Exposé + Spaces + Apple ingenuity = Mac OS X 10.7 Lion’s Mission Control

“Apple is reinventing the way we think about accessing application windows, organization of those windows, and the way we access running applications. A new feature called Mission Control in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion makes it all easy,” David W. Martin reports for Cult of Mac.

“Mission Control is the next step in the evolution of Exposé and Spaces – a combination of the two with a little bit of Apple ingenuity added on top,” Martin reports. “As a result it will make it easier for you to view the windows of all running applications, jump between them, and get to the specific application you need very easily.”

Martin reports, “Spaces is integrated into Mission Control, but only appears after you’ve activated Spaces in the System Preferences. Once you’ve activated it the extra Spaces desktops appear as thumbnails at the top of the Mission Control screen.”

More info, including screenshots, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Y’know, I’ve never used Spaces. Maybe it’s because the most applications I ever have open at one time is five.

    Anyone here use Spaces that isn’t a developer or otherwise using the Mac for work?


    1. I used Virtue Desktops before Spaces existed, now I use Spaces. Been using multiple desktops daily since 05.

      I just like having my applications separated. Music on one, web on another, work stuff like Office on another, etc.

        1. An outfit called Codetek offered something called Virtual Desktop back in the pre-Tiger days. It also had a beta of something called DeskFinity, which never made it to market. I think Apple’s Spaces blew this outfit away though there is still a web site: http://www.codetek.com/

    2. Use it all the time. I’ve set it up so that web browsers is in one, productivity apps in another, itunes in it’s own space, games in another, etc. This way, all I have to do is view all the spaces at one time and see the progress of the all the apps that are open, whether it’s playing youtube videos, games that are running, itunes videos, etc, etc. I’ve had up to 6 or 7 processes running in each space at one time. I’ve enabled 6 spaces.

      1. 2nd this.

        Exactly how I run spaces.
        I am playing with hyperspaces right now, not 100% sold yet but apple should incorporate a few things from it.
        Handbrake/toast etc in space 2
        Firefox in 1
        iTunes in 4
        3 I don’t use that much fir anything specific.

        So nice to have iTunes, or handbrake out of the way while I surf or do anything, and not have the progress bar in my screen.

    3. I’m a student who is a recent convert from windows about this time last year. Took me about a month or so to get used to it but now I use Expose and Spaces all the time and I love it. and no I’m not a developer but I just like the way it lays out the apps in my head. I go to this space for this app. Just makes a whole lot more sense to me. but I suppose that’s Apple for you 🙂

    4. I just use the Command+Tab option myself. Never saw the need for Spaces. But then again like you I’ve only got about 5 active applications open at the same time. I’ve got Hyperdock so it’s quite easy to look at open or minimised applications and manage them that way.

    5. I tried Spaces for a few weeks a couple of years ago. I had my email client in one space, MS Office products in another, etc. But it did not seem to work reliably for me at the time, so I gave up the experiment. I could be convinced to try it again, especially with an improved UI.

    6. Sure I use spaces. For me, as a student, it does several things. First of all, it keeps me focused. By having applications open up in different spaces, I’m not constantly distracted by things. Less clutter lets me work faster 🙂

      Secondly, and more importantly, It gives me extra “desk space” I usually work within 4 spaces at a time, and i almost never assign applications to a specific space. Rather, I let my work spill over to them. When I’m writing a paper, I usually have 2-3 safari windows with multiple tabs of sources, etc. It’s really easy to space over to them and read, then space back and write.

      On the macbook pro, I mapped the option arrow keys for space switching because they are very close together.

      🙂 Even if you don’t use spaces, enable it. That way, if you ever get too much clutter, you can let it spill over, and continue working 🙂

      1. I agree. Never used them for apps, used them so I could easily refer between two documents or cut and paste, etc etc – spill over workspace as you said. If I wanted to skip between apps I’d have them on the dock and move in one click. Really having a hard time with Lion because Expose’s gone. Wondering if anyone knows of a fix or of an app that will bring that feature back.

