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View Full Version : Do you hate Mission Control? Here's a workaround!




baryon
Jul 30, 2011, 12:46 PM
I hated Mission Control ever since I got Lion, and I hate it more and more every day. Here's why:


I can't rearrange my desktops
The small thumbnail previews
The fact that these previews aren't "Exposť-d"
You can't change your desktop picture on all your desktops with one click
Mission Control pretends to let you create and remove desktops "on the fly" by putting an "add desktop" button, and close buttons on each desktop, but then you realize that your app bindings to specific desktops get lost too easily
Full Screen apps create new desktops, and you can't decide on their location
Windows are stacked by application. I'm looking for a specific window, not an app. Let me see the windows one by one!
Can't drag windows from one desktop to the other, unless you're dragging from the current desktop
When you enter Mission Control, it takes me a long time to figure out which desktop I'm on of all the ones at the top. The faint grey border isn't obvious enough, and the actual desktop you're on doesn't "zoom out" into the thumbnail representation, so there's no good indication of where you are and it breaks your workflow. In Snow Leopard's Spaces, there was absolutely no question about which space is the one you were currently on, and where the other ones are relative to it.
Desktops rearranging automatically is a mess, as you don't necessarily want to get to certain apps by clicking their icon in the dock, especially in full screen mode (dock is super-hidden). Turning that off completely makes you lose the ability to control the order of the desktops.


I really feel that Mission Control should be about "controlling" your workflow, instead of completely losing control in this giant mess.

However, I have found a semi-solution. I found that many issues come from the use of Full Screen mode, as it creates new desktops in unexpected locations, and it's impossible to change their location (even less than non-full screen windows). Moreover, Full Screen mode doesn't allow "Show Desktop" to work, and it completely goes against the idea of multi tasking. So the easy thing to do, is simply don't use Full Screen apps! You didn't have them in SL, why would you suddenly need them? Sure, they're nice and it's cool to have that much space, but it's also nice to be able to multi task and to make the best use of this ridiculous mess that is Mission Control.

Conclusion: Stop using Full Screen apps, your workflow will become so much smoother!



*LTD*
Jul 30, 2011, 12:51 PM
Understand that Lion treats full-screen apps (that you choose to view in full-sceen) in a special manner. They are apps "in focus." As such, they get their own Space and are separated from the rest.

You choose to view something full-screen, Lion thinks it's special. Lion thinks you really want to get into it and experience it fully, no distractions.

AdeFowler
Jul 30, 2011, 12:52 PM
I'm still getting apps (Pages, Numbers, CS5) open in the same 'Space' as the Finder instead of the 'Space' that they're fixed to. It happened in Snow Leopard occasionally as well but I hoped Lion would fix it, but it's worse :(

baryon
Jul 30, 2011, 04:37 PM
For Mission Control to get fixed, Apple doesn't just need to fix some bugs, they need to seriously redesign some things! Maybe not as drastic things as we think, but the feature is still not complete at this stage if you ask me...

Thunderbird
Jul 30, 2011, 06:41 PM
Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

This app-centric obssession in OS X is its fatal flaw. If the engineering and programming team could see things from an end-user point of view, and design a more consistent GUI that was more windows based and allowed users more control over their desktop and workflow, Mac OS would be much better off.

sn
Jul 30, 2011, 06:51 PM
and sometimes this happens. there's more windows off to the left of the screen but you can't see them. annoying.

*LTD*
Jul 30, 2011, 06:55 PM
Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

This app-centric obssession in OS X is its fatal flaw. If the engineering and programming team could see things from an end-user point of view, and design a more consistent GUI that was more windows based and allowed users more control over their desktop and workflow, Mac OS would be much better off.

I wonder what give you the impression it's "fatal."

KingCrimson
Jul 30, 2011, 07:10 PM
Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

This app-centric obssession in OS X is its fatal flaw. If the engineering and programming team could see things from an end-user point of view, and design a more consistent GUI that was more windows based and allowed users more control over their desktop and workflow, Mac OS would be much better off.

