Proposed OS X Fixes/Features

Discussion in 'macOS' started by futureswitcher, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. futureswitcher macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2008
    First off, let me say that I switched from Windows about one year ago when I bought the early 2008 2.4GHz MacBook for my freshman year of college. I absolutely LOVE it and will never (willingly) go back to the crap Microsoft puts out! Over the past year, I have explored Leopard extensively, and found it to be a very polished and well thought-out OS. With Windows, I am constantly thinking, "Why would they do that?" with regard to the way features are implemented into the OS. With my Mac, I think this thought significantly less. However, there are still several (albeit nit-picky) issues I have with Leopard, so I decided to write a thread describing them and asking you guys to contribute to my list of needed fixes and features. Eventually, I plan to write an open letter to Steve Jobs. I've heard that he occasionally responds to user emails, and I think that If I provide enough details and am polite about it, I might have a chance! I realize it's probably already too late for any of my suggestions to influence the initial release of Snow Leopard, but who knows, many of these suggestions are small enough to fit into a 10.6.X update!

    Note: I deliberately excluded the restore button in Trash because it has already shown up on Snow Leopard developer's builds.

    Here's my initial draft:

    Proposed OS X Fixes/Features

    Read Mac files from Boot Camp
    When I'm using Windows on my Mac, I would love to be able to have access to my iTunes library without re-copying it to my Windows partition.

    More customization of Finder Sidebar
    I should be able to hide the "search" and "shared" drop-down menus completely. Or, better yet, incorporate the "search" options into the "places" drop-down and call it "links" or something. I, personally, never use links in the "search" tab so I would like to not have option to not look at it. Also, often times when I am not on my home network for extended periods of time, (at college) I would prefer to not have to look at the "shared" sidebar drop-down. Note: I realize you can already collapse these drop-downs, I would prefer to have them hidden all together for a cleaner UI

    Free Mobile Me
    As much as I hate to say it, Microsoft really upped the ante by giving everyone 25GB of free storage. Heck, I even signed up for an account just for the free storage, only to find out to my (not surprising) disappointment that the upload tool only works on IE! Apple really needs to step up to the plate and make mobile me free, at least for all bona fide mac users.

    Fix opening PDFs from Spotlight
    I find the current behavior of Preview opening the sidebar, highlighting the words I typed into Spotlight, and zooming in on it somewhat frustrating. To make the PDF readable, I have to either close the sidebar or extend the window horizontally (because I don't want to scroll side to side with every line!). When a PDF is open from Spotlight search results, the window should either automatically zoom or automatically resize the window so that I can read the entire width of my document without adjusting any settings.

    More sensitive "traffic light" buttons
    Although I rarely use them, (thank God for keyboard shortcuts), often, when I go for the traffic lights, I... ...miss. Those buttons are very small! I wouldn't recommend changing the graphics of them for cosmetic reasons, but the click-sensative region (there's a real term for this floating around somewhere in my brain...) should expand slightly outside the buttons themselves. For example, if you click in the gray area between two buttons, nothing happens. Mac should take that as a click on whichever button you are closest to.

    Menu bar option to close all open applications
    I suppose I am a bit OCD, but when I finish a project on my mac, I like to look down at the dock and not see all those sporadic glowing dots, so I always go through and close each application I was working with. It would be great for a way to instantly close all of my open applications with one click. On a side note, does the Finder icon really need a glowing dot?

    Make "cmd+tilda" work like "cmd+tab"
    When cycling through applications with "cmd-tab," the software changes the order of applications based on which application you viewed most recently. Thus, switching back and forth between two apps, even when you have many open, only requires one "tab." "Cmd-tilda," on the other hand, does not remember the window order, so switching back and forth between two windows in Safari, for example, when you have many open is tedious, and requires going all the way through the cycle. This should definitely be fixed. Also, it would be great if "cmd-tilda" could have a nice UI with thumbnails of each open windows, also similar to "cmd-tab."

    Rotate PDFs in Safari
    This one is a no-brainer. As a public transportation user, I am constantly viewing PDF bus schedules from the Port Authority's website, and often times they need rotated. Because I can not do this in Safari, and I don't want to take the extra step of opening the PDF in Preview, I usually pick up my macbook and turn it around to view it. I imagine iMac users especially will want this feature. I read the "new features" list on Safari 4, but it still seems to exclude this feature!

    View Word, excel, and powerpoint files in Safari
    This isn't a fix, exactly, but it sure would be cool!

    Dictionary application should be faster
    Maybe it's just my computer, but Dictionary seems to run significantly slower than any other application on my computer, considering it's size. Let me know about your computer, because if no one else seem to notice this, I won't include it in my final list.

    Option to maximize to full screen when green maximize button is pressed
    I realize that this suggestion is really showing my status as a "switcher," but still, it'd be nice when working with only one window at a time. Maybe "cmd+[green button]" could do the trick.

    Copy Jump lists from Windows 7
    Again, I hate to admit it, but Microsoft's utility of right-clicking on an app's icon for common "tasks" ups the ante. We already have a half-hearted version of this feature in Mail, iTunes, and Safari, but should be expanded with more options in those applications and added to everything else on the Dock (iCal, especially).

