One feature that I appreciate having built in to OS X, even though there are third party utilities which have done something similar for years, is the option to split the screen and display two apps side-by-side in Split View. This is one that Apple does right but minimalist at best.
Dual Apps, One Screen
There’s little question that using Split View on an iMac with a large screen, or on Macs with multiple displays is a great idea whose time is long overdue. That’s because Split View works with an updated version of fullscreen mode which has never been a favored implementation for me.
In OS X Yosemite and previous versions of OS X, two apps side-by-side could get there manually, or by using a screen management utility like the popular Split Screen. But only one app would be active at a time, and, of course, only one app is active in fullscreen mode.
OS X El Capitan changes that and there’s a fullscreen mode whereby two apps splitting the screen can be active at the same time. Split View has some quirks, but it does display two app windows at the same time, and both can be active at the same time (but not always; one of the quirks).
Mac users who work on wide screens know the value of utilities such as Split Screen, Magnet, and others which move open app windows into various quadrants on the Mac’s screen; fullscreen, half screen vertical or horizontal, or each corner.
I bought Split Screen for my desktop iMac awhile back because it was a simple and inexpensive way to carve the Mac’s screen in half and run two apps open and side-by-side.
Seemingly days later along came a Pro version of Split Screen
The Pro version is packed with useful features to try to justify the price increase. For example, it handles dual Mac displays with ease. App windows or documents can be sliced up horizontally or vertically, or, one of my favorites, three windows side-by-side.
If an app window has been moved into a quadrant there’s a single click to move it back to its original position on the Mac’s screen. In other words, Split Screen Pro is packed with app window placement features not found in many other app window management apps, but you pay for those privileges.
If you’re a Mac user on a tight budget you can get some of the same functionality with the far less expensive BetterSnapTool or Moom, which works much the same way, but has different controls and a higher price tag.
It remains to be seen how well OS X El Capitan’s Split View will finally work and whether it will be adopted by the Mac masses, but it’s very handy, even though it’s short on features that other app window management tools have used for years.