OS X: an unfinished bussines

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something larger than a tweet. A lot has changed since…

So I’ve got a Mac – after 18 years of PC I’ve finally returned to the wonderful world of Apple – It has changed a lot since the last time I was there (it was Mac OS 7 & 8 back then). It’s changed to something really good – and I can agree with everyone who has switched to OS X, that it just works. All the preinstalled apps, like iMovie, Pages, Mail and Maps – they are a great set of products made to be useful from the very first boot.

But after a month of using the brand new Yosemite (and Mavericks some few months before that) I’ve collected some annoyances, some things that are not that well thought out or transitioning between different apps. It’s like there are no communication between those developer teams, or no global guidelines of user experience in the company’s code of conduct.

I’m talking about two particular things – trackpad mouse gestures and keyboard commands. Seriously guys, can’t you agree on a single user experience in all the apps.

First things first – a simple navigation back and forth. You can use double finger swipe to the right to go back in the Safari, iTunes or Xcode, but you have to configure (!!! not enabled by default) three finger swipe to the left (!!!) to go back in Finder. Is this for real?

I think the most logical touch gestures in the whole system should be like this:

  1. Single finger swipe – control the cursor
  2. Double finger swipe up and down – natural scroll (or unnatural depending on users preference)
  3. Double finger swipe right and left – scroll or back and forth when scroll has reached the end (Just like Safari!)
  4. Rest of the fingers – well there are plenty of interesting gestures to use already and they can be consolidated to lessen finger usage (like full-screen swipe with 4 fingers, can be reduced to 3, etc.)

Next up – The classic “Hit Enter to rename”. Windows and Ubuntu users are used to hit enter to open folders, but as OS X is a pointer or touch centered OS, this keystroke is reserved for rename command … but not in a file open/save dialog! You can create a new folder, but You can’t even rename it with a slow double click or a context menu. DAFUQ?

Solution – please keep some consistency in Finder and file dialog libraries – allow me to use the dialog the same way as I use Finder.

In overall OS X is a great product with a nice UI and lots of lots of neat apps right from the beginning. And Retina display – don’t get me started on this one –  after a month working with this baby, I think that every other display is an old CRT.

PS. Oh yeah, and on a geeky side note – I have a little problem with the missing SFTP support in Finder, and as I can see there are no possibilities to extend Finder’s URI schema support. But then again OS X is a good old BSD with a regular shell in the Terminal app where you can mount volumes as you’d like. Although it would be nice to have GUI option and an option to use Comand + K to connect to SFTP shares.

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  1. One other gripe: command + left/right should always take me to beginning of line or end of line respectively. command + up/down should always be page up and page down respectively…

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