“Apple Computer is the design champion of the computer world. But the company has had one blind spot: the mouse. From January 1983, when it introduced the industry’s first mouse, through last month, Apple insisted on producing mice with just one button and no scroll wheel,” Walter S. Mossberg writes for The Wall Street Journal. “On Tuesday, Apple finally gave in — sort of. The company released an optional, add-on mouse called Mighty Mouse that allows right-clicking and scrolling. But in a stubborn homage to the old dogma, Apple designed the Mighty Mouse so it looks like, and can work like, a one-button mouse. Those clashing design goals make the Mighty Mouse harder to use than competing mice.”
“As with all of Apple’s mice in recent years, the Mighty Mouse has no visible buttons. The entire top surface of the shiny white mouse operates as a giant button. In single-button mice, this works fine and is kind of cool. But it makes it hard to do a right-click. So Apple built touch sensors into the Mighty Mouse that detect whether you are pressing its left or right side,” Mossberg writes. “Macintosh fan sites on the Web are already hailing this as another of Apple’s brilliant design coups. It’s not. In my tests, I found that the design makes right-clicking slower and clumsier than on a typical Microsoft or Logitech mouse with real buttons.”
“If you have Apple’s latest operating system, you can set up the Mighty Mouse so both sides act like a left mouse button, in effect turning it into a one-button mouse. Apple ships it that way so as not to shock one-button mouse lovers who have been living in a cave,” Mossberg writes. “The scrolling function on the Apple mouse is also somewhat compromised in the name of design. Instead of the tried and tested scroll wheel, Apple embedded a tiny ‘scroll ball’ in the top of the Mighty Mouse. It allows you to scroll vertically, horizontally and even diagonally. It looks cool, but I found it inferior to a scroll wheel and could never get it to work diagonally.”
Mossberg compares Apple’s Might Mouse with Microsoft’s Wireless Optical Mouse 5000 which he writes, “isn’t as slick-looking as Apple’s,” but nonetheless concludes, “Microsoft has beaten Apple on hardware design, at least in this one case.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Mossberg writes that he “found that right-clicking with the Mighty Mouse was unpredictable. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t,” but we’ve had no such problems with our Mighty Mouse units; our right-clicks work every time. Mossberg also writes that with his Mighty Mouse’s scroll ball, he “could never get it to work diagonally,” but our Mighty Mouse units scroll diagonally just fine with things that can be diagonally scrolled; you can’t scroll diagonally if there’s no point to which to scroll, of course. Mossberg also seems to think that the Microsoft mouse’s “magnifier” function is the best part of Microsoft’s mouse, but states that Windows-only function won’t work for Mac users anyway, so how is the Microsoft mouse really better for Mac users than Apple’s Mighty Mouse?
One-button mouse Mac users haven’t been living in a cave. They’ve been using the best personal computer operating systems and applications for over two decades; operating systems and applications, we might add, that don’t have functions and features destroying the user interface by being orphaned only to a second mouse button. The one-button mouse concept has proven to be very sound and it kept the Mac UI elegant and clean. The Mighty Mouse, because it comes as a one-button mouse by default, preserves the integrity of the UI and keeps developers from mucking things up for users as they’ve done with Windows.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
The Motley Fool: ‘Mighty Mouse may be the next step in Apple’s quiet crusade to lure Windows users’ – August 04, 2005
Review: Apple’s Mighty Mouse – Third-party USB mouse makers should be very afraid – August 03, 2005
Apple introduces multi-button ‘Mighty Mouse’ with ‘Scroll Ball’ for Mac and Windows – August 02, 2005
Apple’s new ‘Mighty Mouse’ provides audio feedback for clicking and scrolling – August 02, 2005
Apple’s mythical two-button mouse – March 19, 2005
RUMOR: Apple may soon debut two-button mouse – March 15, 2005
Apple’s Pro Mouse is truly a joy to use… for about five minutes – May 29, 2004
The time has come for Apple to ship a two-button scroll mouse standard – June 09, 2003
Should Apple reconsider the one-button mouse? – October 23, 2002