Thursday, December 17, 2015

The First Spotlight Interface

Riccardo Mori:

What I really like about Spotlight under Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger is the separate, standalone window that comes up when you select Show All at the top of the list[…]

And this is the Search interface I’ve really been missing since Apple removed it in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Perhaps the Aqua elements like the three buttons in the upper left corner or the scroll bar on the right will make you cringe, but I think this is still the best search interface ever appeared on Mac OS X. Whenever I use one of my vintage PowerPC Macs running Tiger, it’s great to be back using Spotlight that way.


First of all, the way find-as-you-type has changed makes Spotlight under El Capitan appear slower than Spotlight under Tiger — and sometimes it actually is slower. If you look at the following screen recordings, where I performed a simple search for disk, you’ll see that under Tiger results start appearing immediately as I type d, then get progressively refined as I keep typing i, then s, then k. Under El Capitan, as I type disk, I only briefly see suggestions for launching apps, and then, after a pause where the panel is just blank, I finally see some results.

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