Magic Mice cast energy-sapping spell
Apple's rodent drains keyboard batteries
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. ®
Rechargeable batteries don't work
Neither my 2 AA Apple Keyboard, or my Apple Bluetooth mouse will come to life with rechargeable batteries, I guess they just don't like the 1.2v supplied.
It's good old fashioned, full fat, Duracells all the way to the landfill.
Good work Apple.
... should it even be possible to buy non-rechargeable AA and AAA cells these days? If they banned the 100W incandescent lightbulb, surely it's time for these to be canned as well?
Personally i'm waiting for Magic Mouse MkII
where you cant change the batteries, and it comes with a mouse mat that doubles as an inductive charger
I have a Magic Mouse (thanks Santa), and a wireless keyboard, and have no problems with either of them. Rumour-mongers the lot of you. It's a great mouse.
Hands off my double A's!
Rechargables really suck for some applications. Depending on the particular technology used, self-discharge, energy density, shelf-life and performance in cold conditions can be problems.
Most of the devices which really benefit from using rechargable batteries come with them anyway nowadays. Add the cost incentive to anything that really munches batteries, and the case for banning single-use cells seems weak.
(Sticking to incandescent light-bulbs after two CFTs literally exploded above my head - you can still buy the non-pearl type.)