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Summary:

So the holidays are over. The food portions are returning to healthy sizes but the damage is done. New Year resolutions you’ve been ruminating on for weeks must now be taken seriously. It’s time to get in shape. No more excuses! No more distractions. You have […]

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So the holidays are over. The food portions are returning to healthy sizes but the damage is done. New Year resolutions you’ve been ruminating on for weeks must now be taken seriously. It’s time to get in shape. No more excuses! No more distractions. You have that nice new Mac so you think, “Hey, I’ll type ‘em up and print ‘em out! If they’re pinned up on the wall I can’t possibly fail!”

Only, you might have a problem doing any typing if recent reports prove accurate. It seems the combination of Magic Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard are a toxic mix. Over on the Apple Support Discussions forum users are reporting that, since installing their Magic Mouse, their Apple Wireless Keyboards have been guzzling power like there’s no tomorrow.

Brand new, planet-killing alkaline batteries don’t make it through a full week. Tree-hugging rechargeables manage less. Users have been forced to revert to backup mice (mouses?) or switch-out their keyboards for a more traditional, wired variety.

User cbcirrus writes;

Apple Tech Support furnished three replacement aluminum keyboards (unfortunately one DOA and all three were three battery version). All replacement keyboards suffer from the low battery life issue.

They now claim it is a bluetooth driver issue and the engineers are working on a solution, presumably a new driver or patch. One tech said engineering believes the magic mouse bluetooth is interfering with keyboard bluetooth communication and/or sleep mode. No estimate as to time frame for solution just a suggestion to use rechargeable batteries until issue is resolved.

I haven’t been hit by the battery bug described here, but I’ve certainly had my own issues with the Magic Mouse / Wireless Keyboard combo which I suspect may be related. I’ve found that my Apple Wireless Keyboard interferes with my Magic Mouse. I simply can’t have both devices working at the same time in the same room without my Mouse pointer losing the will to live and being reduced to a stuttering, crawling, sorry excuse for a pointer.

Changing wireless channels on my router and Time Capsules made no difference. In the end I had no choice; if I wanted to continue using the Magic Mouse, sans judder, I had to switch keyboards to the wired variety that originally came with the Mac Pro.

About a month ago I found a thread on Apple’s discussion site explaining that — for 2009 Mac Pros — the problem doesn’t lie with the Broadcom bluetooth radio but with its drivers. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t privy to Broadcom’s firmware roadmap and can’t say when an update will arrive.

Oddly, I cannot find that thread now. I suspect that at some point in the intervening weeks it has been edited/removed. If you can find it, please share in the comments below. I mention it here because it sounds awfully similar to the explanation above… perhaps the two issues are connected?

Have you experienced issues with using the Magic Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard together?

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  1. why did you change your wireless network channels? Um, bluetooth and Wifi are totally different.

    1. Good question. Some discussion over on the Apple support forum suggested that, on occasion, some of the channels used by routers (including Time Caspules) could interfere with bluetooth radio. It’s something I can’t entirely discount without trying it, and changing channels only takes a moment and they’re easily changed back.

      Hope that answers your question.

  2. I have no problem with my keyboard and mouse batteries. The mouse I get a little over two weeks of constant use, and I haven’t had to replace my keyboard’s batteries since I got my magic mouse. It’s used maybe 40% over a month or two. Def not ‘guzzling’ battery power.

    Also no problem with the two devices working together, both are bluetooth and both work fine. In fact I also use a bluetooth headset at the same time, and all 3 devices work perfectly.

    Once I even had my PSPGo connected to a PS3 controller via bluetooth with both my bluetooth keyboard, magic mouse, and headset all synced up. Everything worked fine.

    1. yeah same here, i have the magic mouse + wireless keyboard (june 2009) and have not experienced any unusual battery drainage

  3. I have no problems with this combination on my new 21.5 inch iMac.

    After 10 days the mouse battery level is 70% and the keyboard battery level is still 100%. Neither have been switched off since i bought the machine, and it has been used almost constantly during waking hours since I got it :-)

    Perhaps Apple got the drivers right for the new iMacs?

    1. Yeah mine’s at 60% after about two weeks. Which = crap! I don’t know why you think that is acceptable.

      I had a Logitech mouse that has had the same battery for a year an a half, with no signs of failure yet. At this rate, I will be buying batteries for the mac mouse, um every two months?

      And they had all this advertising about being green. My green ass!

  4. I also have a Magic Mouse and 24″ iMac with wireless keyboard. No problems with battery life. Have had the mouse since the week after it was announced and still have original batteries. Have had the iMac for about 8 months and only replaced the keyboard batteries (LION factory ones) once and that was when I still had the (not so)Mighty Mouse.

  5. I can confirm the issue. We were wondering why our wireless keyboard was in need for a new set of batteries only after a few weeks. Re-connecting the keyboard after batteries were changed was also not straight forward. I suspect there’s something seriously wrong with the driver(s).

  6. I have had no problems with my 27″ IMac with Magic Mouse and Bluetooth keyboard over the past two months that I have enjoyed them. I replaced the batteries in the mouse once and the keyboard still reads 76%.

  7. Absolutely No Problem Here! Only changed the battery in the mouse once since October and I still have the originals in my wireless which was purchased the same date..

  8. My customer (with the new 27″ iMac) has reported intermittent keyboard’s connection lost. After reading this article, I suspect it is a related issue.

  9. Its been a nightmare – 20 batteries in one month!

  10. Keyboard fine but mouse chewed up a set of batteries in 3 weeks of use, this with a new 27″ iMac (which is fabulous, BTW).

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