Spaces? Expose? Mission Control? OS X Lion? What?

Mission Control in OS X Lion

For everyone asking “What happened to Spaces and Expose?” You need to understand that Expose & Spaces are alive and well. However, they’ve merged into one kick-ass feature and got a new name in OS X Lion. (Check out my OS X Lion Review)

What you’ve used and loved as Expose and Spaces is now called “Mission Control”.

Click the image above for the actual-size image of my Mission Control setup.

Mission Control in OSX Lion

Mission Control is a combination of Expose and Spaces. It allows you to quickly see all running apps (like Expose used to do). Plus, you can move apps into their own “Desktops”, just like you could in Spaces.

Desktops are the new Spaces in OSX Lion. It’s the exact same idea, but with a different name and layout. Spaces had a grid layout. Now your Dashboards are in single horizontal layout at the top of the Mission Control Screen.

Hot Corners still work in OS X Lion. Which is a must for me so I’m glad to see they’re still here. I’ve setup the top, right corner of my screen to as a Hot Corner. When I push the cursor there, Mission Control opens. If you’re a fan of the Hot Corner feature, you’ll have no problems adjusting to the new setup.

Are you accustomed to pressing the F3 key to open Expose? Don’t worry, the F3 key still works as you’d expect – it opens the new Mission Control.

Assigning Apps to Desktops

In Spaces you could assign an app to always open in a specific space. For example, I had Mail set to open in Space #1 and iTunes set to Space #2. Apparently, that’s not possible in the new Mission Control / Desktops.

This is the only feature I can’t find in Mission Control. If you know where it is, please leave a comment on this blog post!

Mission Control Kicks Ass

When Expose & Spaces were introduced years ago, I never thought I’d use them. The idea just didn’t work for me. However, I became a huge fan after playing around with them. In fact, in 2008 I wrote a tutorial on spaces. Then I wrote a second post on how I didn’t think Apple could possibly improve Spaces

Was I wrong.

I love Mission Control. I think the combination of Desktops and open apps is genius. Plus, it’s the perfect way to flip / swipe through your full-screen apps.

Mission Control was obviously built for full-screen apps and gestures… A strategy that aligns perfectly with Apple’s current path of selling more MacBooks and eventually replacing the mouse with the Magic Trackpad.

Automatically assigning a full-screen app to a new desktop, then swiping to flip through all apps is brilliant. I’ve already become dependent on apps having the full-screen feature – just so I can flip through them. This type of sorting through apps is much faster than the old Spaces / Expose format.

In fact, I’m severely disappointed when an app doesn’t have the new full-screen mode. (I’m looking at you TextEdit and Address Book!)

Try Mission Control for a few days. It takes some time to get familiar, but you’ll love it.

OSX Lion is on sale for $29 in the Mac App Store

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founded this website way back in 2007. Since then, he's owned two Macs, four iPods, two iPads, Apple TV, AirPort Extreme and 3 iPhones, is a huge nerd.