In addition to introducing a new 21.5" iMac with 4K Retina display and an upgraded 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, Apple also announced some interesting improvements to their computer peripherals that will begin shipping with the new iMac models.

First up is the Magic Mouse 2. There's not a ton of changes here, and as you can see from the image above the form factor of the mouse is relatively unchanged from the last model. It now comes with a built in battery which should last a month between charges, and can be recharged using the built in lightning port. Apple claims they have also improved the design of the feet so tracking with be smoother. The use of AA batteries in the old magic mouse was definitely the biggest annoyance, and although I'm not a fan of it for ergonomic reasons, the Magic Mouse 2 seems like a worthwhile upgrade to anyone who uses one often and has to keep replacing or recharging their batteries.

Next is the new Magic Trackpad 2. This is arguably the biggest improvement of the three updates, although one could argue that the Magic Keyboard 2 takes that title. I personally think the new trackpad is the biggest improvement because it includes the Force Touch technology from Apple's MacBook trackpads. Like the MacBook, the Magic Trackpad 2 uses force sensors and an electromagnet to simulate the feeling of a traditional trackpad. This allows you to click anywhere, which was a problem with the diving board design of the previous version. The new Magic Trackpad 2 also has a 30% larger touch surface than the last model, and like the Magic Mouse 2 it has a rechargeable internal battery which can be recharged via a lightning cable.

Last, but not least, is the the Magic Keyboard. For me the biggest upgrade here is actually an aesthetic one, as the previous keyboard was a strange marriage of aluminum and plastic along with a barrel running along one side to elevate it and fit in batteries. The new design with its internal rechargeable battery pack looks much nicer and fits well with the upgraded Magic Trackpad. Apple claims they've improved key stability by 33% via the use of a new scissor switch.

If you're not a Mac user you probably won't be any more interested in these new accessories than the last generation, but they all represent notable upgrades for users who do use any of the existing Magic accessories. The new Magic Keyboard will cost $99, while the Magic Trackpad 2 is $129 and the Magic Mouse 2 is $79. What's interesting is that the higher price of the Magic Trackpad 2 also means that swapping it in for the Magic Mouse 2 with the new iMacs requires a $50 fee, which used to be a free swap with the previous models.

Like the iMacs announced today, Apple's new peripherals are already available for sale on the Apple Online Store and will begin shipping this week.

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  • nerd1 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    EC has rootless option as default, so file system is indeed locked down.
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Gotcha, I haven't played with El Cap yet. But you can disable / reenable System Integrity Protection with a single command, and it's basically just making what many preach as security best practice the default.
  • tabascosauz - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    It's as simple as adding a few lines to config.plist. It's not a big deal.

    If you can't figure that out with the help of some very comprehensive guides, you really shouldn't be commenting on OS X's versatility or lack thereof.
  • osxandwindows - Monday, October 19, 2015 - link

    disable it then.
    Damn how can people be so ignorant.
  • osxandwindows - Monday, October 19, 2015 - link

    Lol you can easily access the file system.
    Just go computer>drive name.
  • drainplugofideas - Thursday, October 15, 2015 - link

    This is an issue that people get really upset about. As someone that uses both windows 10 and OSX daily, I can see the advantages of each system. Windows is a lot more flexible in different hardware configurations, and unless Apple decided to release a standalone OS (they never will) Windows will always remain the dominant PC OS. With that said, I still prefer OSX for daily use. It just feels faster and more intuitive.
  • jvl - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Okay, nice upgrade. I don't like the need for a lightning cable (don't own an iPhone, don't have one) versus the standard AAs.
    But please: the Magic Mouse 2 is "a worthy upgrade"? That's a joke right? Shelling out this amount of money for a different battery system? What planet do you live on..?

    Price on the new trackpad is also incredible. That's an increase of what, 40-50%? And you praise Apple being..well, I don't actually know.

    Disrupting article, AnandTech, disrupting article...
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Apple really want to cripple down desktop experience to be consistent with their laptop experience. No thanks. I'd keep using cherry mx keyboard and wired gaming mouse instead.
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    So you're unhappy about what exactly?
    Has Apple taken away your ability to use 3rd party keyboards or mice?

    It is obvious to anyone who thinks about it for more than a minute that the trackpad is Apple's equivalent of a touch screen. It gives you the same essential points as a touchscreen BUT
    - without having to move your arm in a way that can be tiring and disruptive
    - with tighter accuracy
    - now with 3D touch

    So Apple is not crippling anything; they're trying to give you the best aspects of the touch UI in a manner that makes sense on the desktop. From that point of view, the cost of the trackpad is no different from the additional cost of a touchscreen, but with the benefits I listed above.

    And as for the cost, give me a break. The Windows world has been making trackpads for 15 years now, and every single one of them is crap. Even the Windows people agree. Every Windows person I know hooks up an external mouse to their laptop. So your choice is apparently
    - buy cheap crap (and accept what you get) or
    - pay real money and in turn get something that actually works properly.
    You're welcome to buy cheap crap; but it's a little silly to insist that everyone else also has to buy the cheap crap even when they would prefer to pay more for something that works well.
  • jimbo2779 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    I think rather than him saying that Apple have taken anything away from their competitors he is saying that they have released bad products that look pretty to some but are less comfortable / usable than a lot of the alternatives.

    Stand alone trackpads are crap because they are more limiting than a mouse, pretty much any mouse.

    Next thing you will try and tell me that a trackpad is equivalent to a touch screen, oh you just did and lost all credibility in the process.

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