Backstage: Apple’s Bluetooth future begins with mice
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.
- Apple Music coming to Sonos Dec. 15 through public beta program
- Apple to drop headphone jack from next iPhone?
- Amazon Instant Video app could hit Apple TV ‘within a few weeks’
- Some Apple Music and iTunes Match services may be illegal in the U.K.
- Australian banks accused of anti-competitive behavior over Apple Pay lockout
- Happy Thanksgiving 2015 from iLounge!
- Apple reaches deal with UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China
- DisneyLife subscription-based app launches in the U.K.
- Apple buys motion capture company Faceshift
- Apple CarPlay included in 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
- Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for iPad Pro
- Parrot Hydrofoil Drone
- Apple Pencil for iPad Pro
- IK Multimedia iRig Pro DUO
- CableJive HeroDock
- Phiaton BT 330 NC Headphones
- Ecoxgear EcoPebble Powerbank + Speaker
- Lunatik Taktik 360 for iPhone 6/6s
- Belkin Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone
- SwitchEasy Aero, N+, Nude, Play for iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- Opinion: The ‘Grand Experiment’ of shifting to Google Photos
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?