>It always amused me how Apple is capable of producing so quality hardware and has so bright ideas in design, but makes so awful lot of questionable decisions in software.
Amen. I recently migrated to iMac/Mavericks from Windows 7 and there are a number of really useful things you can do in Windows 7 that there aren't good analogues for in Mavericks. Task-switching, for example, leaves a lot to be desired. Apparently a third party application, Witch, can fix that - wonderful (and not really a good fix if you are using windows virtual machines side-by-side). Launchpad is horribly designed, has phantom stuff on there and you can't delete them directly. I still like the machine but it's funny to think that windows had the edge in a number of usability areas.
Window switching is something there's really little to complain about on OSX. You've got sloppy window focus (scroll on a window that's not active), mission control for switching and finding applications, an intelligently organised alt-tab application switcher, multiple desktops with pinning if necessary, and the Dock for even faster switching. What do you think is missing?
I really want something like Cmd+Tab, except one that lists all windows on current desktop (doesn't include minimized windows or other desktops).
When comparing two things on one small screen, I want to be able to rapidly switch between two windows. Depending on if it's within same app, I have to think to use either Cmd+Tab or Cmd+`. And all the minimized apps, as well as apps on other desktops get in the way.
Mission Control is unacceptable for rapid window switching because it requires me to move the mouse pointer and find the other window, when all I want to do is "select previous window".
I have the same gripe. Think about giving Switch (https://github.com/numist/Switch) a try. Cmd+Tab still functions as normal, but Opt+Tab (you can change the default keybinding) will allow you to cycle through all available windows on a single desktop.
Not a perfect solution, but it's a big improvement imo over Cmd+`.
That seems to be VERY close to _exactly_ what I'm looking for, but it's not quite right (which makes it very far from useful, unfortunately).
The problem is that pressing Ctrl+F4 twice in a row keeps iterating over the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. windows. So if you want to switch between two most recently windows, you have to press Ctrl+F4, then Ctrl+Shift+F4, then Ctrl+F4, then Ctrl+Shift+F4, etc.
I suspect the problem he's dealing with coming from windows is that the Mac OS paradigm is application switching via the dock and Command+Tab whereas in Windows the taskbar and Alt+Tab are window switching.
Appreciate the sympathy. I'm used to minimizing applications to get them out of the way, and alt-tab on windows restores the window you want. on the mac, it only restores a non-minimized window, and command+~ only works if both windows are not minimized. Mission control also doesn't restore minimized windows. Windows Snapping was also a cool feature that isn't native to OSX, you need a third party tool - great to do a side-by-side on spreadsheet/document.
And can we get a comment about launchpad? and widgets? considering how good the iOS experience is, the desktop launchpad is horrible. and widgets should be removed, rethought or integrated for sure. both of these strike me as afterthoughts, which is bizarre considering how central they appear when you first set up the OS.
While I'd definitely suggest using hide instead of minimize, there is a way to unminimize windows from the application switcher (Command+Tab), it's just totally unintuitive. Here's what you do:
1. Minimize a window (Command+M).
2. Switch applications (Command+Tab).
3. Switch back to the application with the minimized window (Command+Tab). Before you release the Command key, hold down the Option key. Now release the command key.
Voila--your minimized window will return from the dock.
I am a recent mac convert and and the CMD + tab + Option is nothing but frustratingly finger bending. I really wish there is some way to bring the minimized windows to their maximized state when I command tab them.
I use spotlight exclusively to launch applications. Launchpad I used exactly once before unpinning it from the dock.
OS X widgets turned out about as well as every other attempt to make desktop widgets. Banishing them to their own virtual desktop solves the problem of it being impossible to use them due to that there's always windows in the way, but it doesn't solve the problem that apparently no one actually has any ideas for desktop widgets that are more than mildly useful.
For at least some applications, like Firefox, Command + ' rotates through application windows; important distinction. You can't just flip between two windows that way if you have three application windows open, you'll end up rotating through that third window.
