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Subtle Irritations in Lion

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, has been, by all accounts, a sales success, with over one million copies downloaded on its first day of release and undoubtedly millions more since. These stellar sales results do not necessarily reflect a perfect product, but merely one that has been much discussed and long anticipated. Just as with the initial releases of 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.5 Leopard, 10.4 Tiger, and all the other big cat releases, this one has its share of minor changes from previous versions that irritate and baffle, plus new bugs that confound and confuse.

Don’t misunderstand the point of this article. Our goal is to call out subtle aspects of Lion that feel as though they’re making us — and many other long-time Mac users — less productive on our Macs. Our hope is that Apple will revisit the discussions that resulted in these changes to Lion and reevaluate how they affect not just usability for new customers, but productivity for loyal Mac users who live and die by their Macs. And, for those who might have felt that using Lion seemed awkward but couldn’t quite identify the issues, perhaps our descriptions will let you figure out how to adjust your workflow to compensate.

Here are some of the minor cosmetic and operational changes that have irked us.

Hidden Scrollbars -- The utility of being able to tell at a glance how long a page is and roughly where you are in it is key for some of the things we do (editing in a very long document, for instance). Luckily, you can set scrollbars to appear at all times — not just when you’re scrolling — in the General preference pane.

Also, even when they are showing, Lion’s scrollbars present a smaller, harder-to-hit target for a pointing device than scrollbars in previous versions. We don’t expect Apple to change anything here; their goal would seem to be to encourage everyone to scroll via a trackpad or Magic Mouse rather than by clicking the scrollbars.

Finder Sidebar Icons -- The monochrome-only icons in the sidebar of Finder windows — even for custom folders — makes it significantly harder to pick out particular items in the sidebar list. What’s more, custom icons for folders do not appear in the sidebar, showing every non-Apple folder as a generic folder icon rather than using the icon that the user has supplied.

Again, we don’t expect this to change any time soon; Apple is in a monochromatic design phase right now (witness the recent updates to iTunes). It is unfortunate that Apple’s design imperatives are overriding what is largely a functional feature — color and custom icons are significant visual cues in interface navigation.

Mission Control’s Spatial Unpredictability -- In Spaces in Snow Leopard, now subsumed into Mission Control, you could set up two or more desktops in a two-dimensional grid, and switching between them with Control-left-arrow or Control-right-arrow key presses always revealed individual desktops in a predictable sequence. Now, in Mission Control, the desktops are arranged linearly, and, by default, those desktops are ordered depending on which one was most recently used: the desktop that appears to the right or left of the current desktop may not be the same one that was there a few minutes earlier. Fortunately, this default behavior can be changed in the Mission Control preference pane.

What’s more, the desktops in Spaces wrapped around the grid: once you were viewing the “last” desktop in the grid, the next Control-right-arrow would take you back to the “first” desktop. In Mission Control, the line of desktops doesn’t wrap around: when the user is viewing the final desktop in the line of desktops, the next Control-right-arrow does nothing, except to make the currently displayed desktop jiggle for a moment. To get from the rightmost to the leftmost desktop can require quite a few key presses. And there’s no System Preference setting that can alter that behavior.

It’s good that you can make desktop position in Mission Control predictable if you wish; it would be nice if Apple would enable wrap-around access to desktops as well. It’s possible Apple removed this capability to make switching between desktops more like switching between Launchpad pages, which also don’t wrap around, much as Home screen pages don’t wrap on iOS. On the other hand, the bookshelves in the iBooks app on iOS do wrap around, so it’s not like Apple is completely opposed to wrap-around navigation.

Apple Mail’s Reply within Conversations -- In Apple Mail, when viewing a conversation, you often want to respond to a message that has just arrived as a response to a previous email that you sent. When Mail’s conversation feature is active, those responses can be visible and completely readable in Mail’s browser window even if they haven’t technically been “read” yet; instead, the selected message in Mail is still the last message you clicked, which is often a message that you sent.

