Are you constantly going back and forth between applications on your Mac? If you’re a fan of the multitasking feature in iOS, you may want to have it on your Mac OS X desktop as well. That’s exactly what the free Mac App TaskBoard does – it brings iOS style multitasking to the desktop. You can use it to see all of your running applications, and switch between them with a single click.
I know what you’re thinking: how is this app any better than just using “Command+Tab” to switch between applications? Well honestly, it’s not much different; it offers the same functionality.
“Command+Tab” shows you open applications in the middle of your screen while TaskBoard shows you open applications at the bottom of your screen. If you’re not a fan of keyboard shortcuts, you may prefer TaskBoard since it can also be activated with a simple mouse gesture.
Here’s how it works.
1. Download the TaskBoard app from SourceForge; it works right out of the box. Once you run the package file and install the application, TaskBoard will be running in the background and you can use it immediately. Just scroll your mouse to the bottom of the screen and you’ll see TaskBoard in action; the desktop will move up and your open applications will appear underneath – just like in iOS.
2. There isn’t a menu bar or dock icon for TaskBoard. In order to customize TaskBoard, you’ll need to go to its preference pane in System Preferences (Apple menu -> System Preferences).
3. In the TaskBoard preference pane, you can choose the display mode (live preview or no preview), customize the hotkey, and enable/disable the mouse gesture. If you choose to use Live Preview, you’ll still be able to see your desktop in the background, with a little opacity applied to it.
When customizing the hotkey, you can choose the modifier keys and action key to be used in order to activate TaskBoard. As mentioned above, the mouse behavior is simply to move your mouse to the bottom of the screen to activate TaskBoard.
If you plan on using the mouse gesture and you have your dock set to the bottom of the screen, you’ll probably want to move your mouse to left or right side of the screen instead. This is because TaskBoard and the dock are sure to bump heads and interfere with each other as you move your mouse down to the bottom of the screen.
4. One of the cool things about TaskBoard is that you can also close out apps just like in iOS. Just click and hold your mouse on an app icon to make them all wiggle, and the minus signs will appear. You can then close out the apps that you’d like by clicking on the minus sign for the app.
TaskBoard may not be very innovative, since there is similar functionality built into Mac OS X, but it’s still pretty cool. I have noticed that it’s pretty sensitive when it comes to the mouse gesture, so you may want to disable it.
What are your thoughts on TaskBoard? Will you use it over Command+Tab?