7 days with Mac OS X Lion

By , ITworld |  Software, I'll try it

Day three: Full screen Mail and auto-resume start getting on my nerves

So, overall I like running Mail full screen. The full screen concept breaks down at times though. For example, I was replying to an email regarding a current project. I needed to reference a preview email (other than the one I was replying to) and there is no way to leave the email your composing onscreen and search or even view other messages. I had to save the message as a draft, find what I was looking for, and go to my Drafts folder. For all Mail's bells and whistles, I felt like I stepped back into the 90s having to do that.

A similar frustration occurred when I needed to add several attachments to a message. We've had drag and drop instilled in our minds for so long that it felt almost unnatural to have to search through the file system in an Open dialog box.

Of course, neither of these issues are really major. For one thing I could've turned full screen in Mail off (and eventually did). But it seems to show that while bringing all these iOS-inspired touches to OS X is evolution, if it isn't done just right it seems a bit like devolution at times.

I haven't talked about auto-resume yet. I have to say that I love it overall. I have my iMac set to shut down at one every night (because I want access to iTunes content on the Apple TV in the bedroom before sleep but don't want to worry about the cats sneaking into my office in the middle of the night since they've been known to climb on my desk and do things on my Mac). Auto-resume overall is awesome because after I login in the morning, I go get coffee and everything is back like I left it the night before.

It's a feature that sounds nice and that once you get used to it, it's hard to imagine not having (even after a couple of days). But it doesn't seem to play well with some apps. This morning I came back with my coffee to a blank Word document and Fetch asking me to enter the address of an FTP site.

The issue is that both Word and Fetch have a feature to automatically start a new something (document, FTP session) on launch. Since my iMac shut down without anything open in either app they defaulted to that behavior when Lion launched them as part of auto-resume. Future app revisions will probably make this less of a concern, and it is possible to turn most of the launch preferences off in almost every app. Still, it's something that could become annoying fast if you don't upgrade or change app preferences.

One last note for day three - I found myself going through my system for apps that won't run on Lion because they aren't Intel-native (and Apple removed Rosetta support for such apps). While there weren't many, I did find myself doing some spring cleaning and getting rid of a bunch of apps that I don't use and don't expect to. It was particularly sad tossing iWeb, but since iCloud won't support site hosting like Mobile Me/.Mac did, there was little point to saving it - and between iWeb itself and some very old iWeb site data, I reclaimed just over a gig of space.

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