Apple’s latest and greatest operating system for Macs — OS X El Capitan — is now available for free to users around the globe.
OS X El Capitan brings with it a number of new features like Split View and Spotlight search, along with tons of under-the-hood performance improvements that aim to make the Mac more rock-solid than ever. Best of all, it’s absolutely free for all Mac owners.
If you’ve been using OS X for any length of time now, you know the special joy of desktop “spaces,” what Apple calls its virtual desktop system. You can switch between them by hitting Command-Arrow (right or left) on your keyboard, or you can activate Spaces with the F3 key on most modern Macs. You can also reorder these Spaces around fairly easily.
But did you know you could add more Spaces? Delete the ones you have?
This one’s for all you Macbook and Magic Trackpad users; you know who you are. Mac OS X comes with Mission Control, a way to see all the open applications running on your Mac. Typically, you can hit the F3 key to bring up Mission Control and see what’s what on your Mac.
Similarly, you can either click on any Desktop Space across the top of Mission Control, or hit Command-Arrow (right or left) to switch to different Desktop Spaces on your Mac. This makes it easy to visually keep things separate. Some folks keep their web browser in one Desktop Space, and their word processing app in another, switching back and forth as they need the respective apps.
If you’re using a trackpad to access your Mac OS X laptop, or you’re using a magic trackpad connected to your Mac desktop, however, there are a couple of cool trackpad gestures you can use to do the same thing.
Remember that the OS X Mavericks beta isn’t a final version—it’s meant to be used by developers to ensure that their software will work with Apple’s latest and greatest. With that disclaimer in mind, let’s check out yet another little feature in the beta.
Prior to OS X Mavericks beta, the Dashboard, loaded with useful widgets of all stripe, used to be limited to two states: disabled, or locked to the top left side of the Mission Control screen.
Now, however, with the advent of OS X Mavericks beta, that’s no longer the case. The Dashboard is now treated the same as any other Space when enabled. Here’s how to get it enabled, and then how to move it around.
Apple is reportedly gearing up to make big changes to iOS 7, changes so big that it’s had to pull engineers away from OS X 10.9 development to help get it finished for its release later this year. I’m just hoping that the Cupertino company adds some of the features included in the latest iOS 7 concept video below.
Designed by Federico Bianco, the concept adds almost every feature we’ve ever wanted in iOS, including quick message reply, quick settings, widgets, Mission Control, and lots more. Check it out below.
When you activate Mission Control, it will show you all the windows for currently running apps, as in the screenshot above. If you click on a window that’s in a different Desktop Space, your Mac will swoosh you over to that window, taking you out of the Space you’re currently in.
To avoid that from happening, you can force Mission Control to only show you windows from open apps in the current Desktop Space. Here’s how.
In Mac OS X Lion, Expose merged with Spaces and became Mission Control. When you tapped the default F4 key on your laptop (or F9 or use a three fingered swipe up on your trackpad) to launch Mission Control, you’d get the image on the top left in the screenshot above: all the windows of un-hidden open apps at once.
OS X Lion changed things up by grouping all the windows from each app together in Mission Control, like the image in the lower left corner of the above screenshot. This new style, continued in Mountain Lion is intended to be an easier way to find the specific window you’re using. If that doesn’t work for you, you’re not out of luck, provided you’re running the latest big cat OS.
Yet another new feature in Mac OS X Lion, Mission Control transitions with an animated shrinking and growing of the current Space, showing all the other Spaces and open app windows for easy control over all the display options. If you feel like this transition could use a bit of a speed boost, try this easy tip.
OS X is sometimes known for its visual flair and neatly implemented animations. If you’d rather just get down to business and lose the visuals of OS X though, there’s a neat Terminal trick that will let you either speed up, slow down, or lose the animations in Mission Control all together. This little tip can make work in Mission Control feel faster and help especially on slower systems. In this video, I’ll show you how to accomplish this.