Weekly Poll: How Many Apps Do You Run in Fullscreen Mode?

One of the features that people seemed most excited about getting their hands on in Lion was fullscreen apps. Plenty of apps jumped on this trend well before Apple built in support for doing so, but for the most part, having a distinctly fullscreen mode is a fairly new development to the Mac app world. Even with Lion’s release being months past, many developers are only just now starting to adopt this feature. Odds are most of your apps don’t yet possess a fullscreen mode.

Today we want to know if the reality lived up to the hype. Do you enjoy using apps in fullscreen mode? Vote in the poll and tell us how many you currently use this way, then leave a comment below and let us know which apps specifically you like to operate in fullscreen.

A big thanks to Scott Danielson for submitting this poll idea via Twitter. Shoot us a tweet at @MacAppStorm with the hashtag “#appstormpoll” if you have a poll idea you’d like to see published.


Add Yours
  • I use iCal, Mail, and Evernote in only full-screen. I’ll switch between modes for iTunes and iPhoto.

  • Not useful when you don’t have multi touch trackpad.

  • Lion’s native full-screen capability is hopeless if you have dual monitors as it effectively blanks one of them as soon as you full-screen an app on the other. I can view more on my screen with a window on each monitor and a menu bar at the top.
    If Apple develop a way to full screen different apps on each monitor I’d use it!
    The only app I normally run full screen is Plex for my media since I rarely want to multi-task while using it.

    • Ah, I answered None in the poll but I’d completely forgotten Plex. That’s the only app I run in fullscreen too, and for the same reasons as you. Lion’s fullscreen capabilities are useless with a dual-screen setup.

  • I agree with Martin, I have dual monitors and the full-screen apps don’t utilise them. In fact, I found that iPhoto actually hid some functions from me, and I couldn’t figure out how to access them in full-screen mode.

    • I second that.

      I use Aperture instead of iPhoto with dual monitors. The “native” full screen mode of Aperture lets me use the second monitor for grid view, enhancement tools, and other things. The “Lion” full screen mode blanks it out.

  • I have such a small screen on my second gen macbook that I maximize all windows, and use the dock. I’m so used to the dock that it just look weird if its not there

  • Preview and Evernote almost always in fullscreen, sometimes Pages and whatever app I’m using for plaintext/markdown. Anxiously awaiting full-screen Wunderlist!

  • Sparrow and Socialite are always on full-screen mode. I’m awaiting for Things to have this feature. When I’m really in a work-spree, Sublime Text is also there… and snippets.

    When I’m designing, I use Fireworks in full-screen mode (arguably, it’s really not the same technology… but it’s full-screen).

  • Full screen mode is ridiculously not useful if you have two monitor or have a high resolution monitor.

  • Yeah, with two screens it basically kills the second screen. One exception is Final Cut Pro X, which lets you send part of the UI to the second screen (the Events Browser or the Viewer window). The catch is that if you’re in full screen mode, then quit, then restart, the second screen window gets orphaned in one of the regular desktops, and you have to turn it off and on again to get it back. So, just maximising the screen in a normal desktop is actually simpler anyway…

  • PRO TIP:

    Use Chpwn’s “Miximizer” bundle with OS X Lion of effectively give every app a fullscreen button.

    I run these apps fullscreen always:


  • None. I do have dual monitor setup on the desktop which makes it useless. But even on the notebook it is really annoying constantly switch between apps like this.

    My daughter uses it to play Moshi Monsters though.

  • every app that supports full screen mode.. no distraction and don’t have to resize app

  • None – as long as they won’t let me use my secondary monitor for the fullscreen mode…

  • iTunes in fullscreen is ridiculously functional for me, i just cant live without it any more. Tried other apps, but they just dont work for me.

  • On the iMac, even though I had the track pad I didn’t use it a great deal, now and then at most.

    However it’s so so well suited to the MBA’s 13″ screen that I pretty much have converted my entire workflow to using multiple desktops and fullscreen apps.

    I reckon Lion was always going to be a laptop centric OS, and I think that fullscreen apps is just a brilliant addition.

    Typed in a fullscreen instance of safari!

  • Always open and fullscreened on my 11″ air: iTunes, iCal, Raven, Reeder

  • Aperture is the only thing I use in Full-Screen mode, and that’s mostly because that’s the default. I don’t let anything else completely obscure my desktop on both monitors. Even on my laptop I can’t do it. I almost always need quick access to windows in other apps, or multiple documents in one app.

  • After two decades of making fun of the clueless PC people, who run their apps fullscreen, I will never use this “feature”. (Personally I regard it more as a bug than a feature.)
    Multitasking between apps just plain sucks if you run fullscreen and it really slows down your workflow.
    Sure, there are a few apps out there where it is useful, apps where you need as much room as possible such as Photoshop, Logic, Final Cut Pro etc. but to use it forapps such as preview, itunes, ical, safari, reeder is just plain silly.

  • Only iTunes and Mail, but that’s because I run dual screens and they’re the only apps that I basically never need to use simultaneously with anything else. Because it blanks out the other screen when fullscreening apps the feature is essentially useless to me for most of the apps I use.
    Imagine it would be useful on single screen setups though.

  • I agree with a lot of people commenting here. “Full-screen” with dual displays is “Half-screen.” I’m not sure why Apple doesn’t allow side-by-side full-screen apps.

    I have iTunes and Colloquy in full screen mode. It kind of seems useful if you think of it as various control consoles; apps with a limited purpose that are more convenient/functional when left always on.

    In all other situations, I need drag-and-drop multitasking: Drop a picture in an e-mail, drop a get file into a page layout, drag an image from Safari to my desktop, drag a screenshot to CloudApp, etc. Full-screen mode makes all of this very difficult if not impossible. It seems like a huge step backwards to use full-screen. I could see it on a netbook with a tiny monitor, but not on two 1920×1200 displays.

  • I use safari, iTunes, utorrent, mail, ical and istudiez pro all in fullscreen all simultaneously (utorrent and istudiez pro don’t actually support fullscreen in lion natively however there is a SIMBL plugin called maximizer which adds relatively good fullscreen mode support)
    I would use iPhoto in fullscreen mode too if my iPhone didn’t change the view whenever i plugged it in to charge, i think fullscreen is extremely useful, it leaves space on your desktop for finder etc and also leaves all other apps open in the exact state you left them in available at the flick of a finger. i however don’t have a dual display setup so can’t vouch for its level of utility with that setup

  • None, Apple OS X Lion is like Windows Vista.

  • Seems that fullscreen is not very popular…
    I use it for movies (ofc), for Texpad and Espresso.

    Sometime for iTunes or Safari.

  • It’s just annoying, never use it!

  • Until Apple comes up with better implementation of full screen, it will continue to languish.

  • When the MBP 15″ isn’t hooked up to a second monitor, I use it for everything that comes with the fullscreen-capability. But while using a second monitor I don’t use it at all.

    And my brother, using a MBA 11″, absolutely loves it! When you’ve gotten used to it, there’s no turning back to SL.

    And to noko, it’s nothing like Vista. It’s just a sidetrack of SL, in my oppinion.

  • I run dual monitors. Full screen it pointless.