Home Apple Explained Controversial Design of Apple’s Magic Mouse, The Upside Down

Controversial Design of Apple’s Magic Mouse, The Upside Down

by Steve Herlington

Apple’s known for making some interesting design decisions, and one of those decisions is what they did to Magic Mouse, which is now powered from the bottom, making it impossible to use while charging. And let’s see why Apple made such a strange decision.

Let’s start off by disproving some myths, many people have guessed that Apple intentionally made the mouse unusable while charging for aesthetic reasons. Since it would be very easy to simply leave the Magic Mouse plugged in all the time, making the product appear much less magical.

Apple hasn’t included wired mice with their computers since 2005, so to prevent people from mistaking the Magic Mouse for a wired one they prevented it from being used while plugged in. 

But this theory doesn’t really pan out, since the Magic Keyboard does the exact opposite, it can be used while plugged in. So what actually makes the most sense is that this charging limitation stemmed from a practicality issue, rather than Apple forcing users to wait for their mouse to finish charging.

The previous generation of Magic accessories used double-AA batteries. The keyboard housed these at the top, while the mouse kept them on the bottom. This battery layout wasn’t an issue back then, since they could be swapped out and the accessories could be used again immediately.

But when Apple made the transition to rechargeable batteries they ran into a problem, not with the keyboard since its battery location happened to be the most convenient for a charging port anyway, but rather with the mouse. Since it would be unusable while charging.

Now this begs the question, ‘why didn’t Apple just redesign the mouse and move the charging port to a more convenient location?’

That’s probably because Apple didn’t see this as an issue

2 minutes of charging will power the Magic Mouse for 9 hours, that means users can simply plug it in while taking a bathroom break and likely have enough charge to last them the rest of the day until they can plug it in overnight, and that type of charging functionality has become common among Apple accessories. 

For example Airpods only need five minutes of charge to provide an hour of listening, and the Apple Pencil gives you 30 minutes of use after charging for 15 seconds.

So while charging the mouse from the bottom may seem like a huge issue, those complaints are probably coming from people who don’t even use the product in the first place.

This article is inspired by a video in Apple Explained YouTube channel.

Steve Herlington

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