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Inside Mac OS X Lion: New Window Controls & Gestures

post #1 of 128
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Apple is finally letting go of old windowing conventions that date back to the original Macintosh, allowing users in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to fluidly interact with windows any way they like.

Back in 1984, Apple had to bundle new Macs with instructions on how to use a mouse. Today, users don't need the same kind of hand-holding, although the company now includes videos within System Preferences to demonstrate how various multitouch gestures work.

Apple has increasingly stripped the Mac OS Human User Interface Guidelines of unnecessary chrome designed to show them how to do things (like resize windows, or reposition information within a window) that are now easier to discover, thanks to smoothly animated graphical transitions.

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs demonstrated some of the new features of Lion back in September.

Overlay scrollbars

Many of these advances were pioneered by iPhone's iOS, including the removal of full sized scroll bars that tend to take up a significant strip of valuable real estate, particularly on mobile devices.

As was only hinted at previously, Mac OS X Lion will similarly draw only subtle "overlay scrollbars" when necessary, allowing them to fade away to avoid consuming area within windows.

As demonstrated in the video below, Lion's scrollbars can be directly interacted with using the pointer while they are visible, a trick that isn't possible on iOS.

Flexible window resizing

The Mac now gains the ability to resize windows from any edge or corner, similar to features exposed over twenty years ago by Jobs' NeXTSTEP operating system, but which were removed from Mac OS X in order to preserve the look and feel of the original Mac UI.

Lion exposes flexible window resizing without resorting to resize controls however; the edges of windows remain borderless, with only a pointer change indicating the directions a window boundary can be resized. Movie on page two.

Update: A developer reports that window resizing also supports standard modifier keys, so holding Shift while resizing a window from any edge constrains the window resizing to its existing aspect ratio, while holding Option resizes the window from its center point.

On page 2 of 2: Enhanced Finder features.

Enhanced Finder features

Specific to the Finder, Lion gets a revised source list, with simple monochromatic icons that look borrowed from the iPad. Also, rather than using triangle disclosure controls to hide item lists, the revised source list simply offers a "hide" button that appears when the pointer is nearby.

The Finder's "Places" is also replaced with "Favorites," and "Search For" is removed, with search queries now added as a gear icon under the Favorites list. Icons in the source list no longer disappear in a poof of smoke; they now require a right click to open a contextual menu that offers to remove the item, a more deliberate action that is harder to enact by mistake.

Finder views are presented with a new virtual physical slider control reminiscent of the iOS, and more items are presented as Cover Flow listings that can be flicked through by the user, indicating a shift toward intuitive, "hands on" multitouch navigation items.

A new Quick View panel presents previews within a light grey window rather than the translucent black "heads up display" of the existing Mac OS X, providing both a new full screen icon in the top right (rather than at the bottom, as it is currently). This control is now standard on many windows, providing a way to make an individual window a full screen view that gets rid of both the window controls and the system's menu bar, while still easy to escape from using the reappearing menu bar that drops down from the top. Again, more iOS simplicity that focuses on content rather than a complex user interface.

QuickView windows also present a button that can open the item being viewed, such as a Preview link for graphics (as depicted in the video) or an option to open a volume or folder in its own window. The green Zoom button now works consistently as a control to optimize the size of the window to fit its contents, leaving the full screen button to do a separate task.





Enhanced Gestures

Apple has also demonstrated a series of gestures that can be used to open Launchpad, invoke Mission Control for moving between full screen apps (which are each located in their own virtual desktop via Spaces), Dashboard, and other open programs and their applications, as well as navigating between web pages and within pages using new Double Tap to Pinch to Zoom features borrowed from iOS.


post #2 of 128
Why do you insist in writing for AI under two names?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #3 of 128
It's good to see so much thought going into this. Most companies would declare their user interface a 'solved problem', and let it go at that.
post #4 of 128
Interesting. I think a lot of this stuff make take me some time to get used to, simply because the current processes are so engrained. However, most of that looks *very* cool.

I'm definitely looking forward to Lion.
post #5 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Why do you insist in writing for AI under two names?


Quite laughable, indeed.
post #6 of 128
I am using it now and it's polish so far is excellent, have no doubt that the retail GM will excite and put a smile on your face.
post #7 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Why do you insist in writing for AI under two names?