So, if you click the Reply button in the toolbar or use the keyboard shortcut, you create a reply to the currently selected message in the conversation, which is not the just-received response, but the message you sent that elicited the response. As a result, your “reply” is really a reply to your message, not a reply to the most recent message that just arrived in the conversation. You have to remember to click within that response to reply to it. Otherwise, you end up sending your reply to yourself — great if you’re feeling lonely; not so great if you want to keep the conversation going.

(As an aside, you can choose in Mail’s Viewing preference pane whether the most recent message in a conversation appears at the top or the bottom of the conversation. Most recent at top is like Twitter, whereas most recent at bottom is like most discussion forums. We generally recommend most recent at bottom, since otherwise you have to read threads that are new to you from the bottom up, which is awkward.)

This sort of user experience tuning often takes place in subsequent releases, since it’s hard to know what most users want to do before many people have seen the feature. For what it’s worth, Gmail, which pioneered the concept of conversations, is quite good about this. Every individual message in a conversation has its own Reply and Forward links (to be fair, Apple Mail has them, too, but in Apple’s war on user interface discoverability, they don’t appear unless you hover over the message header); if you click in a message and then use a keyboard shortcut, Gmail replies to the message that was selected; and if all else fails, Gmail replies to the last message in the thread. Hopefully Apple Mail can learn from Gmail’s example.

Three-finger Salute -- Swiping three fingers up or down in Snow Leopard moved you (in some programs) to the top or bottom of a document or page, the equivalent of pressing the Home or End key. In Lion, that helpful gesture is gone, replaced with a system-wide setting: the three-finger swipe up is either select-and-drag or reveals Mission Control, and the three-finger swipe down is either select-and-drag or App Exposé. You can reassign Mission Control and App Exposé to four-finger swipes, but if you want the three-finger swipe for Home and End back, you’ll want to install one of these utilities (in order of their success of providing that particular feature): jitouch, MagicPrefs, or BetterTouchTool.

Auto Save -- Lion allows applications that support Auto Save to save data automatically without user intervention. Working hand-in-glove with Versions, Auto Save not only prevents users from worrying about losing data by forgetting to save, but also gives them a way to go back in time to earlier versions of a document and revert some or all of the most recently autosaved changes. That is spiffy, but Auto Save can’t be turned off in applications that support it, and its mere presence eliminates a common File menu option: Save As.

In pre-Auto Save versions of Mac OS X, you could open a document, immediately choose File > Save As, name the copy, and begin working, leaving the original intact. Now you must open a document, choose File > Duplicate, rename the duplicate, and (optionally) manually close the original in order to work on a copy without affecting the original. Should you forget to duplicate the document immediately, any changes end up automatically saved in the original document; in the old model, no changes are saved until a manual Save or Save As command is issued.

Speaking of Auto Save, we’re not fond of the hidden menu you use to access versions — hover your cursor over the name of the document in the title bar, and you’ll see a tiny downward-pointing triangle to indicate the menu’s presence. Click it to access commands for duplicating, locking, and browsing versions of the document. This is yet another example of Apple’s newfound penchant for hiding essential user interface elements. For something as necessary as accessing a previous version of a document, it’s way too hard to find these controls.

We don’t see Apple changing anything here; we include this item more to alert those upgrading to Lion to how you’ll do the equivalent of a Save As in Auto Save-savvy apps and how you access older versions of your auto-saved documents.

Auto Termination -- There isn’t much to say here that Matt Neuburg has not already said in “Lion Is a Quitter” (5 August 2011). Apple could largely resolve Matt’s complaints by making the Dock and Command-Tab app switcher continue to show icons for apps that have been terminated by the system, much as the iOS Fast App Switcher shows all recent apps so the user doesn’t know or care if they’re running.

Resume on Restart/Reopen -- Whenever you quit an application in Lion, the next time you launch that application, it opens with the same windows showing as were present when you previously quit it. That may generally be desirable, but it isn’t always. The built-in solution is to press Command-Option-Q to quit and discard open windows, or hold down Shift when you launch an application to have it not open previously opened windows. And you can deselect the “Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps” checkbox in the General preference pane to disable the feature globally.

But you can’t disable the feature on a per-application basis: it’s all or nothing. When it comes to restarting a Mac, the situation is even less configurable: you can deselect the “Reopen windows when logging back in” checkbox when you shut down, log out, or restart, but you have to do it each and every time — there’s no way to disable that feature permanently.

