Using an 11" MBA like iOS?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iZac, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. iZac, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014

    iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #1
    Personally I have a 13” MBA, but it’s hooked up to a 60” TV 95% of the time. When I do unplug it and use it natively, even that feels cramped at times since it’s not even a 1080 screen.

    So I wondered how you 11" MBA users trade off portability with screen size and the limitations of running OS X as such? I assume the use of 'full screen' mode is much more prevalent among you, but do/would any of you go further?

    Given the choice, would any of you login directly to the Launchpad environment and default ALL apps to run seamlessly in full screen mode? Basically running the machine much more akin to the iOS or even metro experience?

    Following that train of thought, I’m interested to know if there is any way to achieve that kind of environment now, with plugins and utilities?

    I know it may seem ridiculous to somehow try and limit the OS X experience, but it occurred that there may be many people, who may be more comfortable in the iOS environment – hence the introduction of the Launchpad and full screen apps in the first place.
     
  2. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    I have an 11" air, and I usually use my apps in full screen mode. I typically run safari, Mail, Evernote, and the various iWork's software this way. As for the other apps which don't really benefit from a larger screen (iMessage, Finder win multiple tabs, preview), I just cluster them together, using F3 to select the app I need, or sorting them out amongst 2-3 desktops.

    I don't really use launchpad though. If I need to fire up an app, I either use finder (cmd+spacebar) or the programs folder.

    I don't really feel the screen is cramped, as the apps themselves are fairly optimized for such a screen display. For example, unlike office, iWork's apps moves the toolbars to the side, preserving precious vertical screen estate.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    I have been using Macs since 1985 but in recent years I've gone from 2008 15" MBP > 2011 13" MBA > 2013 11" MBA. I just love the 11" MBA for the portability, battery life and power. I have the i7/8gb/512gb model and keep all my stuff on it (aside from two milk crates of archived video). I have been ripping my DVD collection and have 70 full length movies on the MBA. I run Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, Vectorworks and other powerful software on it.

    At home I connect it to my old 23" Apple Cinema Display for "serious" work or use it by itself to watch movies at bedtime. Sometimes it gets connected to my 46" TV.

    I sometimes use full screen mode, but most of my software is quite old and doesn't even support that. Really, I use it pretty much the same as all the older Macs I've owned. But I can take it wherever I go and not even notice it's there because it's so small and light.

    Recently I have begun warming up to using Launchpad. Its easy to pop in and out of it with the function key. But I never wanted an iPad (have bought two for my daughter's family though). I like the iOS interface on my phone, but I want my computer to be..... a computer. ;)
     
  4. iZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #4
    Interesting thoughts from you guys, I guess it seems we all become accustomed to whatever computing environment we use - and in some respects work around that to best suit our needs

    Likely similar to you Boyd01, I have like 5TB of media that I connect to my network, to overcome the storage limitations of a notebook (I previously had a Mac Pro with all the drives maxed out - a previous purchase from my Uni days.)

    Like many, I've not got on with the Launchpad, Abazigal, as you said, Spotlight is a much faster way to find things. I just wondered if anyone here begrudgingly have - because of the size parity with the iPad - started to use their 11" MBAs more like an iPad.
     
  5. hexblot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Location:
    Athens,Greece
    #5
    never really liked launchpad, and absolutely hate metro/modern/whatever interface of Win8 (got a couple PCs as well, reverted to Win7).

    It might be that I'm addicted to the versatility and flexibility of the keyboard though - Quicksilver lets me do most of the stuff with it. I generally avoid the mouse/trackpad (even on desktops), which is possible since my day job is software development (hobby too!).

    I'm not down to 11", but on 13" normal display (ie not full screen) looks fine enough for me.
     
  6. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    Your post kinda reminded me that there was this feature called launchpad, so I went back to try it out these few days.

    It's definitely much cleaner and a lot less cluttered than metro, as the icons are adequately spaced out and there are no constantly-updating widgets to confuse the user.

    I also spent some time lumping all the apps I know I won't use into folders to clean up the screen. The end result is that I have been able to consolidate all my apps on a single screen.

    I find that launching apps this way is pretty fast, comparison to going to my programs folder or even spotlight (for slower typists). I like that I can also use the searchbar to look for apps (like spotlight). Plus, because of the smaller screen size on a MacBook, cursor travel time is a lot less compared to a 27" iMac screen.

    Will definitely consider trying to use it more often in future. Thanks for the tip! :D
     
  7. csixty4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    #7
    You hit the nail on the head. Full-screen apps when possible, Launchpad or Spotlight for firing up apps. Yoink for dragging files between full-screen apps, Moom for apps that don't support full-screen mode.

    When I need to teleconference or do a lot of focussed work, I dock with a 27" monitor, webcam, and USB sound card.
     
  8. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    Feb 5, 2007
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    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
  9. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #9
    Do you really think so?
     
  10. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #10
    My sources, say its a done deal, and I just found out the 11" & 13" are not going away they will have a Retina screen, but only the 12" will be a touchscreen:eek:
     
  11. iRun26.2, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014

    iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #11
    That implies that the 12" might be an iOS device

    (I do hope you are breng sarcastic with your reference to your source)
     
  12. pika2000 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #12
    I really love my 11" Haswell MBA. It's small, light, and has amazing battery life to the point that I almost use it like an iPad (ie. not having to charge it every day). The only time when I feel the screen is cramped is when I have to have a word document, a powerpoint slide, and a video playing in one screen (specific scenario). Full screen modes really alleviate "crampiness" in normal usage. I do put the dock on the side to gain an extra vertical screen space when in regular desktop mode.

    I never use launch pad. Me typing a few letters of the program I want in spotlight is faster than trying to find the program's icon.
     
  13. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #13
    Wait and see!:cool:
     

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