I know! Why bring 'Prince' back after all this time? I thought Daniel got over that around the same time 'The Artist formerly known as 'Prince'' did.
post #8 of 128
just bought a 2011 macbook pro, will I be able to get osx lion upgrade for free? haven't they done that in the past for snow leopard?

and also, could they please change the itunes stoplight back to horizontal? its getting really annoying when all other windows and programs are horizontal (will still be horizontal according to their previews) and itunes is it vertical. either vertical/horizontal, pick one!
post #9 of 128
I'm gonna buy Lion for "window resizing" only!

)
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sent from my... internet browser of choice.
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post #10 of 128
Hidden scrollbars and some of these other "new features" violate apple's own human interface Guidlines. One of the important ones is not to hide controls. I totally understand why they do it on a small screen like the iPhone, but for big screens it doesn't make sense.

Full screen apps? What's next MDI?

Sheldon
post #11 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueeddie View Post

just bought a 2011 macbook pro, will I be able to get osx lion upgrade for free? haven't they done that in the past for snow leopard?

and also, could they please change the itunes stoplight back to horizontal? its getting really annoying when all other windows and programs are horizontal (will still be horizontal according to their previews) and itunes is it vertical. either vertical/horizontal, pick one!

If memory serves correctly, they'll often give it to you for free if it's very close within launch, like a week or something. If you bought it within 30 or 60 days, you get it for like $10.

Something like that.
post #12 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueeddie View Post

just bought a 2011 macbook pro, will I be able to get osx lion upgrade for free? haven't they done that in the past for snow leopard?

and also, could they please change the itunes stoplight back to horizontal? its getting really annoying when all other windows and programs are horizontal (will still be horizontal according to their previews) and itunes is it vertical. either vertical/horizontal, pick one!

Reverting the buttons to a horizontal layout can easily be done. With iTunes not running, open Terminal and enter the following code:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -1

To restore the vertical layout, simply use this command:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -0

(Courtesy of Macworld.com)
post #13 of 128
I love that I'm on an Apple fansite with my iPod and can't view the videos because they're in Flash.
post #14 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

Hidden scrollbars and some of these other "new features" violate apple's own human interface Guidlines. One of the important ones is not to hide controls. I totally understand why they do it on a small screen like the iPhone, but for big screens it doesn't make sense.

Full screen apps? What's next MDI?

Sheldon

For those who enjoy it, they'll be welcome features to help clean up the interface and have less clutter. If you like the current scrollbars, those are available too in the options.

I look forward Lion!
post #15 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

Hidden scrollbars and some of these other "new features" violate apple's own human interface Guidlines. One of the important ones is not to hide controls. I totally understand why they do it on a small screen like the iPhone, but for big screens it doesn't make sense.

Full screen apps? What's next MDI?

Sheldon

And when did Apple come out with their guideline.

I think it's safe to say that at least some stuff is getting thrown out.

And from what I have seen, I think it's for the better.

Just because certain ideas came up years ago, it does not make them the best ways to do it.
post #16 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Mac now gains the ability to resize windows from any edge or corner, similar to features exposed over twenty years ago by Jobs' NeXTSTEP operating system, but which were removed from Mac OS X in order to preserve the look and feel of the original Mac UI.

It's not just NeXTSTEP that had that, Windows has had it for donkeys years, and I would go so far as to say this is probably the only thing Windows has, that I wanted brought to the Mac! Seems like a trivial thing, but when you have to use a PC and a Mac on a day to day basis, it's surprising how irritating not having it on the Mac is.
post #17 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

It's not just NeXTSTEP that had that, Windows has had it for donkeys years, and I would go so far as to say this is probably the only thing Windows has, that I wanted brought to the Mac! Seems like a trivial thing, but when you have to use a PC and a Mac on a day to day basis, it's surprising how irritating not having it on the Mac is.

Agreed...and the video was ridiculous how long they spent demonstrating it...I think I get it, you can resize from anywhere on the edge.

Other features look very cool though.
post #18 of 128
I like SL, but then again I liked Leo before that and so on. I'm always looking forward to what they come up with next, but to tell you the truth most of it seems to be eye candy that I play with for a week or so and then realize the work piling up on my desk, so I tend to forget most of it. I guess what sticks is what helps me get my work done easier/faster, yet everyone's different. I'm not sure where fluid windows will help me, but still looking for to the surprises of Lion.
--------------------------
"Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?"
-Steve Jobs
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--------------------------
"Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?"
-Steve Jobs
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post #19 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

Hidden scrollbars and some of these other "new features" violate apple's own human interface Guidlines. One of the important ones is not to hide controls. I totally understand why they do it on a small screen like the iPhone, but for big screens it doesn't make sense.