It's a mess, that's what the problem is. Just look at this thread and the number of ways that sometimes work in certain cases to do basic operations. Some of this is the added complexity of additional desktops (which I agree are awesome and sorely missing in Windows), but some, like switching windows in the same app, are a usability disaster. Here's a short list from this thread for something which is universally ctrl+tab (and shift+ctrl+tab for the other direction) in Windows:
Because they don't all work the same and they don't all work all the time. It's not like they're just different aliases for the same action. Some work in certain cases with a certain app, some work in special contexts, some don't work unless you install an app an remap your keyboard. It's kind of insane.
This is actually one of the few things in OS X that drive me nuts. It's tremendously useful, but because there's little visual distinction between a focused and unfocused window, I'll start typing in a window I've just been scrolling and realize I'm issuing random commands to Mail.app on my other monitor.
Mavericks' blessed addition of per-screen menu bars has the nice side effect of making this a little more noticeable: The menu bar is transparent on a screen without the active window. Terminal.app also can be customized to make inactive windows partially transparent. I wish that option were system-wide.
Well, that's crippled sloppy focus as you can only scroll the background windows, but NOT type on them. Terminal.app has some sloppy focus support, but only between its own windows which makes the whole experience a pain.
I guess this depends on habit: once used to "real" sloppy focus, it is really difficult to live without it. At the same time, I've seen tons of people get confused when using my computer and accidentally moving the mouse. Still, worth a try if you haven't (and kind of impossible with OSX).
I'm probably a bit weird, but all the computers I own now are macs... and I run windows 90% of the time on pretty much all of them. OSX really is pretty, and I like having a unix with a nice GUI, but when it comes to usability I think OSX just isn't very good. Task switching is awkward. The dock looks nice, but compared to the taskbar it's not very functional. Maximizing windows often ends up with surprising results. (Does it take up the full screen? Or does it just vertically maximize? What happens if I try to unmaximize?) Useful keyboard keys are mapped to weird things (for instance: home/end moving to the beginning/end of a document instead of the end of a line. I need to go to the end of a line about 100x more often than I need to go to the end of a document).
Also: animations. They're great for demos, but when you're trying to get serious work done they're irritating and you can't turn them off without some commandline-fu. I get the impression apple pretty much will always prioritize gloss over functionality.
Apart from resizing/moving windows, one feature I miss dearly from my Linux desktop is the ability to move windows from one desktop to the other. I use keyboard maestro to resize windows, and the developer mentions somewhere in his website that there's no way to move windows from one desktop to the other with OS X. Does anybody know if that's the case?
you can grab a window with your mouse (left click) on its upper panel hold it, so that you can drag it around your desktop. To drag it to the next desktop just hold it + CTRL+1 or 2,3,4 (depending on your set desktops).
As usual in OS X, glaring deficiencies in basic functionality of the base OS are dealt with via a vast ecosystem of third party software. I'd probably estimate that somewhere between 1/5th to 1/3rd of available third party OS X software is software designed to fix basic problems with the OS as shipped (or with the apps that ship along with the OS).
yep. this is my problem is osx. if i complain about something in it, the reply is always "just install (some app)," but that's exactly what i do not want to do. i want the os itself to just... be better and work like its competition has for a long time.
Am I missing something or is the F3 button in Mavericks not a good switching experience?
I do agree with your Launchpad comment and just drag Application folder into the right side of the Dock (settings Sort by Name, Display as Folder, View Contents as List) along with Utilities, Documents, and Downloads (Sort by Date Added).
Using Hot Corners, I have Mission Control (ie. app switching) activated at bottom right, and Application Windows (i.e. window switching) activated at top right, plus Desktop at bottom left. I find this makes any kind of switching extremely fast and fluid.
The comments on this article read like the Apple forums, 'I can't replicate it, so you must be doing it wrong.' Just because it's not happening to me doesn't mean it's not an issue.
Fact of the matter is that the laws of unintended consequences are at play here. Apple took a button which was perfectly fine being separate and on its own and made it part of the standard keyboard. Then they took away a confirmation dialog that would have prevented it from automatically switching power modes.
This wasn't a problem, now it is, and Apple refuses to acknowledge the problem. It doesn't matter if YOU don't have this problem, some people do.
