Lion's new features, does it make the 11 better?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dingclancy, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. dingclancy macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    Hello all, new poster here.

    I am thinking of getting the 13" MBA as my primary work laptop. I love the fact that you can fit a lot with that screen real estate and my workflow includes having too many windows open.

    But then came Lion and it seems like the multitouch, launchpad, full screen apps, and mission control works very well with an 11" air. But for 11"owners, I guess my question is, are you able to use Lion's new features to be more productive compared to Snow Leopard? In addition, does these new features really make the 11" much more easier to use?

  2. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Yes, I use full-screen apps and spaces extensively on my 11 MBA. It really makes the most of screen real estate. I even like using full-screen apps on my 24" monitor which actually looks a bit silly - but it's perfect on the 11" MBA.

    I get the same screen real estate on my 11" MBA that I do on my work issued HP pavilion Dv6 which has a 15" display.
  3. vegtro macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2010
    Out of all the Lion new features, I think Launchpad is useless.
  4. dingclancy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    Do full screen apps look okay on an 11 or does it still feel cramped after hours' use? How is the window switching with full screen apps? Thanks for the reply!
  5. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    No, it won't make the 11" any better. Although the scroll bar is not constantly there, the space for it is apparently reserved; otherwise, the text must be rearranged each time when you scroll, which is certainly annoying!
  6. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Lion and fullscreen modes and mission control definitely seem made for expanding limited screen real estate, so the 11" is more functional and economical than it was with SL. But the problemi have is that it really seems to be missing a touchscreen as an ALTERNATIVE input method.
  7. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    If you don't care about a bit more heat, a lot less battery life, a lot less compatible apps, and a lot more bugs, then sure, it does make the 11" better with all of the other features.
  8. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I tried using it so I can be more open minded to why it even exists and I'm still baffled. I did folders and tried to make it look pretty but in the end it really is the most inefficient way to open an app. my only guess is that its simply preparing users for the inevitable touchscreen macs.

    Maybe I'm old, but I miss the days of the applications folder being accessible through the apple menu.
  9. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    Yes, it's quite obvious that Lion was specifically developed to take advantage of laptops and the trackpad. And it really shines on the 11" due to the full-screen apps. Switching between full-screen apps is super smooth and one of the defining features of Lion. Launchpad is actually a better way to open apps than going to Finder, Applications, and running it from there. Obviously, the dock is still the place to put apps that you use the most, but for secondary apps, Launchpad is actually pretty handy.

    Mission Control is also beneficial in that it helps you organize windows and screens. So far on my 11" Air, everything is super smooth and fast. On my '09 24" iMac, there is noticeable lag when using Mission Control and sometimes when switching spaces. And the full-screen apps aren't as useful on the 24" screen.

    I'd say that Lion and the 11" Macbook Air are a match made in heaven!
  10. alau0115 macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2009
    Markham, ON, Canada
    The new features found in Lion, especially full screen apps, mission control and the ease of opening a new space do increase the productivity in 11" MBA, in my opinion.

    For the launchpad, in some occasion, I find looking for an app faster since I can use the 5-finger gesture which I find the process more polished and quick.

    I guess the idea behind the launchpad is to make use of the entire screen to fill up the apps where if you go to Application from the dock, you have to do more scrolling. So I find the launchpad somewhat useful. It has a good potential.
  11. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I just got my MBA 11in yesterday and I've found it to be surprisingly easy to use. Now, I've never used the 11in with SL (aside from in an Apple store or Best Buy), but full screen apps are clutch!

    On my first desktop, I just have basic apps running like Twitter, Wunderlist, iChat, and Stickies. All subsequent desktops are full screen apps (browser, Mail, iTunes). To simply just swipe between them or enter Mission Control I think is what ultimately makes the 11in a fantastic computing device.

    As for Launchpad: Yesterday, I thought it was stupid. But then I began to customize my user experience and since I've now began to use a lot of full screen apps, Launchpad just makes sense. I don't auto-hide my dock, but obviously in a full screen app, it's not there anyway. So to simply gesture up Launchpad to start a new app when I'm not on my first desktop, it becomes indescribably essential.

    Now don't get me wrong, I reorganized my Launchpad to all be on the first page and that seems to have made a difference. But as a recent convert to OSX, I can definitely imagine why long time Mac owners may be opposed to using it.
  12. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    i use 11" as my primary computer. believe me, the fullscreen apps works best on the 11" air than any other apple's computers.

    fullscreen apps don't look nice on my 27" ACD except iMovie, Garage Band and iPhoto.

    Without Lion, i almost sell my 11" due to the lack of vertical space. but after installing Lion, this machine is the best thing for me.
  13. dingclancy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    I didn't know full screen apps have that much of an impact for the 11" beast. I have an iPad 2 and I have the multitasking gestures installed. If the multitouch is anything like the iPad plus the pinch to zoom in Safari, I think this screen will just be enough for my needs.
  14. drxcm macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2010
    The 11" seems much better with Lion in terms of screen management. I upgraded my 2010 model when Lion was released and am very happy with the improvement (apart from slow wake from sleep now).

    Full screen apps and swiping to multiple desktops is excellent (eg Mail on one desktop fullscreen, Chrome on another, and another blank).

    I just bought the 2011 model of the 11" after briefly considering the 13, but the Lion features make the 11" a dream now. No desire at all for a 13" !
  15. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'm not sure fullscreen apps adds anything special. You could achieve almost the same thing with auto hiding the dock. And you can still have spaces ('desktops') in Lion even if you don't use fullscreen. I'm doing it right now with mail and safari in their own desktops, just because I don't like fullscreen hiding my menu bar - I have too much useful glancable information there

    IMO on an 11" you would have to at least have your dock on the left/right edges so you can use all the vertical space, or autohide the dock. But even then I think it might feel cramped. But if you were comfortable with the 13" Macbook or MBP the vertical resolution is similar, and you get more horizontal resolution
  16. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    true, it has too many apps and doesn't give you freedom to organise - if you could drag icons anywhere it might be slightly better, but they all have to be in a list.

    I just have a folder where I drag aliases to my most used apps (well, second-most used - ones that don't qualify for living on the dock), and then drag that folder onto the dock so I have quick access to secondary apps.
  17. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    I find the 11 easy to use without having tried Lion's features.

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