Exactly. In Windows 7 when you hover over an application on the taskbar, you get thumbnails of all the windows. Still it isn't perfect because the "expose view" is still app-centric.

gr8tfly
Jul 30, 2011, 07:27 PM
Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

This app-centric obssession in OS X is its fatal flaw. If the engineering and programming team could see things from an end-user point of view, and design a more consistent GUI that was more windows based and allowed users more control over their desktop and workflow, Mac OS would be much better off.

That's the problem; though up until now, Steve et al have understood this, as it's always been the Mac's strong point vs the more app based paradigm of Windows (and the wasted desktop that goes with it). Full screen is fine, for certain applications, where you don't normally need to interact with other apps (such as FCP, Aperture, or perhaps Photoshop). Fullscreen Safari is not, IMO, one that needs or should be used in fullscreen. What web site needs 1900 px in width? Most [sites] are fixed to a particular layout, and so, leave a ton of white (wasted) space to either side of a page's content. You can't reference other documents alongside a Webpage, so other interactions suffer too (copy/paste).

I know there are those who like Safari fullscreen, and that's fine. I'm just using Safari as an example - the new Mail app does lend itself a bit better to fullscreen. But to try and change the UI paradigm from document based to app based is a huge mistake. It's good to have workflow options, but a full featured OS, on the whole, needs to maintain the document based UI. Lion, so far, is doing fine at integrating the two types (Mission Control is a good start, but does need some tweaking).

Just as a side note, I think a lot of Lion users are jumping to conclusions regarding Fullscreen apps and Mission Control, and need to do a bit of RTFM (or equivalent) and realize that Lion still can be used in almost the exact way we were using Snow Leopard - just more refined (IMO, at least).

I will add that fullscreen (for general apps) is probably more useful on lower resolution displays, where there is limited space for multiple open windows anyway (and why we won't see that on an iOS device). On a high res display, though, apps like Safari just don't really work well with a large desktop (in fullscreen).

Just my $0.02.... :)

KingCrimson
Jul 30, 2011, 07:31 PM
Honestly I don't think Jobs cares about OS X anymore. It's all about the iDevices and iCloud. He already said that it's all about data and the devices that access that data. Nowhere does he talk about improving user workflow.

QuarterSwede
Jul 30, 2011, 07:40 PM
Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

This app-centric obssession in OS X is its fatal flaw. If the engineering and programming team could see things from an end-user point of view, and design a more consistent GUI that was more windows based and allowed users more control over their desktop and workflow, Mac OS would be much better off.
Most power users work that way but the vast majority of the computer using public doesn't even know what Exposť is. App centric is exactly how they think as evidenced by the huge iPad growth.

I will add that fullscreen (for general apps) is probably more useful on lower resolution displays, where there is limited space for multiple open windows anyway (and why we won't see that on an iOS device). On a high res display, though, apps like Safari just don't really work well with a large desktop (in fullscreen).
Lion was definitely designed for notebooks. Apple knows that mobile computers/devices are the future and they're usually at the forefront of pushing technology forward. It's no different here.

KingCrimson
Jul 30, 2011, 07:42 PM
Most power users work that way but the vast majority of the computer using public doesn't even know what Exposť is. App centric is exactly how they think as evidenced by the huge iPad growth.

That's because consumers have little imagination. Already people are raging against Windows Phone 7 because they can't understand the hub-centric approach and deep integration.

Jagardn
Jul 30, 2011, 07:47 PM
I wonder what give you the impression it's "fatal."

Yeah, maybe Apples record profits are proving fatal? :rolleyes:
Just because it doesn't work the way you want it to doesn't make it fatal, Fail, or Vista for that matter. There are certain minor things, but I actually like the way its laid out.

-I've never used spaces, never really fit into my workflow needs.
-I never minimize windows(no need to with Expose or MC)

*LTD*
Jul 30, 2011, 07:49 PM
That's because consumers have little imagination.

If you like extra cruft and complexity then Apple just isn't for you.

