Full Screen Apps and Multi-Touch Gestures
So let’s examine the enhancements featured in the sneak peek of Lion. I’ll begin with full screen apps and multi-touch gestures. On an iDevice with a much smaller screen, it is necessary for each application to occupy the full screen just so you can see it. Now that iDevice users have become accustomed to full screen apps, I suppose Apple has decided the time has finally come to use them on the Mac. They’ve actually already been incorporated in iLife 11.
Full screen apps have been around for a long time on the PC, but Macs have intentionally not used the full screen for applications. One of my biggest shocks when I switched from the PC to Mac was clicking a window’s Maximize button and finding that the window didn’t enlarge to fill the full screen. In Lion, it will.
When one app takes up the entire screen, then the problem is how you switch to other tasks quickly and easily. This is where multi-touch gestures, the Launchpad, and Mission Control come in. Each one of these features moves you quickly and easily to something else. For example, in the demonstration of multi-touch gestures, a quick two-finger swipe across the magic mouse changed the screen from a full screen app to the desktop. Using a two-finger swipe in the opposite direction, the screen switched back to the full screen app again. In reference to multi-touch gestures, Jobs pretty much said that Apple would not be developing multi-touch screens for the Mac because Apple’s ergonomic research shows that multi-touch surfaces should be horizontal, not vertical.
Of course, using an application in full screen mode is only an option. Users will still be able to multitask with lots of windows visible on the screen at once.