Lion: First Impressions

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bargonzo
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Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:19 pm Post

And for those who like the "Resume" function for some apps, but not for others (e.g., you don't mind if Scrivener opens up to your previously-displayed work window, but it annoys the heck out of you that Safari reopens the window you were looking at the night before instead of starting fresh in the morning), a method to modify that preference per app can be found here: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/07/26/dear-aun ... -restores/
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AndreasE
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Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:13 am Post

Broken Thought wrote:Mission Control is neat, but I do miss Spaces a great deal.

When you go full screen that application gets its own space and it doesn't get a corresponding number for the desktop and the Ctrl+# is ineffective. Then, by default the OS will move your apps around, so whenever I had them where I wanted them, they all got moved around. I turned that option off as soon as I located it. I just might not get it, but Mission Control seems like a step backwards for me.


Amen. I guess I am looking forward to as many Leopard years as possible.

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:12 pm Post

I haven't got this to work. I don't know if the setting was just turned off on my machine or what.


Go to System Preferences-Track Pad-Point & Click and enable it (3rd checkbox). Mine was enabled by default. It may not work in every application, I haven't tested it. I find it a real time saver though.

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nom
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Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:00 am Post

EDIT: this post is now redundant. See AmberV's post below and my updated view of Lion below that.

One thing that is increasingly bugging me is that the 3-finger trackpad navigation gestures in Snow Leopard don't work in Lion. Examples: navigating backwards and forwards through the Finder; backwards and forward through the iTunes store; selecting next or previous message in Mail. I used these every day and still keep trying, but now 3 finger swipes select text. So frustrated every time I have to move the cursor or switch to the keyboard instead of just navigating where I want. It a mystery why they've done this. Most of the changes make sense and add to usability by reducing the need to use the keyboard, except this.

Overall I still like Lion and think it is a good value upgrade. But I miss my navigation gestures… :(
Last edited by nom on Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AmberV
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Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:07 am Post

You can restore this feature, too. It took me a while to find it as they've given it a really opaque name:

System Preferences : Trackpad : More Gestures : "Swipe between pages".

After checking that, set it to "Swipe left or right with three fingers". Selecting this will disable the three-finger drag option. It's a bit of a pity because I kind of like that as well---reminds me of my old Finger*Touch keyboard which had a three-finger gesture for text selection and click & drag actions. But over the years I've really become used to the browser navigation use of this gesture. Unfortunately it still doesn't work in Scrivener's History. That actually might be a bug, I thought I remember Keith saying it had been fixed in Snow Leopard. I could have been dreaming though---I know that I myself set up a custom gesture with Better Touch Tool to use three-finger swipes for Scrivener History in SL. I find BTT too buggy in Lion still for daily use.
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nom
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Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:43 am Post

AmberV wrote:You can restore this feature, too. It took me a while to find it as they've given it a really opaque name:

System Preferences : Trackpad : More Gestures : "Swipe between pages".

After checking that, set it to "Swipe left or right with three fingers". Selecting this will disable the three-finger drag option. It's a bit of a pity because I kind of like that as well---reminds me of my old Finger*Touch keyboard which had a three-finger gesture for text selection and click & drag actions. But over the years I've really become used to the browser navigation use of this gesture. Unfortunately it still doesn't work in Scrivener's History. That actually might be a bug, I thought I remember Keith saying it had been fixed in Snow Leopard. I could have been dreaming though---I know that I myself set up a custom gesture with Better Touch Tool to use three-finger swipes for Scrivener History in SL. I find BTT too buggy in Lion still for daily use.


Thanks Ioa. I could have sworn I tried that and it didn't work, but just tried it again and it DID work. Another fine example of PEBKAC at work (or, in this case, at home). :roll:
Perhaps what was confusing me was the fact that a 3 finger swipe works in the opposite direction to a 2 finger swipe. e.g. In Safari, a 2-finger left-to-right swipe goes back a page, but the same action with 3 fingers goes forward a page.

Anyway, I take my gripe back. Instead, I'll say, "Another I like about Lion is that the old 3-finger navigation gestures are still supported. I just wish that they followed the same direction logic as the 2-finger gestures as it's confusing (for me) to remember that 2-fingers "pushes" the page but 3-fingers "clicks" a navigation arrow.
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Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:58 am Post

Yeah, I have no intention of getting used to the new scroll direction; it's the first thing I turned off. I think it's utterly silly, and pretty sad when you have to scratch the typical Apple "Welcome" video for a tutorial on how to use your scroll wheel all over again after installing Lion. That should have been a pretty big hint that "sombody" isn't always a genius. The old way makes sense too (down is down, up is up), and it's already set up that way in people's brains. You don't have to go nuts if you are a cross-platform user---and meanwhile I never once had a problem switching from an iOS device to a computer. The two activities are so dissimilar. Having content track my finger when it is under my finger doesn't equate to what happens with a scroll wheel, or even a trackpad. Yeah, I know its mostly muscle memory and habit, but really, the biggest strike against it is what I already mentioned above: no other computer works this way, and other computers can't be tuned to work the opposite way, so I might as well just stick with the grand standard on the one platform that does let me tune it.