Even though power users may want application-level control over Resume, it’s hard to see Apple providing it, since it would add a significant amount of user interface overhead, either somewhere in System Preferences, or in every individual application that supports Resume. It would be nice to be able to toggle the default restart behavior so the “Reopen windows when logging back in” checkbox would be deselected by default; this is the sort of thing that’s often handled by a hidden defaults write command.

The Unbearable Slowness of Help -- This problem is not new in Lion; Help has been unacceptably slow for quite a while. That it’s still a problem in Lion is disappointing. An application’s Help menu should be the first place a user goes when trying to solve a problem or figure out how to use a feature, but the Help window takes several seconds before any useful information appears in it, and the Search field in the Help window often takes several more seconds before whatever the user has typed even appears. As a result, users may assume that Help is broken, and never again try to use it. Come on, Apple, it’s always annoying when you have to wait to get help on the phone or in a store, and it’s no different on the Mac.

iChat Stuttering on Yahoo -- iChat in Lion now supports Yahoo IM accounts. But the feature seems to have an interesting bug for some users: whenever they begin to type a message in iChat to a Yahoo contact, iChat immediately begins to send what they are typing before they hit Return. And as they keep typing, iChat continues to send everything they have typed up to that moment as individual messages. For example, suppose one types, “Hi. Lovely day here in the wonderful land of Oz.” iChat sends multiple messages in a sequence that looks something like this:

Hi. Hi. Lovely d Hi. Lovely day her Hi. Lovely day here in the won Hi. Lovely day here in the wonderful land of Oz.

Hopefully this bug will simply disappear with iChat’s next update.

Smart Folders Are Broken -- Not completely, of course, but the problem appears when you save a Finder search as a Smart Folder and later attempt to modify the search. If you choose to view a Smart Folder’s search criteria in the Finder, two things happen:

  1. The criteria shown are the defaults (no search string is present, and there is only one criteria bar shown, with Kind set to Any) instead of the terms and criteria you had entered.

  2. The previous search criteria are not just not visible, but deleted, rendering that Smart Folder useless.

This is clearly a bug, and it was a little surprising that Apple didn’t fix it in 10.7.1.

Screen Wakes Require Keyboard Access -- This is truly minor, but it threw us and several colleagues briefly. Before Lion, if your Mac’s screen had gone to sleep, you could bring it back to life by moving the mouse or touching the trackpad, as well as by pressing a key on the keyboard or clicking the mouse button. Since there was always a worry that a subsequent key press might insert a character in an unwanted location (we writers hate that), we generally opted for the mouse or trackpad. But Lion now ignores mouse or trackpad motion for waking the screen, forcing us to click the pointing device button or tap a key on the keyboard. It’s not a big deal, but we can’t imagine why Apple would have made the change. Perhaps it’s just an oversight and it will return in a future update.

Looking Forward to 10.7.2 -- All of this is not to suggest, of course, that Lion is a disaster. Far from it. Much about Apple’s latest version of Mac OS X is exciting, some of its new capabilities are inspired, and most of it works well. However, as with many 10.x.0 releases, this big cat could benefit from a flea-bath and some mane-trimming in a future update. 10.7.1 has just appeared, and it doesn’t address any of the issues we raise here, so now we’re looking forward to 10.7.2.

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

With Matt Neuburg's help, come up to speed on Lion's key new features - Auto Save, Versions, Mission Control, Launchpad, gestures, full-screen mode, and more - and customize Lion to suit your needs. Whether you are excited about Lion's new features or just want to get back to work, this ebook explains what you need to know.


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Comments about Subtle Irritations in Lion
(Comments are closed.)

Nicholas Riley  2011-08-17 16:14
I can imagine why Apple made the change to waking behavior: I've got an Apple wireless mouse on my desk, and I often need to move it to make room for some papers while my Mac is asleep. It's infuriating when my Mac (still on 10.6) wakes up in that case. I have to be extremely careful to simply lift the mouse without moving it first; it'd be much easier to simply avoid clicking it.
Alan Forkosh  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2011-08-17 16:29
2 notes on the waking from sleep behavior:

1) If your input devices are on a keyboard tray, just closing the tray would often waken a machine when only mouse movement was needed.

