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255 comments

Touch screens and the like (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202638)

Problem with this, like with many other touch screen like devices, is that you don't get physical feedback when you're clicking or scrolling or doing anything. There's a reason why you actually need to push the mouse button a little bit so it clicks. Not much, but it actually feels like a click. Keyboard presses need to be the same way too - you need the feedback.

Another example is the scroll in mouses. My Logitech MX Revolution mouse has both seamless and non-seamless mode that you can activate for different apps. Seamless mode was activated by default for IE and I had to take it off, because mouse scroll also needs to "tick" and feel back when you're scrolling. The Apple video shows that you can scroll faster by moving your finger rapidly - guess what, you can do that with a normal scroll too, just by rapidly firing the scroller to either direction (the logitech software actually releases the tick for a bit so it works even better)

Other thing to consider is how quickly the touch area gets dirty and less functional. I sometimes like to eat a great three story cheese bacon hamburger filled with majonese, chipotle ketchup and delicious cheese with deep fried french fries, topped with a cold beer and chocolate ice cream with strawberries and chocolate dipping. Lets face it, the touch area is going to get dirty. Will it function the same way after that and can you clean it as easily?

Re:Touch screens and the like (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202750)

Onsidering my iPhone is easy to clean and I don't need tactile feedback for the on screen keyboard I would say it is something some people will work easily with and others won't. Your results will vary.

As a side note if your eating that mess if food at your computer and not using napkins or towels your keyboard has to be disgusting

Re:Touch screens and the like (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202802)

Onsidering my iPhone is easy to clean and I don't need tactile feedback

You never input text?

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202978)

You never input text?

People manage to input text fairly well on touchscreens without feedback. And have been for a while now.

Re:Touch screens and the like (5, Insightful)

PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203020)

However that isn't the point. Let me try to explain this in the way of an analogy:

Lets imagine you're in the middle of a epic World of Warcraft raid. You're starting to get hungry, but it's still fun. Your option is to either quit the game and go make food in the kitchen. Second option is to quickly skype for a pizza delivery guy to bring you a large pizza with some mountain dew. Like in GP's case, I think what you're going to do is obvious. 15 minutes later and you hear the doorbell ring and after a short while your mom walking down the stairs with your delicious large hawaiian pan pizza. While grabbing the first slice, an alliance guy jumps out of nowhere and starts hammering you with fireballs. That scares you so much that the pizza flies from your hands straight to your 30" LCD monitor. While trying to catch the pizza slice in air, you knock over the mountain dew bottle over your new multi-touch mouse.

The point here being, new technology isn't always a good answer for everything.

Re:Touch screens and the like (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203174)

Dugg for you living in your Mom's basement and getting her to pay for and bring you your pizza. Oh, what site was I on again? Damnit.

Re:Touch screens and the like (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203306)

You are quite possibly the most awesome poster in Slashdot history.

We are all dumber for having read that, and may God have mercy on your soul. ;)

Re:Touch screens and the like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203544)

Yeah, Life it's hard. I'd send you some dollars to ease your suffering, also I'm going to pray for 9 nights in a row, and I ask fellow slashdoters to do the same, so this poor guy can find peace outside his hell of a life. This sort for things really, REALLY should not happen in this day and age. Whats wrong with the world if my fellow friend can't enjoy his food without messing up with his fancy gadgets. Fuck global warming, fuck hunger, fuck africa, fuck wars, fuck Jews owning 97% of world wealth, all that can wait.. ZOMG!! WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP THIS GUY PLZ!!!one

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203432)

People manage to input text fairly well on touchscreens without feedback. And have been for a while now.

Bullshit.

Posting from my PHONE WITH A KEYBOARD while waiting in line to use the TOUCH SCREEN grocery store self-checkout and then the ATM.

Re:Touch screens and the like (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203520)

You never input text?

People manage to input text fairly well on touchscreens without feedback. And have been for a while now.

I think the issue at hand here is the difference between inputting text "fairly well" such that you can write pithy tweets or whatnot and inputting text "really well" such that you can write novels, code, etc, etc without suffering serious hand fatigue after the first couple paragraphs or code blocks.

And please, save yourself the trouble of linking me to some jackass twat who's writing a "novel" entirely out of tweets written on his/her iPhone. I don't care who you dig up, his/her novel sucks.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1, Flamebait)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202988)

Well to be honest, having tactile feedback while typing is really nothing more than a "nice to have" feature. Especially in landscape-mode, the keys are so large and spread out that I highly doubt tactile feedback (aka 'real buttons') would result in fewer typo's or speed.