Blah blah. Rant. :)
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nom
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Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:25 am Post

Actually, I quite like the new scroll direction when used with a trackpad or Magic Mouse. For a scroll wheel, which is what most of us have used for years, the old behaviour made sense. But when you can "touch" the content, the mimicry of a real life response makes sense - especially when you consider the obvious blending of iOS and Mac OS interfaces. However this is what makes the 3-finger swipe behaviour so puzzling. It's almost as if they forgot about it when they switched everything else. I'm sure they must have an explanation (being so finicky about their human interface guidelines) but buggered if I can work it out.

There's a few things about Lion I could rant about, but then I just remind myself of the last time I fired up Windows 7 using BootCamp and I calm down. Windows 7 is such a huge improvement over its predecessors, it's scary to think that it's still so unfriendly and bewildering to the average user. e.g. my mother wanted to print over her wireless network from her Windows machine. After 2 days of trying, she contacted me - I advised her to install Apple's Bonjour. She called me back 5 minutes later to say she was printing. It made me (and Apple) look good, but why can't Microsoft do that for their own users? [/LionTurnedWindowsRant]
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Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:41 am Post

Ha, yeah. I don't want to send the wrong message. I really do like Lion, even though I feel it is largely a "UX" upgrade. There are a few exceptions to that, but the UX parts of it are quite compelling (even if you turn off or change the specifics of the behaviour). It takes a little getting used to, but Lion has in the longer run really made the Mac experience feel even more Mac-like than it was. There are quibbles; I wish Spaces had been enhanced rather than somewhat gutted, though I'm glad that Exposé has been rethought and is better handled now. Just a moment ago I was watching The New World, having watched Tree of Life last week, and am gearing myself up for another viewing with a bit of a Malick Marathon---switching out of iTunes and back into the "digital" realm was beautifully seamless, and in a moment I'll switch back into Malick's world with just as little effort. Messing about with iTunes while watching a film was always a bit awkward in prior versions of the OS.

It's a good update. I just wish some of the defaults were options. I don't disagree that content tracking finger motion is bad, but I do think it is bad as a default for the reasons given, and stand by my main point that if you need a boot-up tutorial to teach everyone how to use their mouse again, a mistake has been made. But, I'm glad they sensibly turned off some of the other things that were default in earlier Developer Previews.
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Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:35 am Post

Observations:

- I nearly went mad over the scrolling reversal for the first couple of days. Day 3, and I find it completely intuitive.

- Safari was maddeningly slow, with startup times of 30 seconds of so. Then I uninstalled all my extensions and <pow> it started almost instantly. I've only reinstalled the Devonthink and 1Password extensions, which have slowed it to a two- or three-bounce startup. I think an outdated 1Password extension was the original culprit.

- Love the new Quicklook look, and the added functionality. And I like Mission Control. I didn't use Spaces, so I don't mourn its gutting.

- Baffled why ~/Library is hidden by default. I'm no power user, but I'm often in there, digging around Application Support for something.

- So far have found the per-app Resume feature a bit Microsofty. I want to choose what I resume and what I don't resume, thanks.

Overall, my feeling is that Lion is mostly for the good. It's the trend that concerns me. Apple seems to be increasingly deciding what's good for me, instead of offering options and letting me decide. I understand they want to Mum-proof the OS (or wife-proof, in a certain instance I'm familar with), but there's other users out there.

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Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:41 pm Post

Lion is a mixed bag. I adapted very quickly to the new scrolling direction. I like being able to add an "if lost, please contact" message to my login screen without using a third-party app. I like Mission Control. I love the new Quicklook. I like having the option of automatically resuming all my open apps when I shut down/restart.

But I think Launchpad is a dog with fleas. What makes that layout work on an iOS device is having the ability to organize it all in iTunes so you can quickly move an app from Screen 1 to Screen 5. On the Mac, however, you need to drag each app all over creation, and with so many more apps on the Launchpad, it's just a mess. I've returned my Apps folder to my Dock and am pretending Launchpad doesn't exist.

