In addition to introducing a new 21.5" iMac with 4K Retina display and an upgraded 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, Apple also announced some interesting improvements to their computer peripherals that will begin shipping with the new iMac models.

First up is the Magic Mouse 2. There's not a ton of changes here, and as you can see from the image above the form factor of the mouse is relatively unchanged from the last model. It now comes with a built in battery which should last a month between charges, and can be recharged using the built in lightning port. Apple claims they have also improved the design of the feet so tracking with be smoother. The use of AA batteries in the old magic mouse was definitely the biggest annoyance, and although I'm not a fan of it for ergonomic reasons, the Magic Mouse 2 seems like a worthwhile upgrade to anyone who uses one often and has to keep replacing or recharging their batteries.

Next is the new Magic Trackpad 2. This is arguably the biggest improvement of the three updates, although one could argue that the Magic Keyboard 2 takes that title. I personally think the new trackpad is the biggest improvement because it includes the Force Touch technology from Apple's MacBook trackpads. Like the MacBook, the Magic Trackpad 2 uses force sensors and an electromagnet to simulate the feeling of a traditional trackpad. This allows you to click anywhere, which was a problem with the diving board design of the previous version. The new Magic Trackpad 2 also has a 30% larger touch surface than the last model, and like the Magic Mouse 2 it has a rechargeable internal battery which can be recharged via a lightning cable.

Last, but not least, is the the Magic Keyboard. For me the biggest upgrade here is actually an aesthetic one, as the previous keyboard was a strange marriage of aluminum and plastic along with a barrel running along one side to elevate it and fit in batteries. The new design with its internal rechargeable battery pack looks much nicer and fits well with the upgraded Magic Trackpad. Apple claims they've improved key stability by 33% via the use of a new scissor switch.

If you're not a Mac user you probably won't be any more interested in these new accessories than the last generation, but they all represent notable upgrades for users who do use any of the existing Magic accessories. The new Magic Keyboard will cost $99, while the Magic Trackpad 2 is $129 and the Magic Mouse 2 is $79. What's interesting is that the higher price of the Magic Trackpad 2 also means that swapping it in for the Magic Mouse 2 with the new iMacs requires a $50 fee, which used to be a free swap with the previous models.

Like the iMacs announced today, Apple's new peripherals are already available for sale on the Apple Online Store and will begin shipping this week.

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  • DPUser - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Tipoo, by "MM" are you referring to the older "Mighty Mouse"? It definitely had the problems you mention with side and right click.

    I like the Magic Mouse (1.0) very much. It works really well for me in my work as an audio engineer. It's like a mouse and trackpad in one. Navigate any direction, with inertia when I want it. No buttons, but right click works perfectly. I don't even mind the batteries.
    Reply
  • FelixDraconis - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    I'm an iOS developer. I can assure you that we get tons of these apple "magic mice" and promptly throw them away. They are just so poorly unergonomic and hard to use. The few people who use them tend to complain but haven't realized they can ask IT for something else (or were offered even worse old PC mice and decided to suffer).

    The keyboards are okay. I see the occasional person use those, although a few have eventually started complaining their wrists hurt. I let them borrow one of my ergonomic keyboards for a day and they immediately go out to buy their own (or are able to request one from IT). Surprisingly one of the devs here managed to bend his, although he stubbornly continues to use it.

    I figure at best Apple's input devices are for very light users or nice for aesthetic reasons. They are otherwise junk and should be avoided because they are dangerous.

    Granted, I don't know much about the Trackpad. Never actually seen someone use one of those in actual work.
    Reply
  • lilo777 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    "I figure at best Apple's input devices are for very light users"

    Indeed they just have to be good enough for a person to type in "apple.com" and click "buy". They are not good for anything else.
    Reply
  • blackcrayon - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    You should really think about your purpose for posting in comment sections about Apple devices. Reply
  • blackcrayon - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    If you're throwing away all of the magic mice you're getting (which is pretty stupid considering the cost), why wouldn't you just pick magic trackpads instead? They're great and almost as good as the laptop trackpads (maybe the same or better now with the new one). I'm assuming here you're talking about when you buy a new mac and get a choice of peripherals. Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Yeah, I feel like everyone here is talking about the old Apple Mouse with the side buttons (that do indeed suck), not the Magic Mouse which is just one continuous, multi-touch glass surface (no side buttons). Reply
  • lilo777 - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    Because trackpad is not an adequate replacement for a mouse? Perhaps, given a long history of lousy Apple mice, some Mac users are conditioned to use trackpads but in general most people prefer a mouse. Reply
  • FelixDraconis - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    The cost is negligible. IT just buys standardized packages. Many SKUs simply come with the mouse & keyboard combo.

    The Apple mice are hard to hold, put people's hands into a cramped shape, don't register scrolling as precisely as Logitech scroll wheels (which is the one strength of the touch mice), etc. But the real kicker is that hardly any dev uses one for very long.

    I consider them harmful on the wrists for long-term use. Still, for the occasional user it probably isn't a big deal and a step up from the junky plastic mice many prebuilt systems ship with. So it's sufficient. But if you're serious about computing or ergonomics I would avoid them.
    Reply
  • Spoony - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    I like Apple's keyboards - low effort, short travel. However, I do not like wireless peripherals, and I hate their new arrow key arrangement and fat Esc key. The integrated lithium battery is neat, and it's probably the best charging system possible for this peripheral.

    Putting the charging port on the bottom of the mouse has to be a new high water mark for bonehead design from Apple. They often do a great job, but sometimes I scratch my head. This is one of those times. Otherwise, I dislike this mouse in general (and almost all Apple mice ever). Not very ergonomic, simultaneous two button detection is awkward.

    Magic Trackpad is the most interesting device. I can't say I've ever felt the desire to have a trackpad on my desktop. When I tried the previous Magic Trackpad with my computer I did not like it. I just use a decent mouse. However it seems to be the best executed of these products and I could see using it in some circumstances.

    Overall these products are not for me!
    Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    I didn't either until I started using it. I prefer it now over a mouse, and find it more ergonomic than using a mouse. BTW, I'm a software developer by trade. Reply

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