First look: OS X El Capitan's Split View and Mission Control

Posted:
in macOS edited September 2015
With OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Apple will introduce a number of user interface refinements to streamline the Mac experience, including a two-up app viewing mode called Split View and a more intuitive Mission Control for easy window management.




One of the more handy user interface additions built into OS X El Capitan lets users quickly split screen space between two running apps. Called Split View, the function is an enhancement to the familiar red, yellow and green OS X "traffic light" window control buttons.

As seen in the video below, applying a click-and-hold trackpad gesture on the green resizing button triggers Split View mode in compatible app windows. Users can opt to place a larger half-screen window to the left or right side of the display, with the area to be occupied shaded in blue.

El Capitan displays the maximized app alongside an Expos? view of all apps open on the desktop. Clicking on another app maximizes it to share the screen with the first. Windows can be resized via cursor control and minimized by clicking on the green traffic light button or hitting escape.

Among other operations, Split View is a perfect companion to the new Notes app, which lets users drag-and-drop rich data assets from other apps like Safari Web links, photos and more.





Apple also tweaked Mission Control with a few key features that make multi-window desktop management a bit more digestible. Swiping up with four fingers invokes the usual Mission Control panel, which now arranges open app windows relative to their positioning on the desktop. For example, when Safari and iTunes are positioned to the left and right of the desktop, they will be presented in the same respective locations in Mission Control.

Apple says the El Capitan capability makes it easier to spot apps you're looking for, even when they're stacked one atop the other.





In addition, single app windows can be transported to another desktop space by clicking and dragging them beyond the top of the screen, which activates Mission Control. Alternatively, apps can be maximized from the Mission Control interface into their own full-screen space.

Users can also set up Split View spaces directly from the Mission Control UI by dragging an app into the desktop spaces bar to invoke full-screen mode, then dropping second app onto the newly created space.

El Capitan carries over features from Yosemite, including quick spaces switching using trackpad and keyboard controls.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    theflythefly Posts: 70member
    Had the opportunity to work with split screen, works pretty good. The one "issue" I had was that the two applications were always next to each other, so that would take some getting used it. It's a first world problem, to be sure, but a change in how you work.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    fatkid98fatkid98 Posts: 10member

    Any chance Mission Control will show minimized apps? 

  • Reply 3 of 32
    kedakeda Posts: 722member
    This looks nice.

    My use my second monitor in portrait orientation. While I am in the minority who does this, it would be great for people like me to be able to do a top-bottom split. This is how I use many of my apps already, just not in 'full screen' mode.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheFly View Post



    The one "issue" I had was that the two applications were always next to each other

    ....? That is the entire point.

    ==================

    I have to say, these changes to Mission Control are fantastic! It has tightened up/smoothed out quite a bit on my 27" iMac (which was sorely needed), and these split-view full screen apps are a much better way to work...e.g. On my 27" display I do not need Mail or Calendar full screen, but having them side by side in split-view on their own full screen space is great.

    Putting two logical apps like that next to each other where you are often comparing content is very very helpful.

  • Reply 5 of 32
    agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member
    Split view... Welcome to Windows 8
  • Reply 6 of 32
    lmaclmac Posts: 111member
    I wish Apple would figure out that Mac users are power users and don't want features designed for the limitations of iOS ported over. It's like Apple is saying "Hey we developed these awesome training wheels for iOS and we know Mac users are going to love them too." Frankly, it's insulting. There's plenty of room for improvement to MacOS X, but I have never once heard anyone say, hey I wish there was a way to split the screen between two apps. I have resizable windows. It works great. I have many apps open at once. This is just dumb.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,938member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by agramonte View Post



    Split view... Welcome to Windows 8

     

    I can tell you it's a fuckload more thought out and intuitive in OSX, both in terms of activation, usage, and implementation. Took me forever to figure out how it really worked in Windows 8, and it still often confuses me. On OSX all the decisions just make sense are nice little touches everywhere. 

  • Reply 9 of 32
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,938member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lmac View Post



    I wish Apple would figure out that Mac users are power users and don't want features designed for the limitations of iOS ported over. It's like Apple is saying "Hey we developed these awesome training wheels for iOS and we know Mac users are going to love them too." Frankly, it's insulting. There's plenty of room for improvement to MacOS X, but I have never once heard anyone say, hey I wish there was a way to split the screen between two apps. I have resizable windows. It works great. I have many apps open at once. This is just dumb.

