Web Apps, Apple Magic Mouse and Safari Gestures: A Bad Combo

For Mac users that have upgraded to Lion and are using any web-based applications such as Basecamp, WordPress, Tungle or just about any webpage with a form, I’ve got a personal pet peeve.

I use the Apple Magic mouse. Essentially the surface of this mouse mimics a touch or track pad (taking advantage of the Apple branded Multi-Touch interface), like on a MacBook or the screen of your iPhone or iPad. You can use simple one, two and even three finger gestures to scroll, swipe, zoom and so on. The problem I have with the mouse is it’s just too sensitive. The Magic Mouse sensitivity makes me feel that if I breathe on the mouse my page is going to scroll or I’m going to swipe backward to a previous webpage that I viewed.

I’ve long had issues with the magic mouse and its hypersensitivity. It’s been annoying and sometimes downright frustrating. But like many things in life, I adapt, move on and occasionally mutter a profane slur at the shiny and well designed mouse with its oh so subtle grey Apple logo.

Now, however, I’m almost at the end of my rope. Frustration has turned to anger, annoyance to serious work interference. But I can’t blame it entirely on the mouse and Lion and the ability to swipe, rather than click, back to previously viewed pages. I’ve always had issues with web-based applications—or, for those feature rich and monthly subscription based tools (Basecamp, Salesforce, etc.) that are referred to SaaS (software as a service) applications. We are relying more and more on using the internet and a browser to get our work done.

Problem is, and this is where the mouse comes in, if I’m writing an article, formatting a website page, updating status or messages in my project management app, and my hyper sensitive mouse decides to swipe back a page, I’m screwed. I’ve lose my data. Sometimes I might get luck and the form still contains my content. But that’s an exception, not the norm. WordPress is particularly bothersome to me. Check out the screenshots here. You can see as the page begins to swipe, there are two WordPress page editing forms visible. This happens on a lark. Sure, maybe my lazy finger barely moved to the side, or some other motion. But once the page slides off the page and the previous page is revealed, my content is gone.

Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Used MagicPrefs?

Voila Capture6

To be sure, I don’t often use the WordPress interface to do my writing. I prefer to use traditional writing tools, or a Blog Editor like Ecto or MarsEdit. And as a side note, it should be mentioned that Ecto development has stopped. The forums are stale and there is no response from the new owner of the software. It is not usable under Lion. Makes me sad, too. Used to be THE best blog editor on the planet. I’ve now resorted back to MarsEdit, and am writing this post in the latest update. At least the developer of MarsEdit is keeping current and committed to the continued development and improvement. And for people who don’t want to get caught losing their precious data due to a Magic Mouse swipe and WordPress (or other blog or compatible CMS), get your hands on a trial of MarsEdit and let me know what you think.

But if you’re involved in web design and development, or use any of the other SaaS tools, the risk of this volatile combination of Safari and Magic Mouse is high. Though perhaps I can disable that swipe feature, I just haven’t checked.

To be fair, Safari warns you in some instances that by moving the page (even accidentally) you will lose data and it gives you the option to stay on that page. Problem is, every time I select Stay On This Page, I just end up with a blank page and the spinning page load icon.

I like the ability to use gestures on my desktop Mac. I don’t particularly like Apple Magic TrackPad, either. The mouse is too sensitive. So until this is ironed out, I’m going to be annoyed and frustrated and likely uttering profanity whenever I must succumb to using a web-based app.