Apple plans to release a new version of the company's Magic Mouse
and Bluetooth wireless keyboard
that will use Bluetooth Low Energy and include integrated batteries, according to new filings with the US Federal Communications Commission. The new peripherals will eschew the AA batteries currently used in favor of USB-based charging. Both will use Bluetooth 4.2 with Bluetooth LE, which should result in dramatically longer battery life.
The change should alter the design of the two peripherals slightly, since a battery compartment specifically for AA batteries is no longer required. Notably, there was no FCC listing for a revamped Magic Trackpad, suggesting the company may be in the process of redesigning that accessory. Apple has recently begun including a new technology called Force Touch
in its most recent notebook trackpads, and may be planning to create a version of that for a next-generation standalone trackpad.
The iPhone maker has also recently tinkered with the technology behind its keyboards, substituting a new "butterfly" mechanism
for the keys, replacing the standard "scissor" approach. The changes, as seen in the 12-inch Retina MacBook, allow for a thinner keyboard, more accurate keypresses, and more even LED backlighting. It's unclear if any of these changes have made it into the new wireless keyboard.
The FCC documentation does not reveal a timeframe for the release of the new products. Rumors have suggested a possible iMac refresh before the end of the quarter, but the peripherals could also accompany a refreshed Mac Pro or Mac mini, both of which are more overdue for an update.
Apple is expected to hold a press event sometime in early September
to unveil the latest iPhones and iPads, but the possibility of Mac hardware refreshes is not out of the question. Should Apple announce new Macs, alongside the release of OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the new peripherals would likely be announced at the same time.