What??? (5, Interesting)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203114)

Dude, without any kind of tactile feedback, you have to look at the keyboard, instead of looking at the text you're typing. How can that not be a problem? Reasonable people can disagree over whether that means tactile feedback is "nice-to-have" or "critical", but let's not pretend the issue doesn't even exist.

Re:What??? (3, Informative)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203210)

Wow, you have to look at the keyboard if you can't feel it? What happened to memorizing key positions and how far you have to move your fingers (muscle memory)?

Maybe it's easier for some people than others. I got the iPhone 1st gen the day after it released and have never had problems typing on it. After the first week or so, I didn't need to look at the keyboard either.

Re:What??? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203348)

I don't understand why you have to look at the keyboard instead of the text.

By Looking at the text, you see what you're entering; what does looking at the keyboard tell you that the screen does not? Unless you're comparing someone who can type without looking in the first place to someone who has too, in which case the argument seems strange to me.

Re:What??? (0, Redundant)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203618)

I'm not saying the issue doesn't exist, I'm saying it's nothing more than nice to have.

Looking at the text or looking at the keyboard is exactly the same thing on a phone, because you're always looking at the tiny screen, no matter what you're focussing on.

If it were a desktop PC with a seperated keyboard and screen, the situation would be different entirely, but on a phone I really have no problems with having just a touch screen and no tactile feedback.

Re:Touch screens and the like (3, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203062)

Sure I have, it's a lot easier than it is on a tiny physical keyboard.

Re:Touch screens and the like (3, Interesting)

Starayo (989319) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203116)

Insightful my ass. I type almost as fast with my iPhone as I do with my keyboard. Feedback is available both visually (letter pops up to show which button you pressed) and audibly (click sounds). The odd slip of the finger is generally fixed by the iPhone's autocorrect too.

The only people who continually raise the issue with this are people who haven't used the product, or have and are easily frustrated. Or they're too old to learn a slightly new trick. Even my dad can type quickly with an iPhone when he uses one, and says it's much better and easier than typing on the blackberry storm which also provides the physical feedback, but then again, the storm (first version at least) is an embarrassment of a phone.

Re:Touch screens and the like (3, Insightful)

Zalbik (308903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203422)

I type almost as fast with my iPhone as I do with my keyboard.

Sorry, but all that tells me is that you suck at using a keyboard. World records for texting have people completing a 160 character message at 40 seconds.
See here [engadget.com] and here [wikipedia.org] .
That works out to 48 words per minute, which is still very slow compare to even a novice touch-typist.

You will also note that the world records are continually won by people using tactile keyboards.

The only people who continually raise the issue with this are people who haven't used the product, or have and are easily frustrated. Or they're too old to learn a slightly new trick.

Wow, over-generalize much?

I could just as easily claim that the people who continually issues the iPhone keyboard are people who can actually type. Or that the the people who like the iPhone keyboard are rabid fanboi's who are so trapped in their Apple-worshiping love-fest that they can't see the obvious fact that a non-tactile keyboard is a pretty stupid way of communicating.

But of course I won't.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203496)

Agreed! @Starayo -- I dunno but when I type on a phone's physical keyboard it feels like torture ... those tiny keys and since you have to physically press them down it's a much longer motion than the much larger touch sensitive keys of the iPhone.

Re:Touch screens and the like (3, Interesting)

sirdankus (1004283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202762)

The dirt issue seems much worse with normal scroll mice. Bacon remnants are fairly easy to wipe (or indeed, lick) off a smooth surface like a touch pad. Once any amount of dirt gets into the mechanical bits of a scroll wheel, you're left with the option of putting up with a sticky scroll wheel, or buying a new mouse.

The tactile feedback part is exactly how I feel, though.

Re:Touch screens and the like (5, Insightful)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202776)

A Philips screwdriver and 15 minutes of your life will suffice to clean the inside of your mouse too.

Re:Touch screens and the like (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203258)

A Philips screwdriver and 15 minutes of your life will suffice to clean the inside of your mouse too.

Unless it's an Apple mouse, which is sealed for all eternity and cannot be user-serviced.

Re:Touch screens and the like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203402)

I serviced your mom last night.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202902)

The dirt issue seems much worse with normal scroll mice.

