Introducing “Do You Use It?” Polls

Originally published at: Introducing “Do You Use It?” Polls - TidBITS

To get a sense of how heavily TidBITS readers use particular features in Apple’s operating systems, TidBITS is starting to host polls where you can vote, explain why you voted as you did, and see what others think.


This is a great idea! (even though I prefer dark mode, and not for productivity, I just find it more pleasant. :wink:, notwithstanding web sites that don’t abide my preference)


i feel like this is another case of “old man shouts at (i)cloud” (that be me) but whatever.

how about a poll on the unwanted stocks: home, find my (on a desktop? really?), stocks, weather, siri, &c? that these apps cannot be deleted on macos but can on ios defies any logic. in what world are they essential to the operating system?

As one who has accidentally left her laptop or iPad at a job, find my is great!


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on a portable device, totally agree. on a desktop machine, it’s kinda pointless.

As a tool for checking the location of more mobile devices and items, Find My on a desktop is far from useless. It also helps keep track of friends, if you are into that.


Another use is to allow a friend who has lost a device to either try to find it or mark it as lost. For me it’s easier to log in to my iCloud account from somebody else’s computer rather than somebody else’s phone.

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A lot of these app management/window management “enhancements” strike me as gimmicks. They don’t really fundamentally change what is going on. And when I accidentally trigger one of them, much cursing ensues, because UNdoing the action is so counter-intuitive. At least some of these I can disable. Does anyone know how to disable the MISfeature in Ventura when a window accidentally touches the menu bar, it goes full-screen? Gawd, I find that annoying!

(But -the most annoying MISfeature of all has to be the sequence that activates lock screen editing on the iPhone. Wife was in tears once when she accidentally lost her lock screen image and couldn’t figure out what happened or how to get it back, even after some internet searching. This was a total surprise to her (and that image meant a lot).)

Now what I want in the next OS release is for stuff that used to “just work” (without periodic failure) to start “just working” (reliably) again, particularly AirPlay streams to an Airport Express from

This is something that has always bothered me. Why can I not undo a window resize or a change of column width? Why can I not undo a change in toolbar? Some of these things are a pain to revert by hand. It would be nice if they could be undone as easily as any of the usual app interactions.

I think it’s fair to say there are more “features” that Apple has tried to foist upon me that I have not, nor will ever use, than those I do. Oh, there are things I appreciate — and use all the time. But most of them have been around for some time. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old “get off my lawn” guy, but I’m set in my ways and not ashamed of it. What made me switch to Mac is that it works the way I want to, not the way someone in Cupertino thinks it ought to.


Tried to respond to the polls but it wouldn’t let me - just kep saying login timed out, even though I had signed in.

If you were able to post here, you should be able to vote in the polls. It’s the same site, so you must be logged in.

That’s what I thought, and I did, but I did get that error message, several times, when I chose the first poll, not the others, and once I got in thru the others I could choose the first one, also. Thanks for replying, I only mentioned it because I thought it might be a general problem,

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Huh! Thanks for letting me know—I’ll see if others run into it.

Adam, your mention of proxy icons as “helpful little features that many people probably don’t even know about” is perfectly accurate. Sadly, that particular UI control also is a great example for the problems caused by Apple’s misguided “Let’s hide all the things!” design aesthetic.

These days, run-of-the-mill computer operating systems like macOS are extremely feature-rich. It’s not easy to decide which functionality to expose in the user interface at all times, and which ones to hide, so that on-screen clutter is minimized.

This particular proxy icon, however, has been around for a long time. It’s useful and simple to use once you understand its behavior. And it so neatly fits into its spot in the window title bar that it hardly qualifies as screen clutter at all. It should never have been removed in the first place.

Because hiding controls doesn’t just make it more difficult for new users to discover the associated functionality. It also removes the useful visual reminder for experienced users that this thing exists, and that it might be just the right function to use for a particular task at hand.

Thankfully, there’s a way to show proxy icons (TipBITS: Always Show Window Proxy Icons, but it shouldn’t require users to discover that functionality to restore a certain feature to its original, well-established behavior.

How MANY times have I wanted the DATE on the App screen!?

6 posts were split to a new topic: Possible poll about iPad use

Perhaps another for the future @ace , I’d like to know how many people use Tags. As mentioned in another thread, if search is powerful and accurate enough there’s no real need for file management.

I’ve often though this about photos. If they’re sufficiently keyworded they could be found without a DAM but Tags would be more useful as they’re system wide. IOW, tagging images would be more useful that keywording them.

I have tried using Tags in the past but found them a bit hit and miss - not always working.

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Ooo, Finder tags are definitely something worth asking about. I’ve never found them useful at all, but I’m curious about others.

FWIW, I use tags, but they’re a lot less useful now than in the past.

Originally (going back to the first color Macs running System 6), that Finder menu was “Color” and could be used to color an icon - either with a border or by applying a color cast (for 16- and 24-bit displays). I used this because it was a great way to highlight important icons, especially when the Finder would (far too often) forget my icon positions.

At some point, colors got renamed to tags, but the functionality was effectively the same. You could assign a name to each color and configure the color for a name.

But at some (relatively recent) point, they changed the appearance so instead of putting a color cast/background on an icon, it just put a colored dot next to the name. I understand that this was done to allow assignment of multiple tags per file, but it isn’t quite as easy as it used to be to quickly spot a tagged icon.