems Preferences, the mouse worked perfectly. A little demo pops up the moment you configure the Magic Mouse, and that is a thoughtful touch, since many users would be new to wireless mice.

The scrolling is very smooth on the Magic Mouse, and is much better than on the brand new Apple button mouse I had been using, which tended to scroll inconsistently. If you want slower scrolling, like when you are reading an e-book or a PDF, just uncheck the momentum option in mouse settings. It also gives you a circular scroll option. Using the Control button, you can also zoom in and out.
The mouse understands left and right clicks without actually demarcating spaces for them, but the right click needs to be activated first. The double-finger left and right swipes are a nice surprise: on Firefox, for instance, you could use them to navigate to sites you have visited previously.

The Magic Mouse isn’t designed to work with Windows, but as always, there’s the friendly online hacker who can help you find a way around the problem. It runs on two AA batteries, said to last about four months, and some users are upset it can’t be charged from a USB. Overall, this is a mouse that looks good, and works well. But at Rs 3,890, it can’t be your idea of an economy accessory (when you can pick up a decent mouse for Rs 200). But then, if you’re looking to indulge in a luxury mouse, this is the one for you.

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