Dear Apple: How About an Official "Magic Mouse" App for the iPhone and iPod touch


Dear Apple: yesterday, as part of your huge pre-holiday product launch, you announced a new iPhone-inspired multi-touch Magic Mouse with gestures. It looks nice. It might even (finally!) be a decent mouse. But TiPb's left to wonder -- for those of us who already have iPhones and iPod touches, wouldn't it be even nicer to have an official "Magic Mouse" app? Scratch that, given the greater functionality in the MacBook (and MacBook Pro) multi-touch Glass Trackpads, wouldn't it be great if you could just give us that in the App Store?

We have the Apple Remote (no, not the new doohickey, the app!), true enough, but that's limited to iTunes and the Apple TV (not even Front Row!), and we have the Keynote Remote, but again that's limited to presentation software. And granted, there are some great third party remote apps that do way more than just Mac. But you make Mac. Why not just take that wonderful technology you've built into Snow Leopard, hook it up over Bluetooth (until you get WiFi Direct going), and let us swipe, pinch, rotate, one-finger, two-finger, three-finger, four-finger move our way around the Mac just like the Magic Mouse -- or the Glass Trackpad -- from anywhere in Bluetooth range?

Dear Apple, we have the device, you have the technology. Hit the "launch" button on this one already! Sitting 10' away on a sofa, using our iPhone or iPod touch to seamlessly gesture through everything on our media center Mac Mini or massive 27" new iMac... t'would be sweet!

(And hey, Microsoft and Windows 7 developers -- feel free to hook us up for your phenomenal multi-touch support as well!)

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Dear Apple: How About an Official "Magic Mouse" App for the iPhone and iPod touch


Dear Rene,
If we do that, we will sell less Magic Mice and Apple Remotes. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, so we may also reject and/or remove any 3rd party apps that attempt to duplicate the functionality of these Apple peripherals.

The closest you'll get to this is "Air Mouse Pro" app in the App Store for $3-$4 bucks US or whatever it is. Not quite what you're looking for, but it works great. I hook up a MacBook to our TV and control it with Air Mouse Pro. Works great. No "multitouch," but it works terrifically.

It would have to be completely different from Magic Mouse. Since one-finger swiping on the mouse doesn't move the cursor, but instead scrolls pages, a one-finger swipe on the iPhone app would obviously be for moving the cursor. So, what would be used for scrolling on the app? A two-finger swipe (which is used for forwarding through photos, pages, etc., on the mouse). Right and left clicks would have to be done another way (as on a trackpad). I could go on and on...
Calling the app Magic Mouse wouldn't make any sense since it couldn't be anything like Magic Mouse (and they'll never do the awkward Air Mouse thing).

TouchPad is based on the MacBook trackpad and support most Multi-Touch gestures. It also has an extended keyboard, shortcuts and an Apple Remote for Front Row.
It's on sale this week for $1.99. (iTunes link)

Are you going to add a laser to your iPhone, or are you planning to implement a virtual laser using the video camera, accelerometer, and tilt sensor?
I guess - seeing how most reviews concentrate on the touch sensor on the top of the mouse - it is possible that you forgot that there is a tracking laser on the underside of the magic mouse. That's what makes this device a mouse.

A native Apple app, with gestures, would be nice, of course, expecially if it would work using bluetooth connection!
Anyway, to control Front Row (and many other programs) from the iPhone RowMote is already there...
It comes in two versions (normal and Pro) and works lie charm. The pro version even has virtual keybord and virtual trackpad modes inside.

Luc's shameless_plug looks pretty interesting, and also has good reviews. I may give it a try.
There's never a need to waste time in the App Store if you visit TiPb regularly. ;)

This idea sounds about as awesome as putting a display, 3G antenna, speaker, and accelerometer into the Magic Mouse.
The last thing I need for my iPhone is another function that'll drain its battery even more.

Dear tipb,
We thought about creating a "Magic Mouse" app for the iPhone/iPod Touch but we realized that it might be difficult to use your computer and take a call at the same time.

While you are at it, how about a BLUETOOTH EXTERNAL KEYBOARD for the iPhone!
I had a cool folding iGo Stowaway BT Keyboard for my Palm Treo 5 years ago, it was AWESOME !

Not sure I'd use this app much, but like the idea for those few times.
I REALLY like @fRED's suggestion of a Bluetooth keyboard for iPhone... I had one of those fold-aways for my Treo too.

Air mouse is a BRILLIANT app...
A magic mouse could be emulated with an iPhone app using the camera face down to detect device movement and the screen just as a multi touch detector...?
I'd buy that :D sure would be difficult to take call at the same time, but route sound through mac speakers and mic? Sweet! Too bad it'll probably be rejected =/

Rene, it was a very good idea ! it's what i'm looking for since a long time ago (bluetooth and usb connect) !
but i'm sorry to be agree with Dev…
Apps like ^(air, mouse, touch*)$ are all using a VNC server like. We don't want it, but just a "native interaction". sorry for my english.

I just purchased the Magic Mouse, rec'd it today. Why are we unable to use the touch pad for cursor control? I'm over the lazer/sensor technology on the bottom and I thought that moving the cursor with the touch pad on top of the mouse was the feature that was supposed to make this mouse "Magic" in the first place.

iTap a 3.99 app in the App Store makes my iPhone act just like the track pad on my new Mac Book Pro. It seems to work perfectly.

your iTap app use a VNC server over wifi connection.the original post talk about a native bluetooth or usb connection like a mouse or a magic mouse.