How Apple’s new Multi-Touch™ Magic Mouse works

“iFixit took the Magic Mouse apart as quickly as you’d expect and left us with the below juicy pic of the sensors to mull over,” Matthew Bolton reports for TechRadar UK.

“Inside, we find that Apple has upgraded to laser tracking from the Apple (formerly Mighty) Mouse’s optical tracking, offering greater accuracy over more surfaces. There’s also a fairly standard Broadcom chip handling both the processing and Bluetooth transmission duties,” Bolton reports. “All very well, but the interesting part is the luscious coating of capacitive sensors covering the inside of the mouse’s plastic top half.”

“This is the same type of sensor used in the iPhone, and they work by using the natural electric conductivity of your body to affect the voltage inside the sensors,” Bolton reports. “Capacitive sensors are very accurate and highly responsive to even a light touch… The accuracy of capacitive sensors allows for advanced software features like momentum scrolling. The speed of your finger movement is always carefully measured, and if you lift off while moving then the scrolling simply continues at that speed before running down.”

“Apple not only owns the trademark on the name Multi-Touch, but has also filed patents relating to ‘a computer mouse having a touch-sensitive shell capable of accepting multi-touch finger gestures,'” Bolton reports. “It seems unlikely that these potential barriers will stop more multi-touch mice appearing before too long, but Apple has certainly laid down a marker for how we will interface with this generation of multi-touch capable operating systems.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Got mine today it seems much slower at tracking compared to my wireless mighty mouse and it seems to scrape now due to the black runners underneath unlike the mighty mouse which just glides, not sure I like it 🙁

  2. Funnily enough, I popped into an Apple Store in London today, and tried one of
    these out (not to buy, obviously). They are indeed a great improvement, and feel very well built. However, rotate and pinch commands just don’t seem to work. Weird! I wonder if the Geniuses hadn’t installed the software update. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty nice, beautiful in fact, mouse.

  3. tried one today at my apple store.

    first off, it feels too small for my hand. and second, its sharp edges seem problematic.

    and the lack of center-click and side-squeeze is a deal breaker for me.

    don’t get me wrong, i thing it’s amazing; i just don’t think it’s ready for prime time yet.

  4. I tried one on the new 27″ iMac in-store. I just wish there was more height to the mouse. If they would have kept the old Mighty Mouse shape, it might have been easier and more ergonomic.

  5. Love the concept, and it looks great, but I need center-click. CAD users rely heavily on that function. I actually was hoping that they would just release a stand-alone trackpad like the MacBook Pro has. I’ve grown pretty fond of how useful and subtle that is. I guess the multi-touch mouse is the middle ground between a mouse and a trackpad, but it needs more gestures. Hopefully that is fully software updatable.

  6. The best Apple had produced in mice so far, but by far is mediocre compared to a Logitech or other brand mouse (Microsoft, for example) that actually has distinct right and left click buttons.

    Also doesn’t work on Windows. Good one, Apple. I bet you gave your users a nice ego boost with that one, didn’t you?

    And now for Tech Radar’s actual review:

    Fine idea, but not executed as well as Apple seemed to have hoped. Then again, had it been better then 3 stars, the actual review would have been posted instead of “how it works”.

  7. @Joe Shmoe

    The Apple (née Mighty) Mouse would work with Windows with a generic driver because it sent out the same signals as any other mouse. The Magic Mouse is something completely different–a moveable trackpad, if you will. It sends signals that a generic mouse driver wouldn’t know what to do with.

    A Windows driver for the Magic Mouse is not a high priority for Apple right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple make a Windows driver for it to turn the Magic Mouse into a Mac Evangelist.

  8. @ Big Als MBP cheers for that however even with tracking up to max it’s still slower than the mighty mouse when it was almost right the way up, hopefully a software update might sort it out ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  9. Bought mine today in Bethesda, MD.

    Mine tracks WAY faster than my Mighty Mouse. I had to tone it down. the scrolling, tho It’s set for a little past halfway up, is BLAZING fast. I can scroll from top to bottom of a huge web page with just a flick of my finger, yet it is sensitive enough to allow me to find a post just partway down without much trouble.

    I love that part.

    It IS going to take getting used to, but that’s what I said about the Mighty Mouse too.

    I do think that we may see software updates with more gesture support in the future. Maybe one will replace the missing center click?

  10. Offering the Magic Mouse to be used on Windows would only serve to slap Apple in the face. Buyers would soon notice that the mouse could do more on Windows 7 because it has some touch oriented features that OSX presently lacks. Until Apple releases a tablet or something OSX based with touch, expect the new Magic Mouse to remain a Mac-only product.

  11. Macintosher said: “Funnily enough, I popped into an Apple Store in London today, and tried one of
    these out (not to buy, obviously).”

    Why would it be obvious. What do you know about it that none of the rest of us know but that you think we would know?

  12. I tried one yesterday and it’s amazing! It tracked across the 27″ screen just fine, and it feels great! I think I’ll only really use th scroll gesture, the others are too awkward, but the weight and texture and of the materials are truly A-class. Better than I had expected, considering the grinchy comments around here.

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