Full screen apps? What's next MDI?

Sheldon

I think the justification is that with with trackpads being so excellent and magic mice and most generic mice having good scrollers integrated into them, the scroll bars are no longer considered a primary 'control'; they are more of guide for the user to know where they are in a stream of data. If you want to use them, they stay on the screen for a few seconds before they disappear and as has been said, you can stick with the current system if you prefer it.

I think it's an improvement but it's not huge. Many of these new features are minor, but collectively could really make a nice impact on the user experience. I just hope there are more significant changes under the hood because these front end things aren't huge. It's testament to how good Leopard and Snow Leopard are that there is only minor refinement needed.

All that I want to know before I buy my copy in the summer is will we have the driver problem that Snow Leopard suffered a little at launch? My music interface wasn't officially supported in Snow Leopard for months and months and it wasn't an obscure model.
post #20 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

It's good to see so much thought going into this. Most companies would declare their user interface a 'solved problem', and let it go at that.

Not only that, but Apple has maintained the Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), and expanded on them. Instead of saying iOS is different and we need to start over, Apple is extending the guidelines developed for the first Mac. OS X brought about major changes, but the core of HIG remained. iOS is no different.

Contrary to what stokessd has said, the guidelines haven't changed, they have evolved. And contrary for those looking for a revolution rather than an evolution: When it comes to HIG, evolution is good. The fact that so many ideas from 1984 are still relevant today, is a testament to how smart Apple is. Plus, I've been able to adopt the HIG in the Windows world to make it a little nicer. Resiliance, adaptability, extendibility, HIG has stood the test of time.
post #21 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post

Reverting the buttons to a horizontal layout can easily be done. With iTunes not running, open Terminal and enter the following code:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -1

To restore the vertical layout, simply use this command:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -0

(Courtesy of Macworld.com)

or

Go here where it'll also show you how to get your colors back:
http://www.macthemes.net/forum/viewt...d=16805795&p=1.

I changed my traffic lights to horiz, but did not like it, seemed to squashed in. I also changed the categories back to the colored ones which I like much better.

I forget how I went about it since it's been a while, but that should get you there.
--------------------------
"Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?"
-Steve Jobs
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--------------------------
"Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?"
-Steve Jobs
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post #22 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

I love that I'm on an Apple fansite with my iPod and can't view the videos because they're in Flash.

Really? They show up fine on my iPhone, no flash needed.
post #23 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

Hidden scrollbars and some of these other "new features" violate apple's own human interface Guidlines. One of the important ones is not to hide controls. I totally understand why they do it on a small screen like the iPhone, but for big screens it doesn't make sense.

Full screen apps? What's next MDI?

Sheldon


Fully agree. Anyone using a screen reader isn't going to find some of the new hidden controls
post #24 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

Hidden scrollbars and some of these other "new features" violate apple's own human interface Guidlines. One of the important ones is not to hide controls. I totally understand why they do it on a small screen like the iPhone, but for big screens it doesn't make sense.

Full screen apps? What's next MDI?

Sheldon

I really have to agree. It's like the old web sites that would hide easter eggs on their pages. If you hoover your pointer over just the right spot you could click and unveil the surprise. I shouldn't have to wiggle my mouse just to get scroll bars so I can see how far through a document I am or figure out which direction to move the mouse to get to the scroll thumb. Glance at your scroll bar right now on this page. You can instantly tell how far down you are on the page, how long the page is overall, and how much more of these asinine comment you have to read before you get to the end of the page. All just by glancing and seeing the position and size of the scroll thumb, And you didn't have to wiggle your mouse to see that.

How long will it take for users to realize they can hide the folder source list sections if they don't just happen to move their mouse near the section headers? Or that you can resize windows using the window frame that doesn't exist. Personally, I dislike the absence of window edges even in Snow Leopard. The screen looks even more cluttered to me because there is no clear boundary between windows of information.

Not that it's bad, it's all really minor stuff. It's just not as efficient. It's hard enough to learn all the little ins and outs of OS X as it is. You have to go buy books to figure out all the little tricks and shortcuts. Now we are going to need books to show us where all the hidden interface elements are if we can't find them on our own.
post #25 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by nudist View Post

Fully agree. Anyone using a screen reader isn't going to find some of the new hidden controls


no you don't agree :

voiceover can describe the interface and a list without displaying a "scrollbar".

and for universe's sake : they are still AVAILABLE if you want ! they even magically come back if you use only a mouse without tactile or scroll button.

isn't the world marvelous ?
post #26 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Why do you insist in writing for AI under two names?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HahaHaha321 View Post

Quite laughable, indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofino View Post

I know! Why bring 'Prince' back after all this time? I thought Daniel got over that around the same time 'The Artist formerly known as 'Prince'' did.

