Apple launched a new Magic Mouse today, March 8th, 2022. It’s a slick-looking black version. It also still has its charging port on the bottom — meaning that six and a half years after its introduction, Apple still seems to think that the best way to charge the mouse is by flipping it over (rendering it useless) and plugging in a Lightning cable.
Here’s a little secret: I copied and pasted most of that last sentence from an article I wrote about this exact issue nearly a year ago, when Apple introduced a whole line of colorful Magic Mice and had the opportunity to change how they charge, but didn’t. Apple has kept this charge-on-the-bottom design since October 2015.
“Like a beetle with its legs in the air”
My former Verge colleague Nick Statt ridiculed the mouse’s design the December after it was introduced, pointing out that Apple asks the mouse users to “flip the device on its back like a beetle with its legs in the air and plug in the cable.” I included part of that quote in my article last year, too, and am mentioning it once again here because I still think it’s a good metaphor for how silly it all looks.
Most rechargeable wireless mice let you plug them in, so you can use them while charging. But for some reason, Apple steadfastly refuses to put a charging port anywhere but under the Magic Mouse. The company has shown a willingness to fix many of its other odd design decisions — the newer Apple Pencil doesn’t need to stick out of a Lightning port to charge, for example, and the new Apple TV Siri Remote dumped the old touchpad for a scroll wheel and a clickpad.
With the new Mac Studio, Apple even put a couple USB-C ports and an SDXC card slot on the front instead of shoving all of them in the back, reflecting Apple’s recent willingness to give people ports they want in obvious places (see also: the many ports on the new MacBook Pros). But the underside charging port for the Magic Mouse lives on.
To be fair, Apple claims on its website that the Magic Mouse’s battery will “power your Magic Mouse for about a month or more between charges,” so you won’t have to plug the mouse in every week. But in my past experiences with wireless mice, I would use them until their batteries were completely drained, and then would scramble to find a charging cable so I could use them wired for a short while as they charged. With the Magic Mouse, I wouldn’t be able to do that; I’d have to shove it off to the side while it rested on its back to get some more juice and hope that I have another mouse or trackpad lying around that I could use in the interim.