Mighty Mouse Problems

As I said in my post from the NYC Soho Apple Store, I went off to buy an Apple Mighty Mouse, and I’ve been using it for the last week. When I tried it out in the store, I was demonstrating the features to my wife and used it very ‘deliberately’; on reflection, perhaps I should have tried it for longer.

The mouse is beautiful object, and aside from the rollerball in the middle, you would be hard pressed to idenfity this as anything other than a single button mouse in the style of all single button mice before it.

In use, however, I’ve found it less than perfect. I’ve discovered a number of problems, all comparatively minor, but no less annoying, that have made me put the mouse to one side and go back to the Logitech cordless that goes with my keyboard.

First up, it’s got a wire. After 3 years of using a wireless mouse, going back to a wired unit is a bit of shock. For those already using wired mouse, there isn’t going to be a huge amount of difference, but I did find it quite restrictive. Of course, it also means you get a wire trailing across the desk…

The bigger problem though is the ‘buttons’, or lack of them. Theoretically there are four buttons, one left, one right, the ‘application switcher’ (underneath the rolling ball) and the ‘side’ buttons – I say buttons because there is one either side (which you can press individually), but really it’s only ‘button’ because you can only configure both buttons to do the same thing.

One of the bigger problems is the left and right buttons – it’s all too easy not to get a right-click (i.e. control-click), even when pressing on the right. Sometimes, even when you click on the left, you still get a right-click if the internal sensors pick up the pressure incorrectly. It doesn’t happen often, and I’m sure it’s more to do with my mouse movements than anything else, but for me it happens frequently enough to make it annoying when it doesn’t (or does) happen.

Even more annoying though is an feature that I can find no reference to and no way of controlling or disabling.

If you ‘click’ and move the rollerball up or down your browser (Firefox, Safari are the only ones I know it happens in) then the mouse takes you forward and back through your history.

This would be a great feature (and one I miss from a MS mouse with side buttons configured this way by default), if the effect wasn’t so damn sensitive that you can do it all to easily while simply scrolling in your browser. Press the ball just too much as you scroll, and suddenly you are flipping back. In most situations not an issue, but when, for example, doing a post in TAB or ComputerWorld, clicking ‘back’ can easily lose the post you were just composing. During a webstore visit it can lose settings or CC details.

That makes it a more major issue; but strangely I haven’t been able to find out any other examples of this happening on any of the boards (but please let me know if you’ve experienced so I can confirm my sanity).

Unfortunately, it’s annoying little things like this that make a product unusable. I love the side buttons, and I think the feel is superb. When it’s not affecting my browser experience, the 360 scrolling ball is superb, especially with photos (in Preview) or Photoshop.

Apple have, unfortunately, produced a product which looks great, but which fails to deliver. While heralded as the first multi-button Apple mouse, it isn’t, because it really doesn’t have multiple buttons. Instead, it’s a fudge, and one which could have so easily been solved if Apple had just swallowed years of tradition and procuded a proper multi-button mouse.

I’ve now gone back to my Logitech multi-button unit. It never gets the clicks wrong, and the scroll wheel, while not 360, doesn’t do anything funky with my browser while I’m using it.

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