Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Jan 4, 2012 6:59 AM by Simon Heywood
Ben_Eaton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Does anybody know if the old three-finger side to side swipe for switching between apps is still available? By default it is now switch between full-screen apps. I've switched that to the four-finger swipe but I'm finding the swipe up for "Mission Control" and then a mouse move to select and then click to switch extremely unnatural.


These much vaunted gestures don't seem to have been thought through. The ridiculous and counter intuitive change to two finger scroll (when it isn't immediately apparent how to switch it back) which also works the opposite way round to iOS in its new default (Back to the Mac? Really?) and now an easy to use gesture has been replaced.

15.4, Mac OS X (10.7), Windows 7 x64, 1.86GHz @3.2GHz E6300 C2D, 2Gb RAM, 1.5Tb HDD, X-
  • gaugebosons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You mean the little bar with all your open app icons, right? I'm pretty sure it's gone. Mission control serves that purpose. I guess they figured it wasn't needed anymore... You're right, though. They should have a way to revert to old gestures. Time to wait for 10.7.1.

  • mrsuki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    i see it as a major mistake for apple to remove the snow leopard gestures, they worked brilliantly, and especially as lion is meant to be an upgrade from that, now we are expected to learn something completely new, and not have the option of using gestures and methods that some have been using for years.


    apple MUST bring back the old gestures as an option, especially the application switching bar in question here as well as the old expose which includes viewing minimised windows; it improves workflow hugely.  the launchpad is completely unnecessary, moreso when there is an app stack and spotlight to find apps, and to devote an odd gesture to it without any felxibility whatsoever is just completely wrong.


    apple, please listen and act.



  • Ben_Eaton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The little bar is still there, you just have to Alt-Tab with the keyboard. I just got really used to the gestures.


    Some of the gestures are excellent but there are other problems:

    1) Keyboard shortcuts for full-screen mode are inconsistent e.g. in some apps it is Cmd-F, in some Shift-Cmd-F, in some Ctrl-Cmd-F. A quick keyboard combo is quicker than finding the resize button, and whether the button is displayed in full-screen in order to return is inconsistent as well - some apps have it, others require you to make the menu-bar appear at the top, others don't display it at all.


    2) Launchpad *****. The iOS paradigm works when on a mobile device, but the gesture to bring up Launchpad is awkward, and clicking the button on the dock is pointless when I could just go over to my applications dock on the right hand side and call up the Snow Leopard style window. Also, Launchpad does not respect non-Apple subfolders inside the applications folder, so, for example, my World of Warcraft install shows all the sub-apps such as Blizzard Updater. There doesn't appear to be any way of stopping them from appearing in Launchpad either.


    3) Gestures again - if you enable three-finger gestures, four fingers does the same job! But enabling four fingers only for a given task stops three-fingers working. Odd.


    4) The green button for maximising the window - it still doesn't switch back and forth between maximum window size and the last non-maximum size and position. Seriously? This bug has been in every OS X version ever. Even Windows ME got this right.


    5) Gestures again - the pre-Lion version of Safari was horrible - it got slower and slower and less and less stable. So I started using Chrome, which was nice and fast and used all the same Snow Leopard gestures that Safari did. Awesome. But now, those gestures no longer work - no swipes to go back and forth in your browsing history. You don't realise how much you use these gestures until they are no longer there.


    A lot of Lion is excellent, and Mission Control seems to work very nicely. But seriously, there has also been change for changes sake and that is just plain stupid, and in a lot of cases seems to go against intuitive operation. It will be interesting to see the feedback developing over the next 2-3 weeks.