QuarterSwede
Jul 30, 2011, 08:00 PM
If you like extra cruft and complexity then Apple just isn't for you.
I never thought I'd agree with you so much LTD. :D;)

*LTD*
Jul 30, 2011, 08:04 PM
I never thought I'd agree with you so much LTD. :D;)

You'll be hanged for it. But they'll write about you afterward. ;)

ipedro
Jul 30, 2011, 08:15 PM
I personally love Mission Control. It simplifies what used to be too many complex concepts: Expose, Spaces and Dashboard and now Full screen apps.

The fact that these previews aren't "Exposť-d"

The solution is 3 finger down swipe. "App Expose". Works brilliantly for me. 3 Fingers up brings up Mission Control an overview of all that is running on my system. Three fingers down shows me all the windows within that app I'm working on.

Also, if you're in Mission Control and you want to spread apart all the windows in an Application stack, do what is instinctive: spread your fingers apart.

All the functionality you need is there, it's just a different way of doing things.

jonnysods
Jul 30, 2011, 08:20 PM
What happens if you are using multiple monitors? What does Mission Control do then?

OllyW
Jul 30, 2011, 08:20 PM
Also, if you're in Mission Control and you want to spread apart all the windows in an Application stack, do what is instinctive: spread your fingers apart.

All the functionality you need is there, it's just a different way of doing things.

How does that work with a mouse?

ipedro
Jul 30, 2011, 08:29 PM
Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

This app-centric obssession in OS X is its fatal flaw. If the engineering and programming team could see things from an end-user point of view, and design a more consistent GUI that was more windows based and allowed users more control over their desktop and workflow, Mac OS would be much better off.

Really. The man who invented the first widespread OS to use windows doesn't understand it?

The desktop and Windows metaphor is to swipeable full screen apps, what the command prompt was to desktop/windows back then. People engrained in the old way of doing things didnt want to let go of their command prompts either...

How does that work with a mouse?

If you'd rather stick to old technology, then stick to old technology consistently (don't upgrade the OS). Touch is the new tech, whether you touch a screen directly or on a touch pad. Apple's Magic Mouse still does this if you really must stick to a mouse, but I highly recommend the Magic Pad.

Lion is so instinctive and comfortable to use with gestures that within a day of doing things that way, you'll stop thinking of the gestures and get to where you need to be on the screen quickly and instinctively. Lion and the Magic Pad were made for each other.

KingCrimson
Jul 30, 2011, 08:34 PM
If you like extra cruft and complexity then Apple just isn't for you.

Lion makes thing more complex then Snow Leopard. Mission Control is an utter disaster now.

If you'd rather stick to old technology, then stick to old technology consistently (don't upgrade the OS). Touch is the new tech, whether you touch a screen directly or on a touch pad. Apple's Magic Mouse still does this if you really must stick to a mouse, but I highly recommend the Magic Pad.

Lion is so instinctive and comfortable to use with gestures that within a day of doing things that way, you'll stop thinking of the gestures and get to where you need to be on the screen quickly and instinctively. Lion and the Magic Pad were made for each other.

The mouse cursor will always be with us because of the need for precision work. I can't imagine anyone doing AutoCAD using finger gestures... :confused::confused:

ipedro
Jul 30, 2011, 09:39 PM
The mouse cursor will always be with us because of the need for precision work. I can't imagine anyone doing AutoCAD using finger gestures... :confused::confused:

I didn't say that the cursor needed to go anywhere, I said the mouse.

I do precision work myself (I'm a photographer and graphic designer) and I use the Magic Trackpad. I haven't used a mouse in years and when I do, it feels awkward and restricted.

The bottom line is that Apple has designed an OS with touch in mind. Just like the command prompt was left out of favour to let the mouse and cursor take precedence, gestures are the new way of getting things done quicker and more intuitively. You don't have to stop using the mouse/command prompt. It's still there to be used, but you're missing out on major features if you do.

A lot of the OS won't make sense to you if you're not using the tool that the OS was designed in mind with -- i.e. Full Screen Apps, natural scrolling, Mission Control, LaunchPad to name just a few admittedly wouldn't make much sense to me if I couldn't call them up using gestures.