So far, I've been pretty lucky with my Logitech cordless Trackman Wheel [logitech.com] regardless of my alimentary habits. That product gets an endorsement from me: it seems to be impossible to break.

However, I do like the look of the FTIR mouse (the last mentioned in TFA). The Microsoft Surface thingy looks kind of neat in its native form, but it would get old quickly with a screen covered in greasy fingerprints. This mouse option looks like it might be a cooler alternative. I hope nobody has thought to patent it yet...

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203256)

Why have a cordless trackman when you don't need to physically move the mouse, surely replacing batteries is more annoying than a static wire?

Re:Touch screens and the like (4, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203452)

Bacon remnants are fairly easy to wipe (or indeed, lick) off a smooth surface like a touch pad.

mentalimage.erase(slashdotposterwholicksbacon);

Re:Touch screens and the like (4, Interesting)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202788)

New capacitive sensors will work, even if it is covered in a layer of crap. You don't need to physically touch the surface to get it to work.

The real issue is this: How can you make it intuitive enough to work and become widely accepted? There are some people who still struggle with the right-click, let alone anything more complicated.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203570)

They don't need to.

Apple is heavily using multitouch. Everyone who has a newer Apple notebook or an iPhone or iPod touch knows how to use multitouch interfaces. (And, for that matter, Microsoft and Google are also using it for their handhelds so it will most likely become a common smartphone feature in the future.) Apple's market consists of Mac users and tech-savvy or style-conscious young people who are likely to quickly learn how to use the Magic Mouse.

Microsoft is toying with the concept but it's unclear whether they will actually ship a meaningful product. They can do whatever they want, although they will most likely also embrace multitouch. They can rely on the next point.

Multitouch has one advantage over regular interface technologies: It's intuitive by design. Pinch to make things smaller. Rotate to rotate them. Swipe to scroll. It's very easy to get the hang of it and much less abstract than "right-click to open a context menu".

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202826)

Well, there are options. For you I recommend #4 (should be the one where you touch the desk, sorry if I got the number wrong). That way, all you have to do is clean your desk once in a while...unless...

Re:Touch screens and the like (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202836)

Problem with this, like with many other touch screen like devices, is that you don't get physical feedback when you're clicking or scrolling or doing anything.

Thet doesn't seem to matter to iPhone or MegaGame machines. You need feedback, but not auditory or tactile feedback. The only need for tactile or auditory feedback is if your devise is so molasses-in-January slow that nothing apparently happens when you use the control.

Feedback needs to appear instantaneous or it's useless.

Re:Touch screens and the like (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30202866)

The Magic Mouse clicks. The entire surface is a button, just like with the older Mighty Mouse (a.k.a. Apple Mouse). It may be touch sensitive, but Apple agreed that feedback was necessary and built it in.

Re:Touch screens and the like (0, Offtopic)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202910)

I sometimes like to eat a great three story cheese bacon hamburger filled with majonese, chipotle ketchup and delicious cheese...

Majonese==mayonnaise?

Re:Touch screens and the like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30202952)

I guess you didn't know the Magic Mouse (and the Mighty Mouse before it) has a physical clicker.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

zelik (1131765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202954)

I sometimes like to eat a great three story cheese bacon hamburger filled with majonese, chipotle ketchup and delicious cheese with deep fried french fries, topped with a cold beer and chocolate ice cream with strawberries and chocolate dipping. Lets face it, the touch area is going to get dirty. Will it function the same way after that and can you clean it as easily?

And your clickable mechanical mouse will also be hindered useless by your monstrous lunch/heart attack. At least the multitouch surface is a quick wetnap away from functioning again

Re:Touch screens and the like (2)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203036)

And your clickable mechanical mouse will also be hindered useless by your monstrous lunch/heart attack. At least the multitouch surface is a quick wetnap away from functioning again

Rendered. Rendered.

Re:Touch screens and the like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30202958)

I sometimes like to eat a great three story cheese bacon hamburger filled with majonese, chipotle ketchup and delicious cheese with deep fried french fries, topped with a cold beer and chocolate ice cream with strawberries and chocolate dipping.

Don't worry about your mouse quitting on you. With a diet like that you'll be dead before the warranty runs out.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203002)

...with deep fried french fries, topped with a cold beer and chocolate ice cream...