     

    What an asinine comment. I'm a power user, and always wished for this kind of thing in OSX. If you don't see the difference and time savings between carefully trying to resize and rearrange 2 windows to be side by side, and flicking them over in less than a second, I don't know what to tell you. Also, this is being released for both platforms at once, so your comment is utterly moot. Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having similar paradigms and features shared between iOS and OSX, creates familiarity and incentives for people who love iOS to also get a Mac. Also, this is an ADDITION, absolutely nothing was removed and you can completely ignore it, so don't know where your bitching and whining is coming from. Do you also consider the feature on Windows 8 "training wheels?" No, you were probably bitching and whining about how it wasnt on OSX. 

  • Reply 10 of 32
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,316member
    slurpy wrote: »
    I can tell you it's a fuckload more thought out and intuitive in OSX, both in terms of activation, usage, and implementation. Took me forever to figure out how it really worked in Windows 8, and it still often confuses me. On OSX all the decisions just make sense are nice little touches everywhere. 
    it should be better thought out. They've had enough time to do it.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    theflythefly Posts: 70member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

    ....? That is the entire point.

    ==================

    I have to say, these changes to Mission Control are fantastic! It has tightened up/smoothed out quite a bit on my 27" iMac (which was sorely needed), and these split-view full screen apps are a much better way to work...e.g. On my 27" display I do not need Mail or Calendar full screen, but having them side by side in split-view on their own full screen space is great.

    Putting two logical apps like that next to each other where you are often comparing content is very very helpful.




    Agreed, my point was that in use there was a disconnect in using it that I think is a matter of it being new and not used to it.  It's hard to explain, I think.  I don't think it'd be that useful on anything smaller then a 15" screen.  The MBPr 15 I used it on felt each side was a little tight, particularly if you use Safari.  May be better on an iMac or Thunderbolt Display.

  • Reply 12 of 32
    schlackschlack Posts: 667member
    looks interesting...think this is a prelude to Apple's focus on smaller screens as their primary sellers (new Macbook MBP13)....now that the MBP17 has been phased out and the MBP15 update cycle is lagging the MBP13.
  • Reply 13 of 32

    This actually looks promising.

     

    I remember using something similar in Windows 7, but also remember it being a royal PITA to move window panes on the desktop while trying to avoid having the split-view kick in automatically when I shoved something off to one side (especially in multi-display mode). The Windows 8 version blew goats, and was built as a compromise to the forced full-screen-by-default Metro BS that they'd foisted on the public.

     

    There's only a few instances/use-cases where I can see it being useful though, but it's nice to have as long as it's implemented correctly. 

  • Reply 14 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,517member
    Been using Size-Up for years which allows you to resize windows vertically or horizontally with basic key combos. It also lets you use additional monitors and allows you to work with spaces though I never use those features. The ability to lane two windows / apps up in a split screen view using a key stokes is very fast and useful.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    The Expose video is good; i'm glad to see that Apple is [U]finally[/U] reverting its windowing behavior to pre-10.6. I've always found the "throw every window into a grid" approach to be frustrating and counterproductive... it's hard to believe that Apple let such a stupid UI change slide for so many years.

    One thing the video didn't answer was how the behavior of app windows may or may not have changed in El Capitan. Do multiple app windows still appear "stacked" in Expose, with their app icon floating above, or do all windows slide to a relative position in full view?
  • Reply 16 of 32
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    agramonte wrote: »
    Split view... Welcome to Windows 8

    i have Win8 on a dev machine, and the way they do it sucks. im constantly accidentally snapping my apps into set window slots, which is a UX fail. i doubt that will be a problem w/ apple's implementation.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    lmac wrote: »
    I wish Apple would figure out that Mac users are power users and don't want features designed for the limitations of iOS ported over. It's like Apple is saying "Hey we developed these awesome training wheels for iOS and we know Mac users are going to love them too." Frankly, it's insulting. There's plenty of room for improvement to MacOS X, but I have never once heard anyone say, hey I wish there was a way to split the screen between two apps. I have resizable windows. It works great. I have many apps open at once. This is just dumb.

    please refrain in judgement until youve actually, you know, tried it. you havent, have you?

    and -- my father is not a power user, and he uses a mac. he is not alone. rather, he is in the majority, and we are in the minority.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    kayesskayess Posts: 10member
    it looks like you can give individual names to Spaces as well?
  • Reply 19 of 32
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 203member
    the snap screen stuff, I hate to say it, on Windows 7 feels a lot more intuative and easier to do - rather than pressing the green button you just snap the chrome of the app against the edge
  • Reply 20 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,938member
    I was baffled until I found out you have to grab the green button. I was used to using the freeware software for screen splitting that lets you grab anywhere and drag to the edge.
Sign In or Register to comment.