Backstage: Apple’s Bluetooth future begins with mice
Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2005
Based on Apple’s public patent filings and job listings, that little verbal slip-up from Motorola’s car accessories division a couple of weeks ago, and the recent surprise introduction of Bluetooth 2.0+EDR components into the latest PowerBook laptop computers, we get the distinct impression that Bluetooth wireless technologies are about to make an even bigger splash in the iPod world than before. If you haven’t seen our reviews of Bluetake’s i-Phono wireless headphone system and TEN Technology’s naviPlay, they’re worth a few moments of your time: while both systems had their appeal, Apple’s integration of Bluetooth 2.0 into iPods or accessories would be a major step forward for audio quality and convenience, amongst other factors.
In addition to Apple’s own Bluetooth wireless keyboards and mice, a number of third-party companies have been developing Mac-friendly Bluetooth add-ons, and as Bluetooth fans, we’ve been playing with two of them for a while: MacMice’s The Mouse BT ($69.99), and Macally’s BTMicro ($44.99). Both have performed well as wireless accessories, interfacing flawlessly with our Bluetooth-equipped PowerBook, but as mice go, they feel about as different from one another as they get. The Mouse BT is a total style winner, with clear and metallic (or white) plastics that perfectly match Apple’s current computers, while the BTMicro is considerably cheaper, smaller, and surprisingly more precise in the specifics.
Both mice offer the two-button-and-a-scroll-wheel design that PC users accept as standard and many Mac users have come to prefer, but the buttons and wheel are a bit more responsive on the BTMicro: the wheel clicks in increments rather than scrolling smoothly, and the buttons click quicker. There are also rubberized grips on its sides for easy movement. Macally also includes AAA rechargeable batteries, a charging dock and power adapter; The Mouse BT doesn’t, and uses standard AA alkalines.
Despite the BTMicro’s numerous functional design benefits and pricing, we continue to be drawn to The Mouse BT on looks. It’s almost exactly the way we wanted Apple’s own Bluetooth mouse to look and work, albeit without the recharging dock that we think is key for wireless mouse accessories. That said, the BTMicro’s an easier sell - especially for travelers and those needing precision in their clicks and wheel scrolling.
Click on Read more below to see more shots of these Bluetooth accessories, and get a sense of what the future has in store.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apps: Build-A-Truck, Cut the Rope 2, Infinity Blade III 1.2 + Ridge Racer Slipstream
- Apps: Angry Birds Rio HD 1.8, Camera+ 5, Disney Animated 1.0.4 + République
- App submissions must be iOS 7-ready by Feb. 1
- China Mobile iPhone deal remains elusive
- Apple must adopt new refund policy in Australia
- Apps: Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up, Tomb Raider, UltraTuner + Yahoo Weather 1.5
- UK Apple TV users get Sky Sports channel
- Apple releases ‘Best of 2013’ on iTunes
- Tim Cook, other execs to meet with Obama on NSA, healthcare
- Report: iTunes Radio top priority for Apple ad team
- Pelican ProGear Vault for iPad Air and iPad mini
- mīk Sound Case for iPhone 5/5s
- iGear iPad Flip Turn Case for iPad mini
- AwoX StriimLight SL-B10 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker + LED Light Bulb
- Macally Hardshell Case with Flexible Grip for iPad Air
- SwitchEasy Canvas for iPad mini
- SwitchEasy Pelle for iPad mini
- CableJive dockXtender for Lightning Devices
- Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery
- Macally Clear Case with Reversible Cover for iPad Air
- Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers
- Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone
- Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac
- iMessages come in from email address instead of phone number
- Whether to include specific apps in iCloud backups
- Passcode entry field not appearing on iPhone
- Custom ringtones assignments don’t sync to iCloud
- Resuming incomplete iCloud backups
- Adding multiple photos to a Shared Photo Stream
- Quality of videos sent via Messages