Wow.

Get, like, a life?!
post #27 of 128
Well, think of it. The first video is against Apple's developer agreement. So you gotta use a fake name to write about it, so that you or your sources don't get in trouble with Apple.
post #28 of 128
This reverse-scroling in the OS is MEGA-annoying. Great OS though.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #29 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Really? They show up fine on my iPhone, no flash needed.

Yeah. Just checked on my 3GS, and they played perfectly.
post #30 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This reverse-scroling in the OS is MEGA-annoying. Great OS though.

You can revert to the old behavior in Trackpad/Mouse preferences.
post #31 of 128
I hate all that monochromatic (or embossed) garbage on the interface, i am very excited about lion for a lot of things, but the interface is not one, I hope there are hacks to return back to aqua.

Less vehemently I dislike the overlay scroll bars, I have enough screen real estate to be able to view where I am on a document via the scroll bar.
post #32 of 128
I hope they spell 'favourites' right on the British version. I have to say it looks pretty slick, although I find I navigate to files and folders almost exclusively using Spotlight these days.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #33 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post

Reverting the buttons to a horizontal layout can easily be done. With iTunes not running, open Terminal and enter the following code:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -1

To restore the vertical layout, simply use this command:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -0

(Courtesy of Macworld.com)

thanks!
post #34 of 128
Yes, but such guides are based on the times and people's perception of how computers work. Ten years ago many people didn't know you could grab a side of a window and change the size. Today, pretty much everybody who uses a computer knows that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

Hidden scrollbars and some of these other "new features" violate apple's own human interface Guidlines. One of the important ones is not to hide controls. I totally understand why they do it on a small screen like the iPhone, but for big screens it doesn't make sense.

Full screen apps? What's next MDI?

Sheldon
post #35 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wow.

Get, like, a life?!

Really? Because I would suggest that to the author of the instead of me. Seriously, what kind of person is strange enough to post under a second name? It says a lot.
post #36 of 128
I'm very happy to see more and more UI goodness from NeXTSTEP appear in Mac OS X. I used a NeXT all through college and adapted quickly to the NeXT way. Once I did, it was very very difficult to come back to a Mac. I'd be wishing it had more of the NeXT capabilities.

I really miss Publish and Subscribe. There is a youtube video where a young Steve Jobs demoes the NeXT OS. He even makes a few jabs at the Mac OS along the way.

Tear off menus are another thing I miss a lot. Imagine not having to mouse to the top of your screen. Imagine setting up the menus and commands alongside your window just where you want them.

The NeXT (and NeXTSTEP) were so far ahead of their time. I think Apple misjudges how quickly us Macheads can adapt to something new. It's been a slow evolution, but at least we are moving in the right direction.

Here's hoping Lion will trash the trashcan. We have a spacey desktop, now we need to bring back the black hole for erasing files.
post #37 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

I hope they spell 'favourites' right on the British version. I have to say it looks pretty slick, although I find I navigate to files and folders almost exclusively using Spotlight these days.

Amen! My biggest bugbear is 'alternate' being forced on me in some programs. 'Alternate' and 'alternative' are completely different words with completely different meanings!

I don't think it's too much to ask for a little localisation here and there. Usually found Apple ok on this front though. Was a bit confused Pages didn't pick up my system language from my Preferences and needed changing which left me a little puzzled why I was being red underlined for some words when I thought Pages used the system dictionary but got there in there end!
post #38 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wow.

Get, like, a life?!

A life? To be fair you can't honestly expect to be called a journalist if you change your name depending on what type of article you are writing.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #39 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Why do you insist in writing for AI under two names?

who cares and why does it matter?
post #40 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriskkalu View Post

Well, think of it. The first video is against Apple's developer agreement. So you gotta use a fake name to write about it, so that you or your sources don't get in trouble with Apple.

Yes we all know what, and that was perhaps the reason. But it's not a good excuse given how many times he's done this in the past when in articles where he wouldn't have got a smacked bottom from Steve and Co. If we know it's Daniel writing the article then everyone else does too.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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