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203034)

I use a 3d Connexion SpaceExplorer 3D mouse on a daily basis for work... There is no way any multi-touch screen will EVER come close to the level of control that mouse gives me.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

ScaredOfTheMan (1063788) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203040)

I have a magic mouse, and apparently we share the same messy fingers, I can report back it had no impact on function whatsoever. You just made me so hungry and its only 11:25.... Now I need a " a great three story cheese bacon hamburger filled with majonese, chipotle ketchup and delicious cheese with deep fried french fries, topped with a cold beer and chocolate ice cream with strawberries and chocolate dipping." Where do I get one!!! Tell me now!!

Re:Touch screens and the like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203382)

Very true. This lack of feedback is very difficult to overcome. Blackberry has tried to overcome this in their Storm series cell phones. I own a first generation Storm, and the screen clicks inwards to accept typing. It's preferable to me over the iphone touch screen, but it's not perfect. They've revised the blackberry storm in the new model with "haptic feedback", by making the screen vibrate when you click it.

Lack of feedback is the most annoying in low light situations. I have a razor keyboard where all the media keys are touch keys. All the other buttons I can handle in the dark, without looking, but whenever I go to change songs or adjust volume, I find myself squinting at the keyboard because my fingers have no frame of reference for where I'm actually touching the keyboard in relation to the buttons.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203438)

The good news is that with that diet, the mouse's warranty will probably outlive you, so if it does die of grease, you can get another one.

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203460)

This post is not interesting, informative, nor very useful.

Everyone knows we can scroll more rapidly by flicking the wheel a little faster.

As for a clean surface touch mouse getting dirty I can only ask what is your point? Hmmm, spill on an electronic input device and what happens? It potentially gets shorted out. But if it's just food the simpler surface of the Magic Mouse is much easier to clean than a wheel mouse with gears and crevices and such where the soda/pizza/goo will become mired. I'd much rather spill on a Magic Mouse than my Death Adder ... the Death Adder would be a nightmare to clean while I'd just wipe off the Magic Mouse much like I do the iPhone/iPod surface.

The other interesting point I see in this comparison is: Apple ships, Microsoft noodles and over complicates. I've been using multi-touch on Apple trackpads and getting basically hooked. When I use another trackpad which doesn't support two and three finger gestures I'm all WTF. Likewise I frequently want to use multi-touch on many interfaces.

Meanwhile, Microsoft gives us The Surface (to the sound of Carmina Burana in the background) and HP and other vendors give us touch monitors, as if we EVER want to reach out vertically and mess up the visual view port into our computing universe. You think a mouse is tricky to keep clean? Just try holding your arm vertical and sullying up your monitor all day with Windows 7 and one of those HPs. It's just the silliest implementation of touch I've seen and is only useful in about .001% of daily computing.

Real artists ship?

Re:Touch screens and the like (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203488)

The Apple video shows that you can scroll faster by moving your finger rapidly - guess what, you can do that with a normal scroll too, just by rapidly firing the scroller to either direction (the logitech software actually releases the tick for a bit so it works even better)

Maybe Logitech mice have special hardware to handle fast scrolling but most mice can't really handle very fast scrolling - you scroll just as far as with regular scroll speed; the additional revolutions of the wheel are swallowed.

Lets face it, the touch area is going to get dirty. Will it function the same way after that and can you clean it as easily?

Much easier than the scroll wheel you just smeared a combination of grease, mayonnaise and ice cream into. The Magic Mouse just needs to be wiped. Your mouse needs to be disassembled and if you're unlucky you need to get the stuff out of bearings in order to get the scroll wheel back into action.

R&D vs. Actual Product (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30202716)

I don't think anyone is denying that Microsoft R&D can churn out some interesting concepts from time to time, but there's a big difference between shipping an actual product with most of the details worked out, and merely mocking up a few prototypes that are nowhere close to being ready for actual sale. I'd be curious to see what prototypes Apple came up with before shipping the Magic Mouse. That'd be a more interesting comparison.

Re:R&D vs. Actual Product (2, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202780)

And how much would these MS prototypes cost the end-user? One that may be really awesome isn't going to be very practical if it is $700...

And have they done ergonomics testing to see if these concepts hurt your wrist after a day of use?

And how easy/hard is the configuration software? The user learning experience?

Comparing a real shipping product to vaporware is just silly.

I have an image in my head of a mind-controlled input device that simply takes the cursor wherever I want it, moves pages on a whim, and oh yeah it also does direct mind-to-text input. It also works in 3D environments, and allows multiple users to input into the same session. Mine is clearly better than any of these offerings. I win.