2) A safe key to hit to waken the machine is a shift key. There are 2 of them on most normal keyboards; they're pretty big, and there are no side effects.
David V  2011-08-17 19:16
Possibly, there is a power-saving motivation too. The touch-pad itself (but not the radio circuitry, in the case of the Magic Trackpad) can be powered down if touches don't need to be registered.
"Screen Wakes Requires Keyboard Access"

I'm not sure what's different about my Lion installs, but my mice and magic trackpads wake my screens, I never touch the keyboard. I just did it before coming here, in fact.
Conrad Hirano  2011-08-17 18:37
You're probably just waking up the display, not the computer itself. If you put the computer to sleep, using the trackpad or mouse won't wake it up.
ccstone  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2011-08-24 05:20
My year old MacBook Pro's trackpad *will* wake it from screen-sleep or full-sleep *if* I actually click it rather than tap or swipe. I haven't tried a mouse yet.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-08-24 12:09
Yes, clicks work here, too, but not taps or swipes.
Actually, ever since i installed Lion i am able to wake up both my iMac and Mac Book Pro by clicking the mouse or pad. Never had to use the keyboard. And NO, not the screen-sleep, but the full-sleep.
Dave Packard  2011-08-18 01:07
Also regarding auto-save and versions, I have not seen it reported anywhere that you have to have Mac formatted disks for those to work. No Samba or Windows servers... Not good for my mixed PC/Mac office!
Berend Hasselman  2011-08-18 16:46
I have some more irritations:

- option to turn off autosave and versions
In a multi document project (source code)
the versions-system is quite useless. It doesn't do version control a la Mercurial or SVN.

- versions doesn't show (highlighted for example) what the differences are between the current document and a version.

- too many hidden things. Less disclosure triangles but on mouse over you suddenly see Show or Hide

- total lack of keyboard navigation in Mission Control and LaunchPad

- no easy way to assign a single desktop background to all spaces/desktops.
You mention the design issues related to Mission Control but didn't mention one of the biggest problems. I CAN'T UNDERSTAND why Apple changed MC related to moving app windows from space to space. Previously, while in the Spaces view, you could rearrange all your application windows by simply grabbing one and moving it to another space. In MC this feature is completely missing. All you can do now is move an app window from the space you are CURRENTLY working in to another space and that's it. The ability to organize the app windows in Spaces was one of the single most powerful UI features in the previous versions of OS X that has now, for some reason, been eliminated. Grrrrr.

And another thing, what is so different about Lion that so many apps that worked under 10.6 are now broken?
You are able to, if you hold the control key, to visit another Space without leaving the Mission Control view.

Hence allowing you to rearrange like you said, but it's slightly more cumbersome than before, just like you said.
Sorry, I don't see how holding down the ctrl key does anything while in MC.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-08-22 17:53
Hold down CTRL while using the ← or → keys to move between desktops without leaving Mission Control.
Ah, OPTION arrow keys. Well, that at least is one less major step back from Snow Leopard. Still, one can't drag windows from desktop to desktop from MC so it's still a lame implementation. Thanks for the tidbit.
My new MacBook Pro constantly freezes at boot up. I had no issues until I upgraded to Lion. It is really frustrating. I regret upgrading as I was doing great prior.
Gregory Hill  2011-08-19 01:17
What's even more irritating about "wake from sleep" is when the screen saver is showing album covers. Clicking will not get you out of that mode. In fact, it will start playing music from the album cover that you click. You *have* to press a key to get the login dialog to come up.
Charles Maurer  2011-08-19 21:50
Calendar and Address Book are at the top of my complaints. The former just induced me to purchase BusyCal. I have not found a suitable replacement for Address Book but I did find this apparently harmless hack--a set of replacement image files--that clarifies its appearance:
SSteve  2011-08-19 19:04
Lion's address book is astoundingly less useful than previous versions. I'm surprised there are no third-party Address Book replacements yet. OS X has a centralized contacts database and an API for accessing it. If I had any knack for UI design I would definitely tackle this. Of course, there's a good possibility that Apple wouldn't allow it on the App Store due to "duplicating functionality".
SSteve  2011-08-19 18:56
"its mere presence eliminates a common File menu option: Save As."