  • mrsuki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    yes, the bar is still there with cmd-tab, but that's the whole point, it was much easier and more productive to access that feature with a simple swipe across of four fingers, it made perfect sense when you used four fingers to access expose and show the desktop, swiping down and up respectively.


    with very few full screen non apple apps, and even then, with it being a feature that will only be used if practical and more useful when dealing with multiple apps simultaneously, the four finger swipe across becomes non-existent if no full screen apps are active.


    it makes a whole world of sense to use that gesture for something always relevant, there is no pre-condition for the gesture in the old case; you have two apps open, you want to see which and switch, done. 


    also when an app doesn't have a window open, it doesn't appear in mission control, nor did appear in expose for that matter, but the application switching bar displayed the app icon, regardless of whether there was an open window.


    ...the full screen feature only fully works if it is lion compatible, for example, going full screen in firefox won't give it's own space as with itunes.



  • thanouvis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I think where they are trying to go with Lion is to create a situation where it makes no difference to user experience if an application is actually running or not. Actively used applications retain their hold on resources, unused applications silently go dormant, retaining the state of your work, until you call them up again. As a skilled user I would like to be the one who chooses what is running and what is not, but I can see the advantages this strategy may have for resource management.


    But what this approach ignores, is that a set of running applications, as exemplified by the alt-tab/old four-finger swipe bar, represents the collection of applications that the user has chosen to work with in the present session. Think of it as a 'toolkit' the user puts together for the day's tasks. They may be minimized or have no visible window (mrsuki that's a very good point) but their presence in the alt-tab bar allows the user to quickly switch to them alone, out of the, say, 20-30 Applications that may be available in launchpad, or even the 10-15 Dock regulars.


    In this sense, I don't think they gave much thought into reserving a gesture for this feature. It is unfortunate. I too found the Snow Leopard gestures were natural to the hand -- so much so that it felt genuinely satisfying performing them. This new approach breaks things that work in favour of a complexity that seems unnecessary: why treat fullscreen applications any different to non fullscreen applications in terms of switching? SL's horizontal-four finger was able to escape any running process even things like virtual machine fullscreen windows (Virtualbox or Parallel Desktop) or even a VNC session to another mac. It would easily allow a user to switch to another running application irrespective to what screen-state it was on. A shame.

  • Andrei P. Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    There is a program called "Better Touch Tool" that does gestures. It's free through donations and works very well. You can reconfigure any gesture you like & forget about it until you decide to reconfigure it again, which might be tomorrow or never - up to you.

  • Ben_Eaton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm getting used to the inverted scrolling now (*sheepish looks*) although moving between that and a non-Lion Mac is very jarring. It wasn't until it was pointed out to me that it is the same as on my iPhone that it actually made sense. However my list of 5 points still stands and I actually ended up sending them to Apple as feedback.

  • dougwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    cmd-tab works, but will not switch between apps if they are on different desktops. This worked well with spaces in snow leopard. The assumption that all of us will use the touch pad to run our computers is a bit bogus.  I prefer a mouse. Pure and simple. I finally got the mouse scroll reversed ... you have to plug in a magic mouse (worst contraption ever made) and set it there. Then, when you switch to a useable mouse, it works fine. Sometimes I think Apple is just to smart for itself.

  • mrsuki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    cmd-tab works when switching between apps on different desktops, at least on my system. 


    the bettertouchtool is an option, but there are several known bugs with that and lion at the moment, and, in all honesty, i'd rather apple address the issue without users having to resort to third-party solutions. 

  • dougwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hmm... Doesn't work for me. If I am in Desktop 2 in Firefocx and use cmd-tab to try to switch to Mail (desktop 1) nothing happens. Even in the dock I have to click twice before it switches. Did I miss a configuration parameter somewhere?

  • dougwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Never mind. Found it.

  • cueball314 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Where? The same is happening to me and I can't figure out how to make alt-tab work or switch to the app on the first click.

  • dougwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It is in the Mission Control pane. I found that I had unchecked the second and third options -


    'Automatically rearrange spaces based on most recent use'




    'When switching to an application, swith to a space with open windows for the application.'


    Make sure both of these are checked.

  • cueball314 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks! It works! It was driving me crazy

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