Re:R&D vs. Actual Product (4, Informative)

crosseyedatnite (19044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202856)

I believe the first consumer optical mouse would beg to differ.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/99/04/20/0214216/MS-Introduces-Optical-Mouse [slashdot.org]

Re:R&D vs. Actual Product (2, Interesting)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203362)

Funny how the article you refer to questions if the optical mouse was anything new even in 1999. Not to mention, of course, that said optical mouse was actually developed and built by Logitech and merely marketed under the Microsoft brand anyway.

Re:R&D vs. Actual Product (2, Interesting)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203612)

And this is relevant... how? The GP complained about the article comparing Microsoft's prototypes to Apple's finished product. Yes, of course Microsoft has shipped mice before. That doesn't change the fact that Microsoft does not have a multitouch mouse on the market right now and most likely won't for another few months.

That's the really important point (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203130)

MS: displaying prototypes of multi-touch mice. Apple: actually selling one. That right there is sort of a microcosm of the whole industry.

Re:That's the really important point (1, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203526)

MS: displaying prototypes of multi-touch mice. Apple: actually selling one. That right there is sort of a microcosm of the whole industry.

MS: We have some cool ideas, but we're waiting to see what the actual uses and benefits are, in terms of both hardware and available software.

Apple: WE HAVE MULTITOUCH! YOU CAN SWIPE TO SCROLL!!! IT'S WHITE! Our last mouse was perfect, but it sucked. But this one is perfect! BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT!

They're all gimmicks. (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202720)

Which multi-touch mouse do you want the most? Or are they all gimmicks?

Nice card-forcing there.

I like Microsoft's basic wheel mouse on Windows and Mac, and HP's 3-button optical mouse on X11.

joke ? (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202732)

No, seriously, they post crap like that on the Internet?

This is a comparison of a finished product that is shipping today, against a number of prototypes, none of which you can buy anywhere and most of which you will never be able to buy. Most importantly, none of which are finished and ready for use. We're all living in the tech world. We've all seen at least a hundred videos of prototypes that we were really looking forward to - and the final product either never arrived or wasn't half as good as the demo had led us believe.

Make a comparison when they're both shipping. Everything else is dumb, and creating false expectations.

Multi-touch "I'm a mac vs. pc commercial" (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202740)

"I'm a mac" (Justin Long touches himself)
"I'm a PC" (John Hodgeman touches himself)

Re:Multi-touch "I'm a mac vs. pc commercial" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203066)

"I'm a mac" (Justin Long touches himself)
"I'm a PC" (John Hodgeman touches himself)

I live in San Francisco and in the local version of the commercial they are touching each other.

Re:Multi-touch "I'm a mac vs. pc commercial" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203106)

Is it the Novell Linux chick's turn yet?

So many choices (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202772)

Personally, I'd buy one that provided solid Linux support. The Apple mouse looks pretty, and sounds functional, but I haven't heard of any Linux drivers. Anyone?

Re:So many choices (1, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203224)

Sir, may we interest you in a nice search engine [google.com] ?

Re:So many choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203456)

That's Apple's "Mighty Mouse".

This is about the "Magic Mouse" - they're different.

Re:So many choices (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203440)

I don't know this for sure but it's probably just a standard USB interface. I know that it will work with any modern Mac without installing a driver so there's a good chance it will work with Linux as well. But just don't go buy one on my advice without trying it out first--I'd feel bad if I were wrong!

Re:So many choices (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203448)

Agreed. I have a logitech cordless optical mouse with a lot of buttons, but the only ones that work in Linux are the normal left and right buttons and the scroll wheel. However, I really don't miss the functionality of the oother buttons because I spend more time on the PC at work than at home, and it's a plain old fashioned two button scroll mouse. The only thing I miss on it us being optical and having a cord; those two "features" are annoying after using the cordless optical mouse.

Apple Mouse (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202814)

So instead of having only one mouse button, Apple is getting rid of all of them?

Re:Apple Mouse (2, Interesting)

czmax (939486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203024)

Apple is moving the computer interface in a new direction. Apparently they were not satisfied with one, two, three (lets add some more!) button mice. I can imagine them asking what the value was of having "a little tiny keyboard that you slide around your desk", and subsequently deciding to do something different.

