CNET writer won’t buy Apple MacBook because it lacks 2nd mouse button (uh, two-finger right-click?)

Apple’s “new MacBooks, which are a baby step below the MacBook Pro line, are actually pretty sweet,” Molly Wood blogs for CNET. “But I still can’t buy one… [even though] Apple has removed almost every single barrier there is to switching to a Mac laptop. It looks good, it’s decently fast, it’s inexpensive, and if I wanted to, I could run nothing but Windows all the livelong day. What’s the problem here? Call me unreasonable if you will, but the problem is as tiny as a mouse. Neither the MacBook nor the MacBook Pro comes with–even as an option–a second mouse button. At this point, when Apple itself has made a weak nod toward those who want to right-click by releasing the Mighty Mouse, the lack of a second mouse button on these laptops is patently ridiculous.”

“Control-clicking is awkward and unnecessary. Contextual menus are handy and powerful, they’re the standard in third-party applications and Apple’s own operating system, and, frankly, they can help prevent RSI-inducing multiple-menu mousing and clicking. Gamers flat out need more than one button. And I, personally, won’t switch until I get one,” Wood blogs.

Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rico” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Molly, you’re unreasonable. Wood’s article is an excellent lesson: do your homework before writing lest you look like an idiot. Apple’s MacBooks and 17-inch MacBook Pro models offer secondary click (right click) without resorting to physically chopping the click button into two: just place two fingers anywhere on the trackpad and click the button to secondary click. Easy, huh? Users can turn this option on in the Keyboard & Mouse Trackpad section of System Preferences. A typically elegant solution from Apple and it works very well. Please buy your MacBook using our link below, Molly.

MacDailyNews Note: Many MacDailyNews readers have reported success with iScroll2 which is a modified trackpad driver that adds two-finger scrolling and other trackpad capabilities (right-click) to supported pre-2005 PowerBooks and iBooks on OS X 10.3. Supported models include aluminum PowerBooks introduced from 2003 to 2004 as well as all G4 iBooks. Also, the US$15 shareware SideTrack has worked well for us in the past.

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  1. This FUD needs to be explained/advertised by Apple. I heard the same thing this weekend in a Best Buy store, a PC user was inquiring about Macs and the sales guy basically told him to forget about it because there’s no right click. Come On!!!
    Apple needs to better adverstise Advertise ADVERSTISE! to dispel some of these fears.

  2. A quick question for anyone that has one (a MacBook Pro or a MacBook).

    When you have “Boot Camped” into Windows, do the Apple drivers allow this trackpad “right-click” functionality?

    I understand the above described option from within “System Prefs” (in OS X), but don’t actually know if Apple has the same solution available within the Windows environment.

    Just curious…


  3. Molly,
    It is obvious that in sitting down at the keyboard, you will be using… the keyboard. Shortcut keys are provided for just about every function in every application written; on both Windows and Mac OSes. You use them, your friends use them, your parents uses them, everybody uses them to one degree or another. The more you rely on a computer for daily tasks, the more you find yourself picking up on these shortcuts. It is only natural that as a person works – typing a little bit, then mousing around, typing, then more mousing – that one hand will stay on the keyboard while the other goes to move the mouse. A person will find themselves working like this to be more efficient.

    So, while one hand remains on the keyboard, it can easily hit that command key or option key or control key or shift key or escape or whatever to become more efficient and have access to more options than you ever could with a 2-button (or 3 or 4-button) mouse.

    Then, Molly, consider the move to a laptop machine, as you had mentioned in your article.

    You are not going to be able to easily pull out (and in some locations, it will just be impossible) and plug in a mouse – be it a 1-button OR 2-button OR 5-button mouse. This is another reason the keyboard hotkeys, functioning in conjuction with those cursor clicks, will obviously come in more handy than a 2 button mouse.

    As a user of the Mac OS, I find that the simple conventions are best and most productive. It is unfortunate that you are stuck in the unproductive conventions tied to the Microsoft world but don’t be unreasonable by blaming Apple for it.

  4. Why is this not available on my MacBook Pro? I’m looking for it but it isn’t there. Any advice other than a third party? I’m assuming Apple has built this into the OS.

  5. Well, I’ve got a MacBook Pro, running 10.4.6. I don’t have that option in the Trackpad diaglog box for two finger right clicking. So I called Apple and here’s what they told me:

    “Apple does not offer that capability at the moment. There’s a rumor going around the web that you can do this in OS X, but it’s not something that the OS supports right now.”

    He did go on to say that there’s a possibility that this functionality may be available in a future release.

    Is there something I’m missing here, ’cause it sure looks like a lot of people have it, judging from the postings?

  6. I have a MacBook Pro, and that option isn’t available to be either. MDN has failed to do their homework yet again – that feature is not available in all Intel Mac laptops.

    It sucks big time that Mac laptops still only have one button. How long will it take Apple to get a freaking clue? Pathetic.

    In the mean time, here’s where to get a handy tool for Mac laptop users who are running Windows and are SOL thanks to Apple:

  7. With such a wide trackpad, why doesn’t Apple do a “mighty mouse” on it? Give users the option to have the left side be primary click and have the right side be the secondary click, or vice versa.

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