The one piece of Apple hardware that needs an update

June 02, 2008

In anticipation of June 9 WWDC Keynote, everybody is talking about what new Apple stuff will be released there. Probably a new iPhone. Maybe some other stuff. We’ll see.

I want to talk about another piece of hardware. By now, I think it’s almost the most stale piece of Apple’s hardware lineup. Over the past few years, Apple has updated or released every piece of input, processing, and output hardware that there is. CPU-s and desktop units. Displays. Keyboards. Phones. Laptops. Phones. Music players.

Notice anything missing in this list?

Yep. The mouse.

I started thinking about this the other day and although I’m not entirely sure, it feels like the mouse is the part of Apple’s hardware lineup that hasn’t seen an update in the longest time. Everything else keeps updating. I hope they will update the mouse too, at some point.

I especially hope for a mouse update because it’s one piece of Apple hardware that I simply cannot stand. I think its form factor is stupid and I hate it. I don’t have it and I won’t get one – the current hardware version, anyway. It does not fit the shape of my palm, and the buttons have a bad tactile feel. This is sad, because unless you’re a designer and have a graphic tablet, the mouse is the piece of hardware that you spend the most time with, aside from the keyboard. And both the “old” and “new” Apple laptop and desktop keyboards are great. There’s no excuse not to make a great mouse too.

Until then, I keep using something like my current trusted Logitech LX3. I was actually hesitant to get it at first, because it has a bit unusual shape. You keep your thumb to the right of it, two fingers on top, one on the right, and the fifth finger just keeps sort of floating in the air. Yet this way, it fits my hand perfectly and I can spend hours and hours in a row working without getting tired or anything. The top has excellent curvature to fit the middle of my palm. So it has been a great fit for me for more than a year.

An Apple mouse update would also eliminate one sore discussion point with some of my designer friends. They think that Mighty Mouse is the greatest thing ever. I said above what’s my view. Aside from the ergonomic issues, I keep hearing about how crap gets stuck in the mouse’s ball and what not. The Mighty Mouse from my POV is overdesigned in the sense that user must adapt to hardware and not the other way. The rest of Apple hardware is much more accommodating in that respect.