    Add a better way to delete applications
    I appreciate third-party software like AppZapper, and others, but this is seriously a fix that needs to be built in to the Applications folder of the Finder (but accessible from anywhere in the Finder)

    Free remote desktop
    Windows comes with this feature, so Apple should not have to charge for it. I currently use Logmein Free on my Mac. For those who are interested, it's not a bad substitute.

    Option to keep laptop awake when lid is closed
    Sometimes I want to keep my MacBook awake for Logmein, but it would be easier to hide from my little siblings' destructiveness if I could close the lid and stick it on a shelf somewhere.

    "cmd + [scrolling]" should zoom in and out of all text applications
    *Sigh,* again, like Windows. But hey! They copied off Mac so much, that Apple can surely take a few hints!

    Keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot of the active window
    I realize you can do this with Grab, but it would be nice for a shortcut.

    Add calendar to menu bar
    I often need to look up a date (to see what day of the week it is, or whatever) and I don't want to have to go into the dashboard every time. I'm sure Apple could think of some innovative way to integrate this into iCal, too!

    Eliminate unnecessary scrolling bars in Finder
    This one is really nit-picking, but has anyone realized how when you're scrolled down in a Finder window and delete (or move) a bunch of files to the point where all the remaining files can all fit in the window, the window appears empty with a scroll bar until you scroll up to where the files are, and then the scroll bar disappears? It should adjust automatically. Note: I know this occurs in list view, but am not sure about the other views.

    Easier interface for handling multiple iTunes libraries
    This also applies to iPhoto, but I am not commenting on iLife for this thread. I should be able to switch or create a new library via a menu option, not quitting the application and restarting it holding the "option" key.

    Network folders pinned to the Finder Sidebar should disappear when not available
    You've got to admit, this would just be cool.

    Virtualize boot camp Windows partition from Mac
    I think Parallels does this, but I'm sure Apple could do it better (and for free!) Of course this feature would be in addition to running windows natively.

    Finder option to show/hide hidden files
    I haven't needed to access hidden files on my mac many times, but the first time I did, I spent a good 10 minutes searching the menu bar before going online and realizing I had to type a terminal hack just to access this feature. I was shocked!

    Full Screen zooming (control-scrolling) should not lose so much quality
    I know next to nothing about computer programming, but I do realize adding this feature would probably take a lot of it. I do hate seeing a pixelated screen whenever I zoom in, though.
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Why, exactly? I know deleting them from Applications leaves .plists and whatnot, but I never find that to cause problems. Is there a specific reason you have for this? I guess you could be worried about old prefs etc being copied to a newer version of the app, but that's all I can think of.

    You can, but only if you've got a keyboard, mouse, and LCD (I believe) plugged in, so that it runs in "clamshell" mode. I know this isn't perfect for what you're asking, but if you've got those things, it's a possibility.

    There's an app that does this.

    Some apps will do this. Onyx and Mainmenu come to mind.

    I'm pretty sure this feature just zooms in on the available pixels, so this feature would be really hard to implement, and might slow down the zooming itself. And like, if your screen is at its max resolution, how will it improve upon that?
    For me anyway, pixels don't become obvious until I'm REALLY close.

    An interesting thread, though. Some problems have been brought up before, like the green maximize button (really common), and while I'm drawn to free MobileMe and ARD services, I don't see that happening, ever. What does Microsoft offer along with its 25GB? Are there similar functions to MobileMe, does it have more, fewer, etc...?
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    This'll get a good laugh from whoever is forced to read and deal with all the stupid emails going to sjobs@ , stevejobs@, steve@, ...
  4. Nero Wolfe macrumors regular

    Nero Wolfe

    Oct 28, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I'll take on a few of these:

    Read Mac files from Boot Camp
    Snow Leopard includes this AFAIK.

    More customization of Finder Sidebar
    This is nitpicky, but I happen to agree.

    Free Mobile Me
    Unlikely as it costs money to support all this stuff. Besides I like paying for it because if there are paying customers Apple is more likely to keep it running well.

    More sensitive "traffic light" buttons
    I am hoping that Snow Leopard wipes away the lasts bits of Aqua, especially the window buttons. I'd rather something more like OS 9 or earlier.

    Option to maximize to full screen when green maximize button is pressed
    There's an App called RightZoom does this, it's free and works great.

    Copy Jump lists from Windows 7
    Agree, as long as it doesn't clutter the UI. Is there a reason that third-party developers cannot do this now? iTunes has quite an extensive set of contextual commands. As do the VM apps.

    Add a better way to delete applications
    Yes, Apple really should build in functionality similar to AppZapper, et al, into the OS. At least as an option. !

    Keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot of the active window
    Shift-cmd-4, then hit spacebar.

    Add calendar to menu bar
    iStat Menus has this I think.

