OS X Mavericks: Why the Mac Finder took so long to get Tabs

“More than half a decade after adding tabs to Safari 3.0 in 2007, Apple has incorporated the same feature into the OS X Mavericks Finder to organize multiple views into a single window, building on years of technology advancements to support the seemingly simple and obvious feature,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“Users might wonder what took Apple so long to bring such an obvious feature from its web browser to its desktop experience,” Dilger reports. “Rather than being a simple feature addition, the new Tabs are designed to be particularly useful in the new Finder because they support drag and drop of documents between tabs, including a tab of the AirDrop window for wireless sharing. This also makes the new Finder fully-functional in Full Screen mode, where users can actually work with multiple window views. Currently, the Finder is among the few apps bundled in OS X that doesn’t support Full Screen use.”

Dilger reports, “While seemingly simple, the development of Multiple Displays and support for a Full Screen Finder required a lot of background changes to how OS X works. ”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. I still prefer Path Finder’s search to Apple’s hobbled Spotlight. Apple can argue that Spotlight is for average user searches. Apparently I don’t care about average user searches. Give me everything, immediately. Thus, Path Finder lives on.

    2. I use Path Finder’s dropstack all the time, gathering files from here and there, then moving/copying them all at once. I would miss this feature.

  1. No. The reason they took so long was that they were hoping that their users would depend less on the finder and depend more on the apps themselves to manage the files for us. so that they can get rid of the finder ultimately making OS X behave exactly like iOS

    1. @jcxm360 … Probably true, but as a UX guy of 20+ years I’m beginning to swing around to the idea that human organize our stuff (documents) around our interests and the apps should fade away into the background entirely. The machine itself should know what app is needed to view “x” content. I don;t want to see my apps, I want to see my documents organized not in folders but somehow by interests and relatedness. That said, tabs will help in the finder just as a way to organize multiple windows better.

      1. Yes I agree, using the iPad you do get a sense that you are owned by the apps and working between them is somewhat clunky, hopefully iOS7 will alleviate much of that feeling but it sure needs to if touch is to feel as natural as one expects. Problem is where it works well just makes you want it to work just as well everywhere.

  2. iOS’s absence of Finder is great for the fun-life where everything consists of web surfing, Facebook, checking emails, where you just dump everything you create into a folder.

    But if you’re practicing as an accountant, lawyer, engineer, architect etc. you need one folder per client, per project, per sub-project, containing Microsoft Word files, PDF’s, Powerpoints, design CAD files, i.e. just like a paper file.

    Of course, such professionals are a fraction of a percentage of the fun-users out there. So Apple figures, if it dumps such professional users, it can make an obscene load of money, such as $140 billion in cash.

    iPad is great for certain types of business use, where visual presentation is useful in a portable format, e.g. showing a client a Keynote/Powerpoint presentation on the portable tablet — but iOS’s mickey mouse file storage is totally useless for professionals.

    Sure, there is Dropbox, which presents a typical Finder file structure – but why do I have to rely on a 3rd part of iOS? The reason is, the people that don’t need this Finder offer Apple more cash than those that do.

    So it really does come down to money.

  3. The question was, paraphrasing here, “Why did it take so long?” The answer was that it took a lot of work. I think the answer is correct and find it troubling. In fact, I think the same question and answer would apply to most of the changes or features presented at the keynote for both iOS and especially for OS X. I expect better from such a beloved and capable company that charges such a premium for such a premium experience. I expect to not have to wait so long for missing features to appear and for such obviously needed features to be there before we the lowly users even realize we needed them. Doing so is what made Apple special, not doing so will make them not so special. I think they can afford to step this up a bit, don’t you?

  4. I’ve been using the 10.9 Mavericks for 3 days now, and I love the new tabs feature in the finder! The ability to go full screen and drop things between tabs is awesome. The new finder is very slick and pretty fast for a beta version. Safari 6.1 is very stable and fast too.

  5. My feedback is on this site…and this article. First off its not even YOUR article. Hotlink to another site. Which by the way does not have all the CLUTTER AND POPUPS AND JAVASCRIPT CRAP. That is why I rarely gome to this site. You guys need to TOTALLY RETHINK YOUR UI.

  6. For all Apple genius they still miss things like a driver not slowing and missing a Stop sign. WHY IS THERE NO UNIFIED URL IN SAFARI ON IOS? Its anoying to have to use the feature (which I quite like now) on my Macbook and then be faced with an error when I inadvertently use it on my ipad or iphone.

  7. I miss the labels feature and don’t care about the TABS feature because there aren’t enough colors to make TABS useful for me to organize things. I need and use the labels feature back. I use it to highlight folder names so i can find them easily.

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