If you haven't tried Lion with a trackpad, you're missing out on the whole reason for Lion. Go pick one up and try it for a few days. If you open your mind to it, I have a feeling you won't turn back.

Getting me to use a mouse in Lion would be like asking Tom Cruise in Minority Report to control that OS with a mouse. It would feel incredibly restrictive and archaic.

Jagardn
Jul 30, 2011, 09:57 PM
Mission Control is an utter disaster now.

Strictly opinion. I happen to like it.

Icy1007
Jul 30, 2011, 10:40 PM
I'm still getting apps (Pages, Numbers, CS5) open in the same 'Space' as the Finder instead of the 'Space' that they're fixed to. It happened in Snow Leopard occasionally as well but I hoped Lion would fix it, but it's worse :(

If you delete the desktop that you assign an app to always appear on, the setting will be reset.

eg:

If you assign Safari to always appear on Desktop 3 and you delete Desktop 3.
Safari will now show on Desktop 1 when you start it again.

Icy1007
Jul 30, 2011, 10:42 PM
How does that work with a mouse?

You hover the cursor over the stack of windows you want to spread and then scroll up with your mouse wheel. Scroll down to put them back.

Icy1007
Jul 30, 2011, 10:45 PM
and sometimes this happens. there's more windows off to the left of the screen but you can't see them. annoying.

I've never had that happen.

chairguru22
Jul 31, 2011, 12:48 AM
I don't like mission control a whole lot so far. It's different and I gotta get used to it. I liked my hot corners and using spaces and expose together to see all apps in all spaces, that was super easy.

Mission control just needs to update and tweak a few things.

KingCrimson
Jul 31, 2011, 12:49 AM
I don't like mission control a whole lot so far. It's different and I gotta get used to it. I liked my hot corners and using spaces and expose together to see all apps in all spaces, that was super easy.

Mission control just needs to update and tweak a few things.

It's Dashboard + Spaces + Expose. A mess.

damson34
Jul 31, 2011, 04:44 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/9A5259f Safari/6533.18.5)


Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

This app-centric obssession in OS X is its fatal flaw. If the engineering and programming team could see things from an end-user point of view, and design a more consistent GUI that was more windows based and allowed users more control over their desktop and workflow, Mac OS would be much better off.


Believe it or not there is an OS out there exactly like you described. It's called Microsoft Windows.

Thunderbird
Jul 31, 2011, 01:59 PM
I wonder what give you the impression it's "fatal."

Fatal in the sense that the Mac OS won't progress much beyond its current user base, and won't make any inroads into business destops until it is more consistent, configurable and improves window management workflow. Some people feel Mac OS is already near its end, and that the influence of iOS elements within Mac will send the desktop OS into a different direction.

That's the problem; though up until now, Steve et al have understood this, as it's always been the Mac's strong point vs the more app based paradigm of Windows (and the wasted desktop that goes with it).(copy/paste).

I know there are those who like Safari fullscreen, and that's fine. I'm just using Safari as an example - the new Mail app does lend itself a bit better to fullscreen. But to try and change the UI paradigm from document based to app based is a huge mistake. It's good to have workflow options, but a full featured OS, on the whole, needs to maintain the document based UI. Lion, so far, is doing fine at integrating the two types (Mission Control is a good start, but does need some tweaking).


Good points overall. I don't agree that Windows is more app-centric though (not sure if you meant to say this). In Windows, the window is an instantiation of the app. In Mac, the app can be running without an open window. The windows and their menu functions are more consistent in Windows; whereas in Mac, each app tends to be more unique unto its own while still being retaining some common functionality (e.g. menu bar).

Yeah, maybe Apples record profits are proving fatal? :rolleyes:)

Not sure what profits derived mostly from iPhone, iPod and iPad sales have to do with the Mac OS.

Really. The man who invented the first widespread OS to use windows doesn't understand it?

Steve, the man, didn't invent anything. Woz did.