I was afraid of that (I haven't switched to Lion yet). That's going to take a big adjustment in my habits. But, to be fair, that behavior is a relic from a different age. In the not-too-distant future people will think having to manually deal with file management was quaint.
Martyn  2011-08-21 05:02
re Automatic termination

Have you listened to the WWDC 2011 Session video 'Resume and Automatic Termination in Lion'.. say starting about 40 minutes in..

just asking..

ADeweyan  2011-08-21 13:13
Subtle, nothing.

I suffered with Lion for about a week before reverting to Snow Leopard. The only change I liked in Lion was snappier performance in general. What I didn't like was every new feature introduced. Macs are not Tablets, they are not used like tablets, and they are not designed like tablets. It is just an error to assume that interface features designed around the limitations of the tablet interface are useful or desirable in a mouse and monitor interface (or touchpad). One change I haven't seen mentioned is the loss of the scroll arrows. The scrollbars are smaller and the arrows at the ends are just gone.

But my biggest complain was the auto restore feature. When my computer crashed (which it did often), I had to wait for several minutes while it tried to restart the dozen or more applications I had open when it crashed -- many of them just returning errors.

Keep in mind I've been a Mac user and early adopter since 1988. I have never reverted an OS update until now.
I know how you feel. I disliked Lion intensely for the first few days, but didn't have time to revert and stuck with it. Now, I don't really dislike it any more, so I'll stick with it. But I really don't feel that I've gained anything much by upgrading. And it's destroyed any feelings of anticipation and excitement at future Mac OS updates.
Marlin 'Rusty' Wright  2011-08-21 22:24
One of many things I hate about lion (and I'm a Leo!): I am not "color" blind, but I seem to be "grey" blind! I find myself sitting here staring at the "sidebar" before I realize I can't see any of the different drives/folders/files because they are all grey!

I have always been able to work around my grey "blindness" by assigning different colors for different functions I despise the gray area of Lion.

BTW... I started selling Macs back in 1984 in Orange County, CA. Other than not immediately switching to OS X when it first came out, this is the first time I have found a Mac OS I hate!
John Carroll  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2011-08-22 19:43
I have a large iTunes playlist that I set to Shuffle and that I often listen to. Since installing Lion, iTunes always begins playing the first song on the playlist instead of choosing one at random. I assume this is a side effect of the Resume on Restart/Reopen feature.
Mark Webster  2011-08-23 00:30
My biggest bugbear is the way Mail works with Address Book. If someone wants to be added to my mailing list, I used to be able to instantly add their email address to Address Book, then open that and marshall it into the correct group pretty quickly.
Now, I can 'Add to Address Book' form their address pop-out, but I can't see it in Address Book straight away. I have to select Show Contact Card from the pop-out over their email address in Mail, then when that appears, click 'Open with Address Book'. Then, I have to go to and fro between columns in Address Book to get it finalised whereas it used to display all three at once, which was WAY easier and more convenient.
Tom Shepstone  2011-12-17 06:16
Yes, this is one of several extra steps Lion has created for no apparent reason. Just awful!
Ron Kraus  2011-08-23 00:37
Thanks for this article--was able to fix several of the little Lion "features" that were bugging me.
Jeff Hecht  2011-08-23 00:56
Resume on Restart/Reopen sounds like a really bad idea for browsers. When I hit malware such as fake antivirus -- very rarely, but it's happened -- the best response can be shutting down the whole browser. You REALLY don't want the browser reopening the page where you hit the malware. Or, for that matter, do you want to reopen a page that has frozen your browser, because it's just going to do it again. That's happened to me when I had the restore option set in a browser, and it requires a sharp eye and quick hand to avoid triggering sequential freezes/crashes.
Mario S De Pillis Sr  2011-08-23 01:36
Speaking of hidden menus, I was astonished to find another on at the top the message space in Mail.
Thanks for noting those two betrayals of good interface design: All uniformly gray bars and sidebar icons and the absurdly narrow scroll bar. Apple minimalist design gone mad.
Please alert your readers to any way of replacing terminally cute Mail program.
Auo-Save and Versions is a disaster.
1) Cannot limit the number of versions to keep.
2) Cannot do a mass delete on versions. Have to do it separately for each document. Over time you will have created 100's and 1,000's of documents. 5 changes per file x 1000 = 5000 versions. This is the future.
3) You cannot restore a version and delete previous versions in 1 step. Restore first then go back to delete previous versions.
4) Hit the spacebar by mistake. Try searching by date now, you know it was changed last month so your range search is last month but since you viewed it in the current month and hit the spacebar by mistake the timestamp has now changed.