I am really hoping the past week of low quality HN commentary is simply a by-product of the weekend folks having extended breaks...
Am I the only one who realises (and appreciates) the fact that if you hit whichever key in the first second after hitting the power button, the computer doesn't go to sleep? It's actually a very thoughtful feature, it surprises me that no one at all mentioned it.
I can't reproduce what you say so I assume that you have disabled the password lock of Mac OS and because of the speed of your macbook it seems as if it doesn't go to sleep and then come back even though it does. When I do what you say I get confronted with the lock screen after things like music stopping and the mac going to sleep for a split second.
I don't think he was being sarcastic, and the key has to go somewhere on the keyboard. You can't just put it anywhere else. And it wasn't a problem before, when it popped up a menu you could dismiss easily.
And I never hit it on my macbook, so I guess it isn't a probably for everybody.
I've never used a Macbook Air before, but now that I look at its keyboard... wow. I think accidentally pressing the power button because it looks and feels just like the other keys on the keyboard is a bad design. The one on my laptop is isolated from all the other keys, looks and feels very differenet, and recessed to prevent accidental activation.
Sometimes I wonder if they moved the power key there just because they couldn't figure out anything else to do with the now-defunct eject button on optical-drive-less machines, as opposed to there being any problem with the old location just above and to the right of the keyboard.
It's also cost reduction: why install an extra dedicated switch in the top case when you could reuse one of the keyboard's keys instead? I'm sure if they wanted to, they could come up with some other, less disruptive function to map to a key there.
I think it's a terrible, terrible design. I was working on a new Retina Powerbook last week, and I pushed the power key within my first ten minutes. It should not be trivially easy to bring your productivity to a screeching halt.
The soldered RAM is annoying - I'm OK with my computer being a complex tool, not an appliance. The excuse of the soldered RAM to up-sell if you want 16 GB of memory is insulting. The power button is idiotic. Apple wants me to pay three grand for a laptop that can be turned off instantaneously by an overly curious pet?
Apple isn't "upselling" you. They're simply charging you for more RAM, and only more RAM, if you want to buy more RAM. They aren't forcing you to upgrade anything else (this actually would count as an upsell); the RAM can be upgraded independently at the time of purchase.
Furthermore, if you want a really thin laptop and you want them to cut weight from the design and you want the design to be extremely tough (and most of us do), one thing you run out of space for pretty quickly is multiple RAM sockets.
I'm frankly ok with paying for the 16 GB now or never.
The CR-48 (Google's test chromebook) had the same problem. The last function key was the power button, and it was right above backspace. One accidental move and it fell asleep. It was really the only problem I had with that computer.
In later revisions they added a stronger spring underneath the button to prevent unintended resets. I had a II+ with it back in high school (48k RAM, dual floppy drives, 80-column card -- I was the envy of all my friends!)
I'm wondering if a plastic fence around the button can be made to act as a guard. Or perhaps a modern equivalent of your uncle's bottle-cap, with a small hole where you could insert the tip of a house key or a pen to activate the button.
I was wondering if this is the issue. I hit that damned key probably 2-3 times a week. I am a terrible typist. It doesn't really slow me however as the limitations to my work speed are not my typing. However if my typing is what is causing me to hit that key, this changes everything.
While I had the same thought at first, this post delivered on a well documented reverse engineering case that should be perfect for the intended audience here. Which is why I think your tone is out of place.
In hindsight I see that my post might look like sarcasm, but it's not. I forgot to mention that for some reason on my MacBook Air when I hit the power button the computer sleeps and won't wake up so I have to do a hard restart - so this behavior really is very annoying to me even though it's infrequent.
Completely don't understand this post. I'm typing from a MacBook Pro (15" retina, bought it a month ago) and can't replicate the OP's experience. A light jab of the power button, like I would hit the delete key, doesn't do anything. Only a firm, solid press does -- and even then, any other key press brings it right back up from sleep in an instant.