I hate the new layout of the Address Book and feel that they sacrificed function for form. I miss the three-column layout that allowed me to create a new contact and quickly drag it into a group. A book layout is nice for a book, but the advantage of a computer over a hard-copy book is that you should be able to do MORE with it.

If they were already going to the trouble of redesigning iCal, couldn't they have added repeating reminders (to-do items)? I wants them. I needs them.

I think the Versions feature can be helpful, but the implementation is awkward. I miss my Save As option, which made it very easy to save an open document under a different name. The new menu options add steps and are VERY confusing to novice users, as evidenced by the number of questions I've been asked about it over the past week.

The first feature I disabled is the resume feature for my apps. I do a lot of editing work, where I'm working on a different chapter every time I load Word. Having to re-close a chapter I've already completed just adds another step to my workflow. And while I know there are workarounds to disable this feature on a per-app basis, it would have been nice if Apple had thought of it themselves and put it on a System Preference so newbies don't have to enter the oh-so-scary Terminal. Because, again, I'm getting e-mails about it and it's making me cranky.

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bargonzo
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Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:49 pm Post

bashosfrog wrote:- So far have found the per-app Resume feature a bit Microsofty. I want to choose what I resume and what I don't resume, thanks.


See my post above:
bargonzo wrote:And for those who like the "Resume" function for some apps, but not for others (e.g., you don't mind if Scrivener opens up to your previously-displayed work window, but it annoys the heck out of you that Safari reopens the window you were looking at the night before instead of starting fresh in the morning), a method to modify that preference per app can be found here: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/07/26/dear-aun ... -restores/


Or is this app what you are calling "Microsofty"? Does it not do what you want it to do?
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Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:44 am Post

This is bordering on not being a first impression, but something I've been noticing is that Lion finally brings speed back to the Mac. Tiger was a great release, primarily for stability and speed. Up until that point OS X had been incrementally improved, first from its horrific early days where it felt like you were using VNC to use your own computer. Tiger was the culmination of those optimisations, and the first version of OS X that could be said to be reasonable stable for daily use.

Leopard was a huge step backward, and Snow Leopard only slightly improved it. While stability was returned in Snow Leopard (I don't think that OS even crashed once for me in all the years I was using it), it was still a performance hog, especially in the realm of multitasking. If lots of things were going on at once, you could really feel it even on a high speed computer. It's memory handling was decent, but I found that over the course of a week or two the computer just needed a reboot to get back to being efficient.

Lion seems to have all of the stability of Snow Leopard and the speed of Tiger. Even on my now somewhat ageing MacBook Pro, lots of stuff can be done in the background without sacrificing performance speed for the primary process in use. For instance, on SL, I would have to wait about five minutes for my computer to full boot up and finish logging in. I use a lot of background processes and utilities, so it would take a while for those to start up, and then launching the applications I needed to use would similarly take a long time. Lion is so fast on boot-up its ridiculous. On my MacBook Air, it's almost a circus trick. That thing can reboot faster than most computers can come out of a sleep state---and that's including Lion's persistent application restart system. The older MacBook Pro is only slightly slower, which I'm betting has much to do with SSD vs. hard drive speeds. The internal bussing on the MBP is superior to the MBA.

Meanwhile, I've yet to see a crash, but given the state of modern operating systems, it may take more time for flaws to become noticeable. The main issue I've seen with Lion is UI flakiness. It's not a big thing, but there are bugs here and there, and there are visual things that could be optimised as well such as stuttering animations and flicker from time to time. These give the feeling of the OS not being as "solid" as Snow Leopard, but I have no doubt in time Apple will iron out these minor flaws.
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Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:13 am Post

Ioa:

Interesting, I've been railing at my Lion-loaded mid-2010 MBP for being slow. Excruciatingly slow when using MS Office apps (as file viewers only, of course) or Aperture. I might have to start over with a clean install.


barganzo:

Sorry; saw that, forgot about it. Trying again.

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Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:23 am Post

Yeah, come to think of it when I just did things the "Apple way" everything was awful slow, hideous and buggy like an alpha build. But at that point I had really intended to do a clean install because Snow Leopard had become all jammed up over the years and was a pig already. I know a lot of people feel like a format + fresh install is overkill with a Mac, and something only Windows people have to do, but I beg to differ.

What was annoying was finding an easy way to do a fresh install. I know the trick of taking the Lion installer application and "restoring" it to an empty flash drive, but I didn't have a flash drive large enough, so I just went ahead and re-installed Snow Leopard, updated it to 10.6.8, and then upgraded through the App Store again. I'll have to burn a DVD later, or a buy a bigger flash drive, because that was a silly waste of time.
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