I’m finally using my new Magic Mouse from Apple, which is just like normal mouse, except it does multi-touch actions. Which may seem, at first glance, sort of stupid. I’m not sure multi-touch gesturing is going to reach its full potential when confined to a mouse form factor, but it is certainly an innovative idea. And it doesn’t have a little scroll ball to get gunked up like the old Mighty Mouse, so that’s a plus.
The built-in actions are pretty limited — scrolling now has inertia, like the iPhone, and you can single or double click despite the lack of actual buttons. The real fun comes when you download a little app called MagicPrefs, which is a must-have companion to the Magic Mouse. The possibilities it opens up are breathtaking and somewhat ridiculous. It creates a dozen or so tap zones on the mouse and allows one to assign actions for clicks, swipes, drags, pinches, and taps, for up to four fingers. It would take some serious dexterity to use this program to its full potential.
My current configuration is pretty simple, but really great for my needs. Swiping down with two fingers brings up Spaces, swiping up with two fingers brings up Expose, and clicking the little Apple icon locks my screen. There is another option called the “MagicMenu” that allows you to tap or click and then swipe up, down, left, or right to select an action from a little hovering menu that appears. A little too finicky and complicated for me, but neat.
The best thing that MagicPrefs seems to do is fix — or at least lessen — the strange scroll scaling that the Magic Mouse uses, which makes it far too easy to move the mouse pointer nowhere (if moving the mouse slowly), or all the way to the other side of the screen (if moving quickly) with a tiny wrist flick. I know some people love that sort of “scaled” scrolling action, but I can’t stand it. I’m not sure how much is MagicPrefs fiddling the settings and how much is just me getting used to the odd behavior, but either way, this little mouse, full of multi-touch mystery, is definitely growing on me.