iPhone 12 concept video turns Apple's new phone into killer accessory

Magic Mouse Mini concept
(Image credit: Yanko Design) (Image credit: Yanko Design)

We already know a lot about the four iPhone 12 models Apple is set to unveil on October 13, but there are always a few surprises that didn’t get leaked before the big day. As unlikely as it is, we hope that one of those surprises turns out similar to this concept that turns the iPhone 12 into a Magic Mouse.

Unfortunately, this isn’t real product that leaked. Instead, this is a concept from Yanko Design, a glimpse at what could be if Apple decided to think outside the box a little bit more and integrate iPhones and Macs in a completely different way. 

The concept imagines something called the Magic Mouse Mini, an advanced kind of Pop Socket complete with an optical sensor that sticks to the back of your iPhone. Once in place it means you can move your iPhone around just like a regular computer mouse. Pretty clever, right?

Apple pop-socket with an optical sensor turns your iPhone into a Magic Mouse! - It’s a pretty great idea in theory, and ties well into Apple‘s ecosystem of creating products that support each other and add to the collective experience. It’s also something fresh that would set Apple apart in the hardware space. Meet the Magic Mouse Mini, a concept created by @yongbinski who gave the smartphone pop-socket the ultimate upgrade by also fitting an optical sensor into it! - The Magic Mouse Mini looks and feels like your regular pop-socket. It attaches to the back of your phone, giving you a pop-out grip that you can firmly hold onto between your index and middle finger as you use your phone or click selfies. Given how large and slippery smartphones are nowadays (further factoring in the iPhone’s curved edges). However, a switch on the side turns the pop-out grip into something vastly more functional. Switch the device on, and the optical sensor above the Apple logo powers on, turning your iPhone into a magic mouse! - The iPhone and the socket at the back work in tandem to replicate the Magic Mouse experience. The optical sensor on the socket helps with cursor-tracking, while the iPhone’s touchscreen shoulders the responsibility of providing the control surface, allowing you to left-click, right-click, pinch, zoom, scroll, and do a variety of other gestures, just like you would on a Magic Mouse. - I’d surmise the Magic Mouse Mini concept would work remarkably well with iMacs and MacBooks, but would even probably do a pretty good job with iPads too! It’s a small, clever addon that helps your phone (by allowing you to grip it better), and helps your MacOS devices too, by giving you a Magic Mouse experience without having to shell out a hundred bucks for a new Magic Mouse. And yes, the presence of a socket on the back of your phone could give it an uneven surface, causing the mouse to potentially rock back and forth while you’re using it… but think of this less as a practicality and usability issue, and more as a clever way of turning an existing piece of hardware (your iPhone) into something absolutely new! After all, it’s just a concept, no? - Designer: Yongbin Kim Yanko Design

A photo posted by @yankodesign on Sep 30, 2020 at 7:23pm PDT

What’s more, the iPhone itself takes on some of the functions from the standalone Magic Mouse, letting you use the touchscreen as an interface for all the gestures and inputs long-time Magic Mouse users will be familiar with. 

There will no doubt be plenty of new products at Apple's event, including the possible AirTags, AirPods Studio and HomePod mini, but there’s no way this will be one of them. Even if Apple wanted to develop this concept, there are likely technical barriers that need to be overcome before something like this could work in the real world.

So for now, if you want to use your iPhone as a mouse, you’re just going to have to download one of those lame mouse apps from the App Store. Or stop trying to use your phone for everything and just buy an actual Magic Mouse.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

  • yogaman
    I'd prefer an iPhone that turns into a Magic Trackpad, but there are already apps for that. I am pretty sure that trackpads have been consistently found to be better for users ergonomically, too, although precision of movement favors mice.

    Also, there's no reason that trackpad functionality couldn't be bundled into the mouse product.