Focus stealing (angry rant... sorry)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mollemand, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Mollemand macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    In the do's and don'ts of interface design, one of the biggest NO-NO'es is focus-stealing. Things that poop up without the users explicit say-so are wrong, period. Apple has always been gracious about this, but that world has come to an end.

    When I connect my iPhone for a charge, two (2) applications starts. But not only do they start - they force themselves in front of whatever I was doing (normally some very important casual browsing). That buggers the H out of me. It is probably configurable - but the default is what gets to me. Default Apple, should be not to interrupt me - even if it is for some useless applications that I rarely use anyway, but yet you want to push on me.

    After some 20+ years of PC/Win-usage, the focus-stealing was the main grief that put me on a mac. I hate being interrupted by my system for some retarded reason. Even if my computer was about to go thermal nuclear, all I want is a count-down in a remote corner, preferably without any blinking or bouncing.

    So please, anyone who feel differently - I want to hear your arguments.
  2. 482214 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2010
    Take action brother... Strike!!!

    You can effect change
  3. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I hate it when my Mac "poops" things up.
  4. ratzzo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    I don't know what two programs these are. But on iTunes you can set whether or not it will run when you connect your iPhone. The fact that you are unfamiliar with iTunes preferences/config doesn't mean it's "focus stealing", it does just what you ask it to do-- in your case, start when iPhone is connected would be a checked option (enabled).
  5. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    I think your title needs more ones.
    Also, it's not like your phone plugs itself in. Just don't do that while you're typing a text and you'll be fine.
  6. 482214 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2010
  7. Big-TDI-Guy, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

    Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    iTunes, preferences, Devices - uncheck "prevent ipods, iphones ect from syncing automatically"

    Image Capture, preferences, when a camera is connected open: "no application"

    System Preferences, accounts, login items - remove or hide what you don't want running in the background.

    It's faster to perform those actions, then it likely was for you to compose your post. Yes, I'm annoyed by my software update hijacking windows when it does, but at the same time, many people would never take action if it did not...

    P.S. When I first saw your post in the forum spy, I thought that someone stole your car...
  8. Mollemand, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2011

    Mollemand thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    Stress-ball all worn out - and I have lost the feeling in my left hand ...

    Sure, but that was not my issue - my issue was on the Apple-default. Also, I might want the iPhone to sync without popping*) up some application in front of my reading.
    *) Yes I noticed the extra 'o' in my first post, but thought it accurate.
    Sorry about that - I tried to be explicit about my quarrel, but I guess I failed...
  9. nnoble macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2011
    Totally agree

    The thing that is really beginning to annoy me is iTunes popping up and taking over the screen every time an update to an app completes downloading. Frequently with several apps updating this can become truly irritating.

    Anyone know how to prevent this?
  10. Mollemand, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

    Mollemand thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    No need, they have been modded out :p
  11. blipmusic macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Heh, I hate it as well. Especially when Skim steals focus after having typeset a latex-document (yes, you'd think I actually *want* to see the result) and I've just spotted a typo. Texteditor in focus, me fixing the typo and *bam* it's Skiiiim! (it's like Kaz Hirari's in my office, I tell you).

    I usually end up looking for more typos caused by the process, since the cursor likes to place itself where ever I wasn't typing at the moment both I and Textmate lost focus (panic-clicking back to Textmate, ending up at some random line).
  12. Mollemand thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    Sure, but sometimes my iPhone or iPod has not been charged for a while, and it will take them some 5 minutes to activate. Once they go live, they will flair an array of applications, popping up in my face.

    Now, some say that this is something that I can configure myself out of - and that I'm a retard who should learn how to configure the holy Apple software.

    I say that it is a flawed default idea to begin with; the idea that software should be allowed to hi-jack user-focus - because it has no purpose to any user. Yes, it can run in background, and it can bounce in my dock - but no, it cannot be allowed to pop up in front of - whatever I am doing. If it does, it has the feel of a cheap web-commercial that I just don't want.

    Any holy acolytes of the Great Apple, who offers their glossy selves as a poster boy for that interface practice - without arguments defending the basic idea of stealing-focus - are just as lame as microsoft-users who can't tell the difference.

    I can configure my way out of the focus-stealing in Windows too. My point is that I shouldn't have to.

    Now to put my question to the point: Should any application, for any reason, ever, interrupt what you are doing and pop up in front of you?
  13. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I'm not defending Apple here, and I actually do not like their recent UI "upgrades" since their user-interface peak (Tiger) - THAT ONLY IS MY OPINION.

    That said - you, I, and most likely 96% of everyone here are more proficient with computers and electronics than the general populous. Most people would NEVER update, resolve conflicts, or anything along those lines if it didn't blast them in the face, and provide a simple means of action. (click yes to update your computer...) And even that is a stretch for many people. So while 96% of people here - while not all computer experts - we would know to do it - as a group we're the smallest percentage of end-users out there.

    We drool the hardest over the new hardware, complain the loudest over problems, are the unpaid beta testers for any new advance - yet compose of a fraction of a fraction of a percent to Apples bottom-line over all. So for every 1 of us, there are a 1,000 grandparents, young children, technical inept pre-teens, ect... who also buy the same hardware.
  14. Mollemand thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    I hear you, and I agree (baseline) with you. But ... when it comes to system updates, Apple has opted for the bouncing dock-icon, which works perfectly - as far as I know. And that is for the serious stuff. It runs background and it never forces you to quit or restart. It does not make a hostile take-over of your screen - ever.

    iTunes does. iPhoto does.

    Again, tell me why that is a good idea?
  15. sine-nomine macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2007
    Finer stores everywhere.
    I ran iTunes 4.x on Jaguar for a good while when I 1st switched, and I distinctly remember how much I loved the fact that iTunes would launch UNDER whatever I was doing when I plugged in my iPod. I don't remember exactly when that changed, but it makes me a little sad that a feature that made me a happy switcher those years ago is no longer there...
  16. Mollemand thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    To answer my own question: Yes, a scheduler popping up a planed appointment.

    Anything else?
  17. Mollemand thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    I fail to see how anyone could disagree ... :) Hence my question ;)
  18. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    I completely agree with the OP, focus stealing apps are frustrating.

    Skype does this too, and that's why I stopped using it.

    Excel does it when you type a wrong formula. Not everyone writes their formulas left to right, so when I type the rightmost part first and I am about to type what should be on the left I get the error. It makes me want to throw my computer out the window.

    I see focus stealing from an app as an act of disrespect from the developer.
  19. Mollemand thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    A voice of reason (in my mind).

    To me focus-stealing is pure MS, just as clicking the same button twice and getting a different outcome (and I always get a picture of Balmer in my head).

    Reading the Human Interface Guide (HIG) FROM Apple - I'm surprised iTunes has not been yanked from their software suite (???)

    Mr. Jobs??

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