OS X Lion: BetterTouchTool vs MagicPrefs

Magic Mouse
Image by Junnn via Flickr

Well its been quite a long time since my last post, and it will probably be a while between this post and the next.  Things have gotten busy here at school, and I have no free time to devote to writing posts.  But, I recently updated to OS X Lion on my Macbook Pro and ran into a few issues with MagicPrefs that I imagine others are frustrated by as well.

When I first got my Magic Mouse I was very disappointed.  The mouse speed was way too slow, even on the fastest setting, and the gestures were limited at best.  I promptly discovered the app MagicPrefs, and it solved all of my problems with the Magic Mouse.  Magic Prefs (http://magicprefs.com/) is a free application for OS X that “aims to improve the functionality and configuration options of the Apple Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and the MacBook glass trackpad”.  The thing I liked most about MagicPrefs was the fact that there were a wide array of gestures that you could enable.

But then OS X Lion was released.  A majority of the functionality from MagicPrefs still works perfectly.  However, there was 1 extremely frustrating problem I ran into; the inability to go to the previous/next page.  The 2 finger swipe that was previously used to navigate to a different page was replaced with the navigation to a different full-screen application.  I looked through the preferences in MagicPrefs and was unable to figure out how to assign any gesture to the next/previous page.  In my opinion, its pointless to have a gesture-enabled mouse if you can’t perform a gesture that I use hundreds of times every day.  So, I uninstalled MagicPrefs and downloaded BetterTouchTool (http://www.boastr.de/).

There are a few differences between MagicPrefs and BetterTouchTool that I would like to point out.

  • BetterTouchTool allows you to increase the mouse speed way past what I was able to do with MagicPrefs.
  • BetterTouchTool is much more flexible.  You can create custom gestures, whereas MagicPrefs has specified gestures for you to choose from.
  • BetterTouchTool allows you to use single finger swipe to navigate to the next/previous pages.
With that said, MagicPrefs is much simpler to use.  BetterTouchTool is much more flexible, but it is also a bit more complex.  If you are just looking for a simple, quick fix to a problem you are having with Magic Mouse I would suggest MagicPrefs (once they update to fix the navigation issues).  If you are looking for as much flexibility and customizability as possible, choose BetterTouchTool.
Personally, I will be switching back to MagicPrefs when they fix the navigation issue.  I think BetterTouchTool is a great application, but I am just looking for a few simple added gestures and tracking speed.  I highly recommending trying both applications and determining for yourself which one is better.
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One thought on “OS X Lion: BetterTouchTool vs MagicPrefs

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