    Eliminate unnecessary scrolling bars in Finder
    I'll take this one further, I think the scroll bars should always be invisible, unless you are either scrolling or hovering over the right edge of the windows. Scroll bars are tacky, IMO.

    Easier interface for handling multiple iTunes libraries
    That would be nice. For iPhoto there is iPhoto Library Manager - free, and works pretty good.

    Full Screen zooming (control-scrolling) should not lose so much quality
    In System Pref's, Keyboard & Mouse, under the 'Mouse' Tab, click 'Options' button at the bottom, then select 'Smooth Images'. Works pretty good.
  5. Stormz macrumors member


    Aug 21, 2007
    Some good points futureswitcher.

    I totally agree about having to click to remove/reduce scrollbar when you've deleted files at the bottom of a window. Not a biggie, but the sort of detail/polish that Apple should pay attention to.

    Also - and I might be crucified for some of these...

    1) Occasionally I find myself wanting to be able to resize windows from any of the 4 edges, rather than just the bottom right resize square. Now you could argue that the interface isn't designed for that - Apple have designed each window to be a solid, hold-on-to-and-move-around kind of thing. But still, I do find that particular flexibility in Windows somewhat useful.

    2) 'View Options' needs to be sorted out once and for all. If I switch to List View, I don't want to have to go back to that same folder later and find it in icon view. And I certainly shouldn't have to open up Terminal and play around with DS_Store. There must be a way to make View Options more effective and intuitive?

    3) 'Date modified' in Finder doesn't always update the date of a recently-modified file until you click on the file. Say you have files in List View organised by date, and you've changed one of them. You actually need to click on the file for it to jump up to the top of the list. Shouldn't have to use add-ons like Refresh Finder or Nudge to do this.

    4) displaying images inline just isn't practical if you're a business sending things to a Windows user. Should be showing to users as attached files. Mail-Attachments-Iconizer is a good fix, but again, I'd like Apple to build it into OSX themselves.

    Other than that, the OS kicks a$$. :)
  6. wiz7dome macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2003
    Software Update

    For the love of god (i might start a separate thread on this) bring back the old method of Software Updating!!!!!

    I LOTHE the idea of "restarting" my Mac just so I can lose 15 minutes while it updates. That is the type of non sense Windows users are used to, but I expect better from Apple.

    I'd much rather quit an app to update it than stare at that Leopard screen just waiting......

    BTW...didn't Steve make a joke about never knowing what Windows was doing (lack of progress bars)?

    So why is that slowing becoming the case in Mac OS X?
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    If you're updating the kernel, you have to reboot to do so, otherwise you're likely to crash hard.

    Updating applications like Firefox does not require reboot since it can be completely unloaded and then updated. This technique doesn't work for parts of the kernel.
  8. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Sadly, it doesn't work with MS Office (2004 & 2008) for me.
  9. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    If you're talking about Vista, I agree. But I suspect they'll hit a home run with Windows 7.

    Especially if they offer "apology" pricing for all the Vista buyers. :D
  10. wiz7dome macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2003
    Oh I understand that. There's no issue with rebooting after an update. Perhaps I should rephrase and say logging off in order to update (as in watching the installer apply the updates before restarting OS X.

    OS X, QT, Safari (always thought this was strange) as well as Pro apps usually seem to require an reboot. Thats normal (since 10.1 days). At best you couldn't run iTunes while SW updated it.

    Its minor issue, but Its always bugged me.

    *I like the Traffic lights, but would love to see developers stick to some consistency. If I understand correctly the red button was supposed to close an app window not quit it. Im mixed on the green resize issue. I have a 23"ACD and dont really need to see VLC's play list or controller in full screen (it actually does this). For images and docs maybe.........

    and what happened to Spotlight? Why did it change to a generic "finder search" in stead of the old "system profiler" pane with results listed and filtered by type?
  11. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    For single-windowed apps, a click of the red button quits it. You've got to do Command+Q or App -> Quit App for multi-windowed apps.
  12. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    improve the muddy unpredictable mouse acceleration

    dont shorten file names from the middle, it doesnt help and just makes things harder to read

    get rid of the "smart" right click menus, the system shouldnt try to guess what options the user wants (try highlighting a linked word in Safari and right clicking it to search in google, oops you cant do it unless you right click within 2 pixels outside the link)

    Stop supporting files without extensions so programs stop saving files without extensions.
  13. Ashka macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    Couple of answers for the OP.

    More customization of Finder Sidebar
    I should be able to hide the "search" and "shared" drop-down menus completely.

    Finder Preferences > Sidebar.

    Keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot of the active window
    I realize you can do this with Grab, but it would be nice for a shortcut.

    Command Shift 4 then press space-bar = a shot of a single window & drop shadow.
  14. Mac OS X Ocelot macrumors 6502a

    Mac OS X Ocelot

    Sep 7, 2005
    Well, Snow Leopard did this and I FREAKING HATE IT. What sense does this make? How can you call this a "fix"? I used to be able to use cmd+` to cycle through the logically determined window order, but now I press that key combo and get the last window I viewed and I have to cycle through old windows to get the one I want. This is fugged up.

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