This isn’t really a play on words. You Software’s ‘You Control: Desktops’ gives your Mac more screen space by multipying the number of screens you can use at one time.
Multiple desktops is not a new idea though it might be an idea whose time has come and an idea for which I have a major issue.
Think of multiple desktops this way: your Mac’s screen, regardless of resolution, can be extended to the right a number of screens, and to the bottom a number of screens.
That’s two or four or more additional full screens that pop up on your Mac’s screen—iBook, iMac, PowerBook, PowerMac, whatever Mac—with just a click or mouse movement.
So, you could put your running graphics applications on one screen, your browsers on another screen, word processing on another screen, and email application on still another screen.
Switching between the screens is just a matter of moving your mouse in the right direction. Bingo. Your Mac’s display instantly switches between the multiple desktops.
Is that cool, or what? I’m not convinced it is.
Mac OS X Tiger doesn’t have an advanced screen manager that works the same way at You Software’s You Control: Desktop.
For You Control: Desktop the switching couldn’t be much easier. Select a ‘desktop’ on the control Palette and the new desktop pops up. Simple.
Since Mac OS X Tiger comes with all kinds of cool graphics effects built in, You Control: Desktop has transitions (similar to the Fast User Switching transitions) to go from one desktop to another.
There’s the Cube, Pan, Fade, Swirl, Twist, Zoom, and Rotate, plus Slide. Why? Because they can.
You can move applications between desktops with just a drag and drop, as well as assign a specific application to a specific desktop. Mail on the left, Browser on the right.
What do you think? Is multiple desktops cool, or what? I’m not so sure.
On the surface, this looks better than peanut butter and jelly on white bread. A 20-inch Mac Cinema Display quickly becomes four times that size and you can easily move between the screens, or desktops.
Each desktop pretty much looks like your regular, single screen desktop.
The difference here is that you’re now spreading your Mac’s applications over multiple desktops instead of leaving them on one screen in a ‘stacked mode,’ one on top the other.
Click on the multiple desktop applicatin’s ‘palette’ and move from screen to screen (desktop to desktop), or click on the icon in OS X’s Dock and the application you want pops to the front of the screen.
Or, Command-Tab and the same thing happens. Multiple desktops spreads out applications, while Mac OS X simply stacks them one on the other.
If you like eye candy, you’ll love You Control: Desktops. If you want to save money, stick with Mac OS X Tiger’s old fashioned vertical 3D stacking metaphor.
I tried to figure out if there was any kind of productivity increase (getting things done faster, easier, better, cheaper) by using multiple desktops. Maybe you’re a better Mac user than me, but I couldn’t get more productive by having more screens, since all my Mac applications stack on screen anyway, and I don’t do work in much more than one application at a time.
Still, your mileage may vary.
You Software is an excellent Mac developer who ‘gets it’ when publishing Mac applications. While I like You Control: Desktops, and the other competing versions, I can’t help but wonder if we’re not providing a new solution where there’s no real problem.