Why is Finder's functionality so lacking?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by Shocco, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Shocco macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2012
    I normally use Path Finder as my current finder app but since Yosemite it no longer visually fits the theme of OSX.

    The new finder looks great but lacks a lot of the features Pathfinder has such as dual window browsing, tabs, drop stacks, multiple side bars, highly customizable toolbars, built in unzipped, text editor and pdf viewer amongst many other things.

    It strikes me that Finder hasn't really been updated since Leopard other than adding tags. Why have Apple neglected one of the most important facets of the OS?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think partly because its trying to move away from the file systems. Just look at how the current iWork stuff operates (before the iCloud drive stuff). You save a document to the icloud, its there no selecting folders for the most part or that I'm aware of.

    With iOS there is no file system exposed to the user, and I think Apple is looking to try to emulate that, so why put in time, money and effort on something they're not looking to promote.

    Don't get me wrong, the Finder is horrid compared to other products.
  3. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Finder, regretfully, has always been OS X's weak point. As far as file managers go, it is lame at best. But functional at least, even if it is bare bones.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I still prefer Window's file explorer, even though its gone through some iterations in win7 and win8 that have made it a little awkward. I still find it much better then the Finder.

    At least PathFinder is there and helps a bit.
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I've been using TotalFinder for several years now and it's made using Finder so much nicer. Even though Apple introduced tabbed browsing in Mavericks, I still use TotalFinder because I can have tabbed, side-by-side browsing with Finder and I really use that a lot.

    Of course, I'm not sure if it's working on 10.10 yet...
  6. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Finder is great for most users. It does what it needs to do without extraneous gadgetry.
  7. PsykX macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2006
    Tabs were introduced in Mavericks though, and they have remained in Yosemite.

    One thing lacking though, is each time you open a directory, say on your Desktop, instead of opening a new tab window, it opens a new window....... AFAIK I never end up using them because of this bad behaviour. We should file this to Apple if this is not the behaviour that we want.

    Link : http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html
  8. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I converted to the Mac within a year or so of getting the original iPhone. Prior to that I was a long time Windows User and MSDOS before that.

    There are lot of things I like about the Mac OS. But there are some "simple" things that Apple could add to Finder that would be nice to have and are features Windows has had for ever.

    I sometimes think Apple does not want to add some features that they know are obvious but will not do it out of some pride. Like can not add that because we would then say that Windows had it first and we are following them. Crazy is the only thing that comes to mind. You can always have a switch to enable/disable a feature.
  9. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    You can't have everything.

    A major thing that differentiates Macs from Windows is that they don't have thousands and thousands of settings. Look at Safari's preferences vs. Internet Explorer's some time to see what I mean.

    So that simplicity is a "thing" that Macs have and many people value. If you add switches and options for every possible feature then the Mac loses that simplicity and, once again, does not have everything.

    Apple has to say 'no' to features in order to keep the Mac a Mac.

    Seeing as how Windows already exists I'd far rather see the Mac keep that straightforward simplicity rather than give it up and have no choices left that offers that feature.
  10. VacantPsalm macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2010
    I think maflynn's got it, my guess is Apple doesn't want to promote heavy file management. I don't know if they want to move 100% away from it, (especially after the iCloud Drive announcement) but they definitely don't want to encourage more of it.

    I'm kind of with Apple on this one, working to move files around is a very temporary solution to an organization problem that should be easier. There should be a better solution to this file management mess than simply handing the user a better broom and dustpan.

    What solution is that? I don't know, hopefully one of these things Apple tries will work some day. I didn't like iCloud at all, but maybe iCloud Drive will offer something new. I noticed that the folders have app icons on them. Maybe files will auto organize based on the apps used to create/manage those files? That actually sounds interesting. Not a full solution, but a good start.
  11. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    I second Totalfinder. It's ridiculous Finder doesn't add the features that I want, since it's not like it would be hard to do, but at least there's 3rd party programs like this and PathFinder. Oh, and Mavericks sucks. I tried going to that from SL, and it wasn't a month before I was back.
  12. PsykX macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2006
    Yeah, Finder is definitely lacking.
    I'll soon be a 10-years-old Mac user and I still prefer the Windows Explorer, the Finder has never grown on me.

    Tabs helped a bit, but how come does double clicking on a folder on my Desktop open a new window instead of a new tab ? That is beyond me and is the reason why I've never actually used tabs (even though I'm one who asked for them).

    The maximize button is also flawed throughout OS X (especially the Finder) and it's only getting worse with Yosemite, because you don't know if it's a maximize button or a full-screen button.
  13. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I agree with you to some extent. My software company is now almost 35 years old. I use to get complaints about the software being too complicated so at one point I decided to stop documenting features that I thought would be useful for some customers but not all customers until a customer ask for them and then I could have them simply set a flag. Maybe a power user setting(s) from the terminal window would satisfy everyone. I.E. Not in the normal Preferences Pain. Kind of like the settings that TinkerTools is able to exploit.

    And at the same time they could add some simple ones and not make it too complicated. Example: You can create a New Folder but you can not create a New File within a folder without opening up the application first. Would be nice to be able to create a New Text File like you can create a New Folder. Simple stuff like that would not be that hard. Another would be to have other sort options. Like sorting folders to the top of the list. These things are in third party Finder Replacements so seems like some people like them.