On my 2012 rMBP on Mavericks, even a fast light tap on the power button sends it into sleep. You're right that it wakes up again very quickly, but it very annoyingly terminates some online connections (e.g. IRC)
Odd, on my Mid 2012 rMBP a quick press does nothing. Doesn't bother me though, I've never accidentally hit the power button, but my normal typing position keeps that whole row of keys outside my finger range.
That's what I was also wondering about. I suppose it should act a bit like caps lock key on Apple keyboards: quick tap does not trigger caps lock, only a slightly longer will do the trick. Would make sense for power button do the similar thing.
I'd prefer to disable Power key completely, it's actually totally useless. I think there is something on ACPI/kernel level could be done to disable that key, but I haven't found it yet.
When I need to sleep I just close macbook, when I rarely need to reboot I just press button “Reboot” in some package installation wizard (otherwise reboot could be done using apple menu). So this button make sense only in one case: laptop is not responding and you need to “hard-reset” it using loooong press, and that case is processed by low-level hardware, not high level ACPI driver.
Wow, that was a bad move. I'd make it a triple press to turn off if it was demanded that it be a normal key.
That's really too bad it's just a plain key like that. On my windows keyboard, I miss the backspace key all the time and it has an eject above there which makes a lot of drive noise even when the slot is empty, but I'd scream bloody murder if it actually slept. (the crapware my employer puts on my laptop makes it painfully slow to sleep and wake or do anything else really).
The primary use case of the power button is to power down the machine. Of all the times that the button is hit, how often is it hit with the intent of hitting the delete button? For me personally I would guess it's happened maybe once or twice in the couple of years I've had an Air.
So to me it seems like having to confirm that I want to shutdown after I hit the shutdown button, by either clicking or waiting, is a hurdle on the primary way the button is used. I can see that in the scenario posted that it is a "high impact" if you accidentally hit the power key, but overall the number of times that that happens must be low enough that bashing Apple's design decision has to be a little over the top.
How often do people use the power button versus accidentally hitting it? I'd say that my primary intentional use of that button is restarting the computer after hitting the button by mistake. Shutting down and powering up are rare activities for me.
Edit: waking from sleep rather than powering up - however it is often I restart I am doing as the wake from sleep is flakey for some reason.
Halfway through I started thinking the punch line would be that he tells all this to someone else and that person says, "yeah, I hated that too so I put a little piece of tape on it." No punch line in this though, just patch downloads.
thank you! just ran the binary and hitting the power button on a mbp retina now brings up the "Are you sure you want to shut your computer down now?" dialog. This is behavior is by far the worst part of mavericks.
Interesting example of how to dig through the guts of the OS and patch a binary. I've been thinking of trying to do the same thing to permanently disable display mirroring, which I despise. Maybe this will inspire me to take a shot at it.
 The OS "helpfully" resizes and relocates all my windows so they fit on the smaller screen. This is no problem on an Air, but on a 17" MBP with seven or eight virtual desktops full of windows, it's a disaster. I would think it would be pretty annoying on a 15" as well, but I guess most people don't mind.
> Let’s put aside the question why someone would decide to implement such a ridiculous feature — it was implemented, everyone is unhappy, and Apple seems to have more important tasks to do than to fix it back.
The feature is there to trick people into thinking they have powered off the machine. People hit the power button and think the machine is shut down so they are happy. This way they get all the benefits of just sleeping the machine such as fast startup times, but there is no need to educate the user that shutting down every day is unnecessary.
Fast start up times, except for the issue where Mavericks takes ages to reconnect to WiFi from sleep - it's quicker to turn Wifi off and then on, than wait for Mavericks to wake the network adapter and reconnect
I find myself using the delete button less as I use Ctrl+H (when caps is remapped to control) using Keyremap4macbook, and even when I do use the delete button I rarely mistakenly press the power button
When I saw this change in the beta builds of Mavericks I submitted a bug report since the ability to change the power button's behavior was also removed from `pmset`. They responded with a "this was intentional." This is the biggest thing that angers me about the way Apple handles software changes. This could have been switched as the default, but having to go to this much trouble to change it back to the functionality the button has had for years is just ridiculous.