After waiting 10 days – the Apple Store website claimed “ready in 4 days” – my order has arrived. Yesterday I got slightly nervous when I tried tracking the package and found the number was shipped to Manila one month ago. But there was another shipment with a different reference number below it, showing that the package has left Prague and was on it’s way to Vienna.
This morning I found two packages on my desk and so I recorded a quick unboxing ceremony in my lunch break. Thankfully I had a colleague hold my iPhone 3GS, he’s done a good job capturing my emotions.
After you free the Magic Mouse from it’s Snow White glass coffin you might also feel tempted to kiss it to life. But instead it comes to life if you turn it on and seek with the bluetooth assistant. It gets recodnized as a regular mouse, no gestures yet. Then you need to look for software updates and download the mouse-related update. After a reboot the mouse settings panel changes to something similar to what we are used to from the glass trackpad of the Unibody MacBooks.
I was planning to use the Magic Mouse with my work PC, but only half joy for now. You can pair it with code 0000 and it works as a regular dumb mouse. But no gesture support yet. To get vertical and horizontal scrolling and swiping for navigation we need to wait and see if Apple manages to create a driver for Windows-folk.
The Magic Mouse feels very stylish and precise when moving around. You get quickly used to having less bulk in your hand and the polycarbonate surface is only sticky while new-toy-excitement makes your palms sweaty. The swiping motion needs some training though. I found it best to grip it firmly with thumb and ringfinger at the sides, placeing the two fingers between onto the surface and then just to a very quick and short flick to a side. Don’t let go or you might flick your mouse off the table…
With a multitouch surface on the top you naturally suspect that pinch would work as well, but that’s not the case. Technically it might have been possible but that’s a kind of movement your fingers aren’t compatible with. Your thumb is busy guiding the mouse, so it is not available for simultaneous pinch movements. But doing a movement similar to a mouse wheel and holding down a key gives you screen zooming as we are used from other mice.
Finally there are the horizontal and vertical scrolling motions you can do for example in Safari. Having more active surface than just a small ball is a definite plus there. Also wheels and the ball did not give you the option to scroll with momentum. Having an iphone and momentum-enabled table views all day this way of scrolling feels much more natural and physical to you than the old way.
On the plus side Apple has created a winner for use on all Macs. One minus is lack of driver support for Windows. All in all the mouse does what the Mighty Mouse did but in an even more visually pleasing appearance and there is a major technological jump under the hood. Therefore I can recommend to get it with any new iMac you might be planning to get henceforward and if you prefer a mouse to a glass trackpad then it is also a compelling option.