If you'd rather stick to old technology, then stick to old technology consistently (don't upgrade the OS). Touch is the new tech, whether you touch a screen directly or on a touch pad. Apple's Magic Mouse still does this if you really must stick to a mouse, but I highly recommend the Magic Pad.

The touch pad may be new technology, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily better. It hasn't been adopted by most people sitting at their desks using PCs in offices yet, although many people are familiar with a form of the touch pad when using their laptops. The jury is still out, IMHO.

handel30
Jul 31, 2011, 07:06 PM
Steve still doesn't understand that people don't experience themselves working in apps, they experience themselves working in windows (of apps). People look for the windows they want to work in when they need to switch, especially when working with multiple apps and multiple windows of multiple apps.

You can still look at all your windows. The layering effect of all the open windows in apps -- Safari, for instance -- can be annoying at times, but you can actually expose all windows just like in Snow Leopard. Just go to System Preferences and choose "trackpad." Go to More Gestures and check App Expose swipe down with four fingers (you can also choose three). Voila. You can see all your windows! I find I can do just about everything I did on SL and more. It's very windows-centric this way.

baryon
Jan 1, 2012, 09:40 AM
You can still look at all your windows. The layering effect of all the open windows in apps -- Safari, for instance -- can be annoying at times, but you can actually expose all windows just like in Snow Leopard. Just go to System Preferences and choose "trackpad." Go to More Gestures and check App Expose swipe down with four fingers (you can also choose three). Voila. You can see all your windows! I find I can do just about everything I did on SL and more. It's very windows-centric this way.

No, you can't. You can either look at all windows WITHIN an app, or look at all apps but have all windows within a given app stacked. That's all you can do. I DON'T care about which App the thing is in that I'm looking for. I know what size it is, what it looks like and what it contains. I have no interest in remembering the icon and name of the app in which the picture I'm looking for is. Is it Preview? Is it a PDF viewer? Is it Pages? I don't care. It's a picture of a duck. That's all I care about, and I want to see the picture of the freaking duck and click on it, instead of first having to decide which app it's in.

KnightWRX
Jan 1, 2012, 09:59 AM
No, you can't. You can either look at all windows WITHIN an app, or look at all apps but have all windows within a given app stacked. That's all you can do. I DON'T care about which App the thing is in that I'm looking for. I know what size it is, what it looks like and what it contains. I have no interest in remembering the icon and name of the app in which the picture I'm looking for is. Is it Preview? Is it a PDF viewer? Is it Pages? I don't care. It's a picture of a duck. That's all I care about, and I want to see the picture of the freaking duck and click on it, instead of first having to decide which app it's in.

Frankly, I thought the old Expose was just a big mess. Having to wade through all those irrelevant Windows to find the Xcode window I was looking for was a bother. Just pop up the XCode windows and that's much less digging around crud I need to do.

I guess that's the difference between people who like the old way vs those who like the new way. I know which app has what content opened. I will switch to that app and wade through those windows only. I'm not some computer illiterate that doesn't know the difference between Preview, PDF Viewer, Pages or other apps. I know and I know in which I opened the content I want. Now the system helps me organize stuff.

smali
Jan 1, 2012, 06:19 PM
I remember the first time I hit the keyboard button for expose and I thought wow great!

I remember the first time I hit the keyboard button for Mission Control on my new MBP and I thought wtf is this ****?

roadbloc
Jan 1, 2012, 06:48 PM
The solution is 3 finger down swipe. "App Expose". Works brilliantly for me. 3 Fingers up brings up Mission Control an overview of all that is running on my system. Three fingers down shows me all the windows within that app I'm working on.

Also, if you're in Mission Control and you want to spread apart all the windows in an Application stack, do what is instinctive: spread your fingers apart.

All the functionality you need is there, it's just a different way of doing things.

+10,000. I found Mission Control unbearable, but now with the Application Expose enabled, it is much better. Still not keen on the lack of a spaces grid, but maybe I'll get used to that. (Or even better, Apple could implement it into Mission Control.)