If you are having issues with your Bluetooth mouse, keyboard or BT in general on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, I recommend downloading and installing the just-released software for the new Apple Magic Mouse.
Yesterday, when I saw that piece of software posted on the internet, its size perked my interest—checking in at 64mb compressed and 149mb uncompressed for the Snow Leopard version. At that size, this software update must contain more than a mouse driver.
Then, today, at xlr8yourmac.com There was a short posting about some “Reports from non-Magic Mouse users on benefits from Wireless Mouse Software Update.” One poster at xlr8yourmac reported, “Before I updated the software my old type [Mighty Mouse?] wireless mouse use to hang after a start-up. (I have seen talk of finder hanging.) Now Better than with Leopard. This might explain why the Snow Leopard mouse update is about twice the size of the Leopard one.”
After reading this I was compelled to download the Magic Mouse software and take a look at it, and maybe even install it—even though I have no magic mouse, or an Apple mouse at all. The Mouse I use is a Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000, and I love this mouse. However, I do have a few issues with this mouse, and issues with some Bluetooth behavior in general on OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 that also existed on 10.5.x.
Quick Background: I am running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.1 on a MacBook (4.1) 2.4ghz—the very last and best of the “Blackbook” polycarbonate model. I was running 10.5.4 when I received the Microsoft BT mouse mentioned above. From 10.5.4 up to now, using 10.6.1, there was always a 15-20 second delay for my mouse to reconnect to the MacBook after a sleep or restart. Also, If I turned BT off, it would not effectively re-discover my mouse when BT was turned back on—I had to go into the BT preference pane and manually re-connect. I just learned to live with these errors, and was waiting for a mouse update from Microsoft to fix the issue. I figured it was Microsoft who would come out with the fix, as Apple was taking absolutely no ownership in these bluetooth issues.
I DL’ed the Magic Mouse software and took a look at its package contents with the app Pacifist. I also compared the Snow Leopard 10.6 version of this software package to the Leopard 10.5 version, which is half the size. One thing I noticed right away is that the larger Snow Leopard 10.6 version contained some revised frameworks that are not included for the 10.5 version. Both versions of this software have revised these frameworks—IOBluetooth, IOBluetoothUI and PreferencePanes. On the Snow Leopard 10.6 version in addition to the frameworks just listed above these three frameworks have changes and they are quite hefty in size—Carbon, ApplicationServices, and finally AppKit, which is 43 mb of changes in-and-of-itself. Needless to say, this is not your average mouse driver update.
I also happened to notice the software download itself is not named “Magic Mouse Software” or any variation on that theme. Instead it is named the generic “WirelessMouseSoftware.pkg” It almost seems like Apple is sneaking a cryptic OS update addressing a wide range of Bluetooth issues to us in the form of a software package for a new Apple-branded mouse!
I did not test if the same positive results for wireless devices occurred on Leopard 10.5.8—let me know if you had success. Also, I do think that when 10.6.2 does arrive it will have all the improved Bluetooth functionality that this wireless mouse update has. So if you are not enthusiastic about installing every piece of software Apple releases, you will most likely get all the same benefits when 10.6.2 is released. For me, this wireless mouse update is sort of like Mac OS 10.6.1½ update—it fixed many wireless issues that have nothing to do with the new Apple Magic Mouse, that I do not have.
Not only does my Microsoft BT mouse now function completely correct, but Bluetooth in general is also working better for me. Way to go Apple, fixing your errors and not admitting a thing at the same time—typical Apple. But, I am fine with that, as long as my stuff works!