TextEdit was quick and dirty, now it is cumbersome, intrusive, invasive and unintuitive. Time to use 3rd party apps that will respect the user instead of walking over them.

TextEdit was a good scratch pad for tweaking text new or existing but now changes will be saved when your intentions are to discard them.

What was Apple smoking.
So far, the only features I've read about in Lion that are the least bit interesting to me are those relating to enhanced security. Everything else sounds like something out of Microsoft. If Apple chose to make these changes configurable options, they might be acceptable, but many of them are of the "Take it or leave it variety." So, until there is a compelling reason to upgrade to Lion - i.e., some "must have" application or upgrade - I'll pass.
kintopp  2011-08-23 05:35
Here's another little UI bug which is still present in 10.7.1. Character Viewer doesn't show the extend window mouse cursor prompts anymore. Neither does Keyboard Viewer. If you don't position your mouse cursor "just so" on the exact edge of their windows you can't adjust them. And notice how their window icons are closer to the window edge as well than on regular windows?
Annoyances that I have found:

1) You cannot "assign" an application to a desktop like you could with a "space" in previous versions. Any application you start up will run the current desktop.
2) Restore with a restart does not seem to remember which desktop an application was assigned except for some Apple apps. It did for Safari and Calculator and TextEdit and kind of Mail (the main app window did, but one open email message opened in the wrong desktop)…but not for iChat or Firefox when I tested it. This might get better as apps are "fixed" for Lion.
3) In Mail, there is no longer an easy way to see a list of the attachments...the only way is to click and hold the save button.
4) No more back or forward using a gesture with Firefox. I assume this might get fixed when Firefox gets updated for Lion. In general, Gestures seem to be more "rigid" than in Snow Leopard, even though there are more of them.

I do like versions, but until Office makes use of it, it is limited.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-08-23 06:24
Actually, you *can* assign an application to open in a specific desktop. Open the application in the desktop you want it in from now on, and then click and hold on the application's Dock icon. In the menu that appears choose Options > This Desktop.

See...there is value to gripping about something even if you are wrong...someone will point out to you how to do it!

Thanks again.

Maybe that will also solve the restart with restore...I shall have to test that.
Kendall  2011-08-23 06:16
Thanks; I was aware of some of these, but you've given me several new reasons not to upgrade.

"All of this is not to suggest, of course, that Lion is a disaster. Far from it." sure sounds like an interface/usability disaster in many ways.
midamor  2011-08-23 08:42
Yes, it sounds like it to me too. I had a bad feeling when I saw previews with IOS-like desktops (screens??) As stated above, I too will not be "up-grading" until it is absolutely necessary or when hell freezes over, whichever comes first. Why would I want the limitations of my iPod on my desktop? Too bad I have already bought two "Take Control" manuals in anticipation.
Dave Laffitte  2011-08-23 10:32
I think we are finally starting to see some of the effects of Steve Jobs' declining presence at Apple in the sense of consistency, design and functionality on Apple's OS X. Instead of improving the cat we get the camel, a horse designed by committee.
castleoaks632  2011-08-23 20:31
I have a “subtle irritation in Lion” of my own that I would add to the list. The icons in the Finder sidebar are no longer aliases. That mean if you add an icon by dragging it from your Home folder, for example to the sidebar, and then decide you no longer want it there, you can not drag it out and have it go puff. The only way I found to remove the icon, was to trash the sidebar plist in the preference folder and then reselect my Finder preferences.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-08-23 21:53
You have to Command-drag it out, or Control-click it and choose Remove from Sidebar.
Bruce H  2011-08-23 23:27
iSync has gone awol! Fortunately you can dig it out of Snow Leopard and it works fine. Note to Apple: when you can make an iPhone with a battery life and talk-time the same or better than a Nokia then I might consider changing.
Harun Makandi  2011-09-01 13:35
I think many of the annoyances and productivity killers you have pointed out are legit. However, your piece on OS Lion gives a general picture of Lion as an OS people should not upgrade to. It is useless for you to say we should not 'misunderstand the point of the article.' Your article is largely negative. I do not think that is fair and informative.