    7. I got used to having “virtual” desktops in the 1990s when using Sun Unix workstations. It was a godsend what with so many text windows open, bug report system windows, running applications, windows connected to remote hardware to do maintenance – far too many for one 21″ screen. And I wasn’t even a developer!

      Then went for Codetek’s Virtual Desktop ages ago, and now use Spaces simply to segregate the half-dozen running apps.

  2. I use Spaces for the few occasions I use Word when I really dont want it to infect the rest of my software and can forget about it when not in use but might need to be referred to. So a sort of quarantine.

  3. my son uses spaces (via expose) as a simple, accessible, highly visual interface. He can just slide his curser to any corner, and get an unambiguous display of his choices. Since he is disabled, his access to “normal” activities is limited.

    With spaces and expose, he is able to INDEPENDENTLY access Cognitive, Fine-Motor, and Language skill-building activities. This has not only increased his repertoire of “play” choices, but has also built his confidence in working independently.

    Mind you, my son doesn’t show interest in PC’s or TV’s; they are just dumb boxes to him. He ignores them. But he finds the Spaces/Expose interface (and the general adaptability of OS X) to be very engaging. I have found Apple to be very responsive to the needs of children with disabilities.

    1. Macs, because of their ease of use, definitely appeal to anyone who is disabled or impaired in any manner. I remember showing my ipad to some friends at the retirement home where I volunteer my time.

      Seriously, they loved how easily they could understand the ipad. I had one man, reading the news online, and in about 45 minutes at lunch, word had spread and everyone wanted one 😛

      1. I first started using spaces for my son because one of his programs took over the whole desktop (locking out access to everything else); this frustrated him to no end, because when he was ready for a different choice, he needed access to his “choice board.”

        With spaces, any program that “takes over the computer” can be restricted to “taking over” only it’s own designated “space.” Now my son can use this program any time, and “space” out of it to his choice-board (which has it’s own dedicated space).

        Spaces/Expose was the answer to “restrictive third-party programs.” At the time, I had no other choice, because, as frustrated as he was, the offending Program was still one of his favorite educational programs. When there seemed to be no solution, Apple had a way, and it just worked.

  4. Too easy. In the old days, you had to be a real man to
    access your files and programs (at least a geek type of
    man). Was it a single or double slash that leaned left
    or right? Where to put the colon? Spaces between
    letters were crucial. What was the file .XXX extension?
    What’s my hard drive? A B C or D? Ahh, the dim
    memories are bringing tears of nostalgia to my
    eyes. Excuse me, got to grab a Kleenex. 🙂

  5. I use Spaces to separate my browsers: Safari in space 1, Firefox in space 2, and Opera in space 3.

    Apple’s implementation of virtual desktops in Spaces is so elegant that Ubuntu copied it and called it “Workspaces” in its version 11.04. Apple must be truly flattered.

  6. I use spaces all the time, I web browse and watch media in 1, itunes in 2, productivity in 3 and games in 4. Using Cmd + 1,2,3,4 to switch between spaces i found is faster than using expose. Once i had 16 spaces all playing videos in it, it was quite ridiculous.

      1. I use that button (points to the button next to that other button on the virtual apple keyboard in my head)

        If it’s control, then yeah that’s what I meant also 😉

        I always get command and control mixed up.

  7. In the mean time, mocrosoft is still using the upside down and backwards, dysfunctional copy of an old Mac. You still shut it down by clicking “start.” Their only developments have been Bob the paperclip and an attempt to overlay some copied interface from newer Macs. If the world depended on just them, we would still be typing green lines of code on a black background.

  8. The new “Mission Control” is great for regular users, especially for those who never used “Spaces” or didn’t even know about it.
    But for power users and developers who have many, many programs and windows open at once it’s disaster and huge step back because it doesn’t have the grid layout like “Spaces” had.
    For example, I have 9 spaces in grid 3×3, which is easy to navigate by using control+up/down/left/right keys. The new “Mission Control” forces me to have everything in one line – and try to navigate among 9 spaces in line efficiently using just left/right arrow key.
    Spaces with the grid layout was one of the reasons I loved Leopad/SnowLeopard. That made it great OS for working.
    Apple should at least give some option to power users, instead of just stripping such great system of one of it’s best features:-(

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