What it is: The Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic Keyboard all have a built-in battery so you don’t need to replace them.
With Apple’s first generation mouse, trackpad, and keyboard, you had to open up a battery compartment and stick two AA batteries inside. While these batteries lasted a while, there was always the nuisance of replacing them. To make this easier, Apple sold rechargeable batteries, but the batteries took a long time to charge. If you didn’t have a spare set of batteries, you’d wind up with a dead mouse, trackpad, or keyboard.
That’s why the latest Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic Keyboard have a built-in battery. Even better, you can quick charge these devices in 2 minutes to get 8-9 hours of use out of them, or charge them for 2 hours and you’ll get a solid month’s use out of them. Rather than force everyone to buy special recharging cables, Apple simply recycled their Lightning connector used to recharge the iPhone and iPad. Now you just have to buy (or reuse) a Lightning cable to recharge your input devices.
One particularly interesting feature of these built-in batteries isn’t their quick charge capabilities but how they physically changed the way the Magic Mouse 2 sounded when you slid it across a desk. While this may sound trivial, Apple discovered that removing the replaceable battery compartment made the mouse sound differently due to the change of weight. Rather than simply solve technical problems, Apple took extra time to insure the aesthetic feel and sound of the Magic Mouse 2 worked like the previous Magic Mouse.
Why would Apple devote precious time and engineering resources to worry about a trivial matter like the sound and feel of a mouse? Because it matters.
If you’re just used to buying the cheapest equipment possible and boasting how much money you saved, you have to also look at how the cheapest equipment also hampers your productivity. Cheap keyboards have keys where the lettering wears off, the keys feel mushy and unresponsive, and the overall typing experience is marginal at best. Cheap mice feel too light like plastic toys. They may work, but they won’t make you happier using them.
That’s why Apple obsesses over minor details because minor details matter. The minute you take shortcuts on minor details, you’ll be far more willing to take shortcuts on major details as well until you start designing products for the convenience of the company (which means spending less time and money) instead of the convenience of the customer (who want to use a quality product).
Although Apple’s new input devices may seem trivial, they’re not. You can often judge a person’s character by how they treat others in private. Someone who’s rude and arrogant to a waiter in a restaurant probably won’t be any nicer to you in private either. The same general rule applies to companies as well.
Companies that rush products to market with little thought for how it affects the customer are simply trying to make money at the customer’s expense. That’s why so many Windows PCs come loaded with bloatware, cheap keyboards, cheap mice, and mediocre hardware. The goal isn’t to please the customer. The goal is to get by doing as little as possible.
Surprisingly, many people gravitate towards cheap products, but then they dismiss higher quality products all the while secretly wishing they had those higher quality products. But because they insist that cost is the overriding concern rather than quality, they forever cheat themselves of better experiences with better products. By saddling themselves with mediocrity, they angrily denounce anything better that they’re denying for themselves.
Quality can be just as important as price. You can buy a cheap car that falls apart or a quality car that lasts. Quality always gives you a better experience. Some people understand this simple principle. Others do not, and you can tell those who do not because of their obsessive focus on price and technical specifications, whether those technical specifications translate into better user experience or not.
Not everyone wants to buy the best in all areas of their lives and that’s okay. Just don’t criticize those who prefer quality in computer products because that’s what’s important to them. When you look at the Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad 2, you can see Apple’s insistence on quality. That tells a lot about Apple as a company and also about customers who buy these products.
Quality may not be important to everyone, but to those who care, it’s worth it.