You are complaining about the default behavior of may of the functions, including scroll bar visibility, desktop arrangement in Mission Control, expose, and auto resume. Jesus, you can very easily change these default behaviors. I wouldn't, because they are thoughtful touches, and in some cases, productive.

This kind of complaining is common. Fellows have been talking about natural scrolling as confusing, for example. It was confusing for me, but after a few days of using it, it makes sense to have it. There are folks who complained about the brushed metal dock and translucent menu bar when it debuted in 10.5. And there has been an option to revert to the traditional dock. I do not understand why someone would complain about this, much less write a whole article about it.
wfbennett  2011-09-02 15:06
I was sorry to see the "bounce" option disappear from Mail. It was useful in reducing spam.
Steve Norman  2011-09-05 16:12
The problem with auto save is an example of trying to use Lion as if it was something else. When you use Save As to make changes without losing the current document, there are two general reasons: to use a document as a template, or to keep multiple versions. Lion does the latter automatically, so you don't need to do anything. The former is not done that often by most people, but for those who want to do it, you can use the stationary feature (or Duplicate if you don't want to for some reason).
Glenn McNair  2011-10-02 23:26
I am now just getting used to using Lion but the most annoying thing is that I cannot move and reorganize files in Finder Documents the way they work best in my workflow. I move a file and it just bounces back to where someone at Apple thinks it should be. Very frustrating. The other thing that still annoys me is the Save To thing. I too can't wait for a Lion update. Can't be too soon!
love mac tho calling this "lion" is insulting. this is one big step closer to windows and just an all round irritating software downgrade.

feels like apple has lost its design balance.
denniswk99  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2011-12-13 03:52
Two Lion complaints:
• In spotlight, when you hover over one of the items in the list that a search generates it no longer tells you where that file resides

• When you do a screenshot the file is deposited on the Desktop. Fine. But now in Lion that file is a jp2 which won't open in Photoshop. Bring back the Ping file. Or, better yet a jpg!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-12-13 05:41
Ask and ye shall receive! (It's always nice when there are good answers to complaints. :-))

In the Spotlight menu in Lion, hovering over a search result does a Quick Look, so you can see a preview of the item. Hold down Command-Option while hovering, and the path to the item shows up at the bottom of the preview. (Thanks to Sharon Zardetto's "Take Control of Spotlight for Finding Anything on Your Mac" for this tip - I wouldn't have found it on my own.)

And while I don't know how your copy of Lion's screenshot format got set to .jp2 (the default is still .png as far as I know), you can easily reset it to anything you like, such as with TinkerTool, which Matt Neuburg wrote about recently in TidBITS.
denniswk99  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2011-12-13 12:42
Thanks, Adam. Both tips worked!
larry_me  2012-01-02 19:08
I've noticed that in the Lion Mail application I no longer have the option to "Bounce" reply-- ((If the sender’s return address is correct, the sender will receive a reply indicating your email address was invalid. Bouncing messages can help reduce unwanted email.))
I really miss this Mail feature from the previous OS X (Snow & before) Mail apps. Is there any way of still doing this or has this previous feature been dropped in Lion?
Thanks & Regards from the coast of Maine
After using Lion for a long time (since the betas) I though I would get used to the scroll bars. For the most part I have, except then I am trying to move large distances in a document it seems exceedingly difficult to actually grab the scroll thumb before the bars vanish.

I don't see why the bars don't simply appear and stay on screen when the mouse pointer is over in that area of the window instead of only appearing when your scroll and then disappearing very quickly.