Oddly they've taken the "multiple buttons is confusing" approach and leapt off a cliff. Have you watched a new user try to figure out one of the new apple trackpads? There is so little feedback that they have a hard time even understanding that there is a button available... and its seriously too bad if they meet up with a highly customized desktop supporting multiple gestures. I've noted that even experienced users need to take some time to figure out a peers configuration (concerning which corners do what).... but can you imagine what will happen as the gestures themselves become more and more customizable and as applications add their own gestures to the mix?

This leads to my greatest complaint about the new Magic Mouse -- it doesn't behave the same as a trackpad. In effect having pushed back on movable "mice keyboards" they've also neglected to build a moveable "mice trackpad". Just because it is mounted onto a "mouse" and can be slid around on the desk is no reason, in my book, to introduce a bunch of different gestures and actions. I think they should instead simply mount a full featured trackpad there in mouse form factor. Rather than build their own set of "here is how gestures might be different on this device" instead they should have focused on making gestures customizable in general.

We don't have a mechanism for customizing gestures today and I think there is a lot of software research on making that interface work better .... the hardware needs to be stabilized for a bit longer before that will happen though. I hope to see it soon.

(All this, by the way, leaves your average windows trackpad in the dust; and it is good to see MS is at least experimenting with the ideas. I hope they find the flaws in Apples approach rather than trying to leapfrog in an entirely new direction).

Re:Apple Mouse (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203616)

Very interesting points. I agree w/re to how my peers' trackpads are configured and when people mouse around on my machine ... everyone is bewildered!

That said, I never want to go back to two buttons and a wheel. I love two finger tapping and all the gestures.

Am considering the Wacom Bamboo as alternate input device on my mac pro rather than the magic mouse.

I also consider a future where you lift the laptop lid and are presented with a blank surface upon which you may input text (pop-up keyboard), manipulate photos, scribble/write with a stylus ... all without sullying the viewing screen. Imagine an entire software keyboard and the potential customizations.

Re:Apple Mouse (2, Informative)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203692)

Actually, I haven't seen any way in which the Magic Mouse's gestures differ from Apple's trackpad gestures, save for them using one finger less. If you can use an Apple trackpad under OS X you can use the Magic Mouse.

Re:Apple Mouse (2, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203698)

Have you watched a new user try to figure out one of the new apple trackpads? There is so little feedback that they have a hard time even understanding that there is a button available... and its seriously too bad if they meet up with a highly customized desktop supporting multiple gestures. I've noted that even experienced users need to take some time to figure out a peers configuration (concerning which corners do what).... but can you imagine what will happen as the gestures themselves become more and more customizable and as applications add their own gestures to the mix?

First Apple makes the, reasonable I think, assumption that the person logged in is the one currently at the computer. The guest account (or a new one) is meant for other users and it has a very simple and consistent setup. When you go to configure the gestures they are explained in the preference panel. No doubt gestures will become more configurable but it won't be through Apple but through third party software. It would be out of character for Apple to do anything but offer a basic set of gestures and lock its use down tightly.

The feedback issue is subjective I think. Most gadgets these days are going "touch" and people who have handled something like an iphone would have little difficulty adjusting but I can see how it would be a problem for some.

Magic Mouse -- it doesn't behave the same as a trackpad. In effect having pushed back on movable "mice keyboards" they've also neglected to build a moveable "mice trackpad".

That was never the point. The Magic Mouse is an evolution of the Mighty Mouse, not a trackpad. If it were a trackpad there's be no point in making it movable and you'd end up with something like the Bamboo [wacom.com] which looks interesting but is a niche product like trackballs. If you meant moveable as in "wireless" you can get such a thing now by using an app like Touchpad Pro [touchpadpro.com] for iphone BTW.

Logitech V500 (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202854)

This Logitech mouse combines the best of both worlds (2D touch-sensitive scrolling but with actual buttons for tactile feedback). It's been around for half a decade (since 2004).

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Cordless-Optical-Notebook-Mouse/dp/B0002SAF3M [amazon.com]

I'm sure they've released better models since then, but that is one I've actually used.

It would have made more sense for the article to compare the Magic Mouse against against the Logitech mouse since it actually exists, instead of Microsoft's prototypes.

An alternative to the Magic Mouse (4, Interesting)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202886)

If you love the "touch" aspect of the Magic Mouse, an alternative is the Wacom Bamboo Touch tablet.

It's roughly the same price as a Magic Mouse, it supports gestures just fine, the area makes it more comfortable than a mouse and best of all, you can also use it as a tablet.