    For me there are more things about the Mac that I like over Windows and I don't want to use these third party replacements so I simply have to deal with it. But just saying they could add some of the more obvious things. At least obvious to me.
  14. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    What's the Finder? Is that part of Facebook or Twitter? :D
  15. VacantPsalm macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2010
    It's the thingy I used before Quicksilver. Lots of clicking, people want less clicking for more organizing. I'm not big on any clicking.
  16. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    It is definitely annoying. I’ve tried to work my way around this by using the Desktop folder in the Finder, rather than de Desktop itself. The same for Stacks. This mixture of windows and tabs defeats the whole purpose of having the latter.

    That being said, I never had any problems with the Finder, I always quite liked it. It’s very straightforward and free of these cascades of folders and buttons that you find in Windows Explorer. The only folder I still haven’t managed is Pictures. I don’t like Cover Flow and the icon view is just not very good for glancing at pictures. The Finder needs another view aimed at showing pictures like iPhoto does.
  17. m4v3r1ck, Jun 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

    m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Yes, TotalFinder rocks and I'm a big fan too. Unfortunately it's not working in Yosemite yet, but I just keep pressing the keys [alt] + [~] in Yosemite if (total)Finder is needed...

    ~ Cheers
  18. Lolito macrumors 6502


    Mar 20, 2013
    Path finder????? stil?¿?¿?¿?seriously?¿?¿¿

    Mate, get Total Finder, or, even better, Xtra Finder, which is even better and for free. Been using them for quite a few years now, and I just can't live without XtraFinder. At it works almost perfectly in 10.10, just the tittle is reapeated, but no big deal, and they will fix that soon.
  19. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    There ya go :p

    In seriousness, Finder has been long in the tooth for quite a while. I remember the days when ZFS+ was found in 10.5/6 beta's, unfortunately we know how that turned out. HFS+ could benefit from an overhaul, especially as volumes become larger and pro's are moving towards external array's and servers (some using differing OS's).

    This has been a [heated] debate for some on MacRumors for a while, and with a push towards cloud services, who knows what the future holds for OS X. :)

    Attached Files:

  20. Rohirm macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Does Xtra Finder support the same kind of feature as the Visor is in Total Finder?
    Visor = you can show/hide finder with a shortcut. That's almost most important feature for me. Would like to see Apple to implement that on OS X.
  21. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I really wish they'd give the Finder some more attention; even if you heavily use iCloud for storage and the new capabilities/UI for Spotlight, you still need to go into the Finder from time to time.

    It's just disappointing how unrefined it still is, nothing is particularly quick to do and the performance of the Finder when dealing with remote mounts (or even a NAS on a gigabit network) can be nothing short of horrific. I've automated most tasks involving my NAS using rsync, simply because the Finder sometimes locks up so often when an AFP/NFS/SMB share is mounted.

    Apple could make an amazing Finder update by doing three things:
    • Search as you Type - switching effectively a new window for search is a horrible way to do it, we need a LaunchPad style in-window search. After all, typing a name in a Finder window is just so you can find a particular item anyway, but in larger folders it doesn't usually get you much closer to the item you want anyway, so a quick search would be much better, especially with the option to prevent searching of sub-folders (currently I don't think this is possible with Spotlight? Not without filtering the results anyway).
    • Process per Window - with all the remote services out there this is something we should really have had for ages; it's simply inexcusable that a single Finder window viewing a slow shared volume should be able to lock up all other windows. Performance in general needs to be improved, with quick look previews generated properly in the background, rather than sometimes locking up the Finder (again, particularly with slower shared volumes).
    • Overhaul View Options - .DS_Store juggling was an annoyance from day one of OS X, and one we've been stuck with ever since; we're still stuck with view options that no-one fully understands and which half the time don't act the way you want them to. Navigated to a folder using an open/save dialogue? You've probably just screwed up your view options. Viewed a different folder with custom view settings then gone back to view a different folder in the same window? You've probably screwed up your view options.
      Really we just need a sensible, intuitive system, ideally with clear inheritance, so if I set all ~/Pictures to display in overflow mode then all sub-folders will display that way too unless one of them overrides that behaviour. If I set default for Macintosh HD then these are the defaults for all folders unless overridden with a different grid spacing or whatever. Data stored in some kind of database rather than .DS_Store files is a must.

    This doesn't involve any radical UI changes, but would make the Finder so much more usable. As it is we're still stuck with a Finder that is still only incrementally better than the Finder in OS 10.0, which is ludicrous, especially when it would be an ideal place to provide a convenient bridge between Spotlight searching, cloud services and so-on.
  22. swindlenz macrumors member

    May 18, 2013
    Thank you. Some actual real thought process that expands beyond the dev/enthusiast community.

    Everyone is really quick to forget that, from old ladies to those working at NASA, use Mac. Software Apple make have to fit within the parameters of the scope of those who will buy and use it.

    Finder, for the most part, is very useful and very practical.
  23. w0lf macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2013
    Honestly it's fine, 3rd party apps fill in the gaps that certain people need. I'd guess 95% or more of users are probably totally fine with the current functionality Finder provides. Hell I think there are a lot of people who barely know how to work half the basic features of Finder as it stands, no reason to add additional bloat and complexity.
  24. Cythth macrumors regular


    Feb 24, 2013
    Lake Jackson, TX
    I couldn't have said it better myself.
  25. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Yes. 1000 times yes.

    As a student, I hate the idea of iCloud managing my files for me and storing them by app. I much prefer my current system where I have a folder in docs for the current semester (to later be moved to my external drive with past semesters). In that folder is each class's folder which holds papers, notes, and other related documents. I don't want them organized by app because, for example, the class notes that my professors upload aren't always in the same file format (ppt, pptx, PDF, etc). I want those files together, not spread across several apps. The current Finder works the way I want it to.

    Of course I also haven't embraced the cloud beyond emergency backups and moving between OS X and iOS (thanks to Google Drive).

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