When OS X Mavericks launches officially in a few weeks it will include a nifty feature for some MacBooks called App Nap. I am not sure what MacBooks will have the ability to use this feature, I know for a fact that the new MacBook Air’s just released will benefit from this feature.
App Nap helps you save power when you’re working with multiple apps at the same time. OS X can tell when an app is completely hidden behind other windows. And if that app isn’t currently doing something for you — playing music, downloading a file, or checking email, for example — App Nap conserves valuable battery life by slowing the app down. But as soon as you start to use it again, the app instantly shifts back to full speed. It’s so seamless you’ll think it had been running that way all along. App Nap works the same way with Safari tabs, so only the visible tab is running at full speed. With App Nap, CPU energy use can be reduced by up to 23 percent.
This will work by resizing the application window you are working in so that it covers over any other application that is open and places current window on top of the non-current window. Dragging app windows making them larger seems like it would become a pain to constantly do on a regular basis. Of course you could always tap the ‘green +’ in your upper left app window to expand the application and enlarge it. There is also my preferred method of managing windows on my MacBook Air, BetterSnapTool.
BetterSnapTool is an OS X utility that allows you to easily manage your window positions and sizes. I have been using this feature within BetterTouchTool for quite some time now. But if you do not want to fiddle with all the BetterTouchTool settings and just want an easy way to manage the widows snapping/sizing features you should purchase BetterSnapTool in the Mac App Store for only $1.99.
I firmly believe that when OS X Mavericks launches that I will most likely be using BetterSnapTool more than ever. I already use it quite a bit on my iMac, but on my MacBook Air I rarely use it as I may only have 2 or 3 applications open at a time. Most of the time I am using fullscreen apps on my MacBook Air since it is only has an 11" screen and fullscreen apps offer a much better viewing experience as I can see quite a bit more on screen. With the App Nap feature in Mavericks I will have an actual need to resize windows that I am not using in fullscreen mode to preserve the already stellar battery life I get on my MacBook Air. The thought of getting even better battery life on my MBA is music to my ears, having an easy way to manage the applications running to help increase that battery life is something I don’t want to think about. BetterSnapTool offers me that aspect of not having to think about management of open windows and offers it in an easy to use way!
The greatest aspect of BetterSnapTool is all the features and optimizations the application offers. Not only can you customize the size of the windows, the placement of the activation snaps, but you also have keyboard shortcuts that will allow you easily resize or snap your current application window to a desired position or size. Then there are some extras in the preferences of the application that add even more functionality to this tool such as right-clicking on ‘red x’ in your app menu bar to quit the application. You can set this up if you desire and a lot of the features are disabled by default so you will need to set up the application to whatever fits your needs.
You can get the most of the same functionality out of BetterTouchTool but setting it up is a tad more work as it also features things for touch and some might find themselves overwhelmed with all the features. You can download BetterTouchTool for free. The developer does accept donations and if you really enjoy the application I highly recommend sending him a dollars for his wonderful application!
BetterSnapTool for Mavericks is currently in beta, you can find more info about BST for OS X Mavericks here.