Re:An alternative to the Magic Mouse (3, Informative)

ticklemeozmo (595926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203584)

They made one glaring design error with the Wacom (Daewoo) Bamboo Touch Tablet. When using in right hand mode, the buttons are on the left (so your thumb can hit it), unfortunately, so is the WIRE. Meaning you can't flush it up against your keyboard or something else. Regardless of where your computer is, in this design, the buttons and wire should be on opposite sides. If you want it on your left side, the wire should hang off the left side, not the right side. That alone says "cheap knockoff".

Lifting fingers... (5, Insightful)

amaupin (721551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202896)

So with my current mouse I can rest my finger on the mouse button, and press down when I want to click.

With these new mice, when I want to click I have to lift my finger up from the surface of the mouse and then press down (if the video in the article is indicative of how it functions). I think constantly lifting my finger would become tiring.

Re:Lifting fingers... (1)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202960)

The "Magic Mouse" clicks just like a regular mouse, so you only have to lift your (left) finger if you want a right-click.

Re:Lifting fingers... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203038)

I think that's what amaupin was saying. I don't know anyone who doesn't rest his fingers on the buttons surfaces when using a mouse.

My Logitech mouse: I simply left-click or right-click. One step.
Apple Magic Mouse: I need to lift both fingers, then left-tap or right-tap. Two steps. And then what? Can I put both my fingers down after that? Won't it register both a left and right tap?

I might be cool for the horizontal or vertical swipes since I'm used to that with the trackpad on my 12" PowerBook, but until I try one, I'm not convinced it works well in a mouse.

Re:Lifting fingers... (1)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203084)

Incorrect, it requires a physical force to click.

Either left or right. Now if you left finger is on the pad, clicking is just like any other mouse. What timster is saying is you must remove (lift) you left, If you want "right" click...

Re:Lifting fingers... (1)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203176)

You don't need to lift both fingers for a left or right click. For a left click, all you have to do is click the mouse and it will register as a left click. The point is that for a right click, you have to lift your left finger (so that only the right half of the surface is being touched, so that when you click, it realizes it is a right click). To be clear, the Magic Mouse is not like the laptop trackpad (I noticed you mentioned left and right tapping). The whole mouse is still one large physical button, so you still have to click to register an actual click. I think this is why you're asking what you do with your fingers after that, and your concern that when you put your finger or fingers down it will register as a click.

Re:Lifting fingers... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203376)

Ok, now I understand. However, it's still one more step (i.e. lift the finger of the button you don't want to click), making clicking a two-step process and the fact that it's kind of counter-intuitive to be moving the finger that you don't want to be clicking (i.e. move the right finger for a left click, and vice-versa).

Seems to me the Magic Mouse is more complicated than a regular mouse, which is the opposite of what Apple products usually are.

Re:Lifting fingers... (2, Funny)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203004)

Not with the Apple Product.

I'm using one now, and there is a "tactical" feel for the actual click...

Re:Lifting fingers... (5, Funny)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203134)

I think constantly lifting my finger would become tiring.

Someone definitely needs to get more physical exercise, me thinks.

Re:Lifting fingers... (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203186)

I think constantly lifting my finger would become tiring.

Seriously? Wow. And I thought I was in bad shape...

Holy crap... (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203200)

... how often do you click, anyway? If your finger would seriously get tired from being lifted a millimeter off the mouse and then letting it fall back... man, see a doctor. If you can't manage the effort involved in lifting your finger occasionally to click, I'd hate to see what happened when you have to actually TYPE something.

I'm sort of lukewarm to the whole mighty mouse concept myself, but I can't see this as a serious objection to it.

Re:Lifting fingers... (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203640)

I think what's really "Insightful" about @amaupin's post is that the poster might want to consider getting out for a walk and maybe even doing some pushups or some other exercise.

Advantages? (2, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202912)

Apart from probably gaming, I have difficulties to get a grasp of the advantages of the concept, especially if compared to a multi-touch tablet.

CC.

Both Microsoft and Apple have introduced, eh? (2, Informative)

gentlemen_loser (817960) | more than 4 years ago | (#30202996)

The Microsoft designs are all still prototypes. I would say that one of the two companies have "introduced" a multi-touch mouse. The other is currently researching a way to copy it (as always) and quite possibly playing with themselves. This design makes it look like you are holding a nutsack [wordpress.com]

On the bright side, I have a magic mouse now and will say that it really is a whole new (awesome) experience.

"Tame improvement" (4, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203030)

From TFA:

The Magic Mouse is a straightforward application of multi-touch to mousing and is a tame improvement compared with Microsoft's more radical designs.

...and by "tame" we mean "already living peacefully in people's houses." And by "radical" we mean "awesome in theory."

How to prevent finger movement = mouse movement? (3, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203190)

The title of this comment should be "How do these mice prevent finger movement from causing mouse movement", but due to the limits /. places on comment titles....

OK, so let us say I have the Mac Mouse, and I swipe my fingers over the surface to do a horizontal scroll of a document.
* How do I prevent my finger motion from moving the mouse itself, and thus the pointer of the mouse?
* Does the mouse have such a high coefficient of static friction that the CoF between my fingers and the shell * the force my fingers apply is too small to break the mouse loose?
* What does that imply about normal mouse usage?
** Will I lose the ability to move the mouse by small amounts due to the stiction?
** Will I have to completely change my grip on the mouse to transition from mousing to swiping?

Re:How to prevent finger movement = mouse movement (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203516)

The gestures are performed while you're holding the mouse, so it doesn't move.Try swiping your fingers around on your current mouse, I bet you can do it without moving the mouse or your grip (I can). For the record, I have tried the Magic Mouse, and it seemed to work okay, but I'm not swapping it for my Revolution MX.

Re:How to prevent finger movement = mouse movement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30203596)

* How do I prevent my finger motion from moving the mouse itself, and thus the pointer of the mouse?)
* Does the mouse have such a high coefficient of static friction that the CoF between my fingers and the shell * the force my fingers apply is too small to break the mouse loose?

Yes, that seems to be the case. I find I'm actually still holding the mouse when i you my index or middle finger to scroll, so the mouse really doesn't move. However, even just dragging my finger over the top the move without holding it doesn't cause the base to move.

* What does that imply about normal mouse usage?
** Will I lose the ability to move the mouse by small amounts due to the stiction?

Apparently not. There seems to be very little friction on the top-surface.

** Will I have to completely change my grip on the mouse to transition from mousing to swiping?

Probably depends on your grip, but my guess is no.

I did find i had to adjust my grip a bit for better ergonomicis. With my old mouse, I it further back. The magic mouse I tend to have my hand so my fingers are almost all the way at the top, and i don't end up apply much/any pressure on the sides. But I also had to raise my mouse surface, since the magic mouse is very thin, and my wrists were up too high, causing me some discomfort.

I find it a very comfortable & functional setup, but best is to try one if you can find a place that has a new imac on display. I was skeptical how well it would work, but impressed enough I have one at work & one at home.

Main downsides:
- can't separate right & left click (problem in some windows games)
- no middle button (had to map option-click to middle for my X11 apps)

An issue with the story (2, Insightful)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203288)

From TFA:

This is arguably the first substantial improvement to the mouse since it was invented in 1968 by Doug Englebart.

Ok, can't agree with this one. Since then we've added the scroll wheel, which was a huge improvement in mouse technology. If you don't believe me, try going back to a plain two-button mouse, and then work with a document bigger than your screen. You used to spend your life moving back and forth between the scroll bar and the text. We've also, for the most part, done away with crappy ball mice in favor of the light tracking ones, which eliminated the sticky mouse problem.

Multi-touch may turn out to be a big deal, but it's certainly a stretch to say that mice haven't improved substantially since '68.

I sold my magic mouse :O (4, Interesting)

dindi (78034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30203418)

So here is the deal: I ordered a Magic mouse and after an hour of use I put it back in the packaging and sold it to a colleague.

Why ?

The idea is great, the functions are not. Not being able to pinch, rotate and zoom without a key is one (stupid) thing, considering that the mouse can track 4 fingers.

Accidental actions (scroll mostly) is annoying. A button or ball moves when you move it, this thing tracks every touch, that annoyed me to hell.

Having no 3rd button however is an absolute deal breaker. I would live with a 3-finger touch, or 2 finger tap, but the lack of buttons just made me pack it and sell it.

And do not get me wrong, I use the Mightly mouse and several Logi trackballs and only Mac aluminium keyboards (except on my Macbook)...

I think the hardware is awesome but the drivers absolutely SUCK!

Just my 2c.

ps: the optical touch tracking looks interesting on the videos... maybe I would try that next... .or just stay with my logis.

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