More Alt-Tab Solutions

I have come to the conclusion that my solution to the Alt-Tab problem probably would not work. However, a number of commenters on Aza’s article have proposed interesting improvements to the task switcher. Here are two I like.

Kelsey Higham proposes an order-preserving task switcher:

In my scheme, apps would be displayed in some fixed order. Launch order makes a lot of sense, but any fixed order is just as spatially beneficial. Alphabetical order could be neat in that the spatial order would be the same between app launches and sessions.

When you call up the switcher, the selected app wouldn’t be the second app from the left, or the app immediately to the right of the frontmost app; it would be the most recently used app. This would allow you to switch between two apps really easily.

I think this would be a great improvement over how app switchers currently work.

joku proposes that operating systems should sort applications in the currently active virtual desktop ahead of other applications:

I think the MRU order should be separate for each Space. But, as Mac OS X does it, I should be able to switch to an application in another “Space” using cmd-Tab. So the applications in other spaces would still be visible but they would be at the end of the list. Kind of like the habit groups. Order them by virtual desktop first and then order them