Magic Mouse Drains Keyboard Batteries


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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