Jul 26

Lion wimpers on Spaces

Apple, Tech, UI / UX No Comments »


There have been a slew of posts on Lion since launch. As with any new change of experience, there are bound to be detractors as well as well wishers. Just look at the new Facebook groups that jump to light whenever Facebook changes a pixel on the screen.

Lion has been somewhat buggy for me, and slower than its leaner leopard friend. The “natural” scrolling was a pain for a few minutes, but a couple of days in and your brain flips. In fact, even when I hit the up and down keys my mind considers them working on the paper as opposed to the scroll bar (and thus it goes the wrong way).

Sometimes one step forward can be one step behind. I just witnessed this over the weekend when voice mail was installed on the land line at my families cabin in Colorado. Before-hand, we had an old digital answering machine system. How archaic! As we setup voicemail we consider the improvements:

  • “Now we can check this from anywhere!”
  • “If the phone line isn’t working, voice mail can still be left by the caller!”

However, you then realize that you lose benefits:

  • “How do we see if someone has left a call?” Before-hand you could glance at the phone to see if there are new messages. We would need to purchase something that could do that for us now. Instead, you have to pick up the phone and listen for the tell tale voice mail beep.
  • “How can I screen a call?” Before-hand if someone called and you didn’t know / didn’t want to pick up right away… you could listen to them leaving the message and even jump in to pick it up mid way

This feeling of “step forward or step back?” is how I feel about the whole mission control / spaces overhaul. I really enjoy putting some apps full screen. However, that breaks my workflow. You see, I have a series of spaces that are configured for different use cases. I access them via Apple-1, Apple-2, etc. If Apple-2 has been my “calendar” space, I could wish to instead have a full screen calendar in that place. Unfortunately, as soon as you full screen an application it lives in its own space, and one that you can’t directly access via a quick key like that. So, I am now forced to keep Calendar out of full screen mode, and it becomes a tease.

When plugged into a monitor, I am further teased with full screen. It doesn’t take into account anything more than the one main screen. I can no longer have my email full screen on the main screen with my calendar staring at my from my laptop screen.

Ah shucks. I look forward to a world where I can neatly configure my various use cases (if plugged in, keep X, Y, and Z over on my secondary screen, else put them on these spaces).

Although we hear more about the visual changes within Lion, it appears that the under the hood changes are really the most important (security sandboxes, versions, etc).