Home' LAPTOP Magazine : October 2011 Contents Laptop | october 2011
mac vs. windows
The look and feel of an OS usually determines how intuitive
it is for users to find and interact with apps. Lion makes that
easier than ever with the addition of Launchpad, which displays
your system’s app icons. To access Launchpad, perform a
three-finger pinch with your thumb on the trackpad or press
the dedicated Launchpad button on the latest MacBook Air.
Launchpad basically duplicates the iOS interface on iPhones
and iPads. You can easily swipe from one screen to the next,
and you can drag appicons onto each other to create folders of
similarly themed programs. Apple has seamlessly integrated
theMacApp Store withLaunchpad; when you make a purchase
in the App Store, it automatically installs and appears on the
Lion also preserves the Dock (known as the taskbar in
Windows) from previous OS versions. You can drag an icon
from the Launchpad into the Dock to make an app more ac-
Lion makes full-screen application viewing possible for its
native programs and select third-party software. Switching
between full-screen apps is achieved instantly with a two-finger
swipe to the left or right on the touchpad. However, full-screen
apps obscure the menu bar until you hover over it.
The interface for Windows 7 isn’t dramatically different
from previous Windows versions, but there are welcome
tweaks. While the familiar Start button remains, Microsoft
gave the taskbar a cosmetic and operational facelift.
ing and can be
a simple mouse
drag. With Aero
Peek lets you
see thumbnails of the windows open in each app by hovering
over a taskbar button. Similarly, with Jump Lists, right-clicking
a taskbar button shows that app’s previously opened or cur-
rently active windows— documents or web pages—for quick
A nother clever interface element is the Show Desktop icon
on the right end of the taskbar. Hovering over this rectangle
presents your desktop at any time.
Between the iOS-like Launchpad, user-friendly Dock,
and full-screen apps, Lion has a more modern and
approachable look and feel.
MultItaskIng & WIndoWs
The refinements made in Snow Leopard are further pol-
ished in Lion with the introduction of Mission Control,
which combines the Exposé and Spaces features. Exposé
displays thumbnails of all windows, making it easy to navigate
to them. The Spaces feature sets up multiple desktops (“spaces”),
letting you assign specific applications to each one to avoid a
cluttered desktop. Now it’s all accessible on one screen.
Mission Control, activated by a trackpad gesture or key-
board shortcut, lets you view all desktops in mini windows
on top of the currently active desktop. Mission Control also
reveals open applications, making it easy to toggle from one
window or application to another. The existing keyboard
shortcut of A lt+Tab will toggle between apps too.
While Lion will
related to a
given app in the
center of the screen, full-screen windows get segregated
and line the top of the display along with Spaces. You also
can’t close applications from Mission Control.
Windows 7’s multitasking solution is not as slick as Lion’s,
but it is effective. In addition to pressing Alt-Tab to f lip
from one open app to another, pressing the Win key and Tab
when you have Aero Glass activated shows active apps in a
3D carousel of revolving windows.
Most of Windows 7’s multitasking is achieved via the
taskbar. Aero Peek, for one, shows a thumbnail of open files in
an app by hovering over apps in the taskbar. Add frequently
used apps or files to the Taskbar by right-clicking on them and
selecting the drop-down menu choice. The taskbar’s limited
real estate can get cramped easily, however.
Another quick way to bounce from one app or doc to another
is Snap. Grab the top of a window and push it to either side.
The window locks to the side and resizes to half the screen.
Repeat on the other side. Double-click the top of either window
to return it to full size.
While Mission Control is more ambitious, multitask-
ing is easier to manage in Microsoft’s OS. And only
Windows 7 lets you compare windows side by side.
Links Archive September 2011 November 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page