Feeds

Magic Mice cast energy-sapping spell

Apple's rodent drains keyboard batteries

Top three mobile application threats

Apple's wireless mouse stands accused of draining the energy from Apple's wireless keyboards, forcing daily battery replacements on some, and free keyboards on others.

The problem has been knocking around the Apple forums for a few weeks, but with Magic Mice under many a tree this Christmas, the quantity of complaints has been multiplying. Users report that Apple wireless keyboards require daily battery replacements since a Magic Mouse was connected, though Apple seems to be responding to some complainants at least.

Both the mouse and keyboard are Bluetooth based, and while Bluetooth is a very power-efficient protocol, its implementations aren't always as effective as they could be. A Bluetooth device spends a great deal of time flicking its radio on and off, receiving signals only in pre-arranged time slots that are dependent on an accurate clock, and may scale down dependent on the communication required. Get any of that wrong, or bodge it to get it working quickly, and you'll have a working connection but one that eats power.

This is what seems to be happening to one version of Apple's wireless keyboard when the Magic Mouse is connected: other Bluetooth mice don't seem to cause the same problem and forum users report that replacing the wireless keyboard fixes the issue - some even reporting that Apple provided a replacement keyboard when they reported the problem.

But what's most surprising is that none of those complaining seem to think that replacing batteries daily is too high a price to pay for the joy of using a Magic Mouse. Several postings rant on about how Apple is damaging the environment by forcing customers to consume so many AAs, but it seems the rodent itself is just too good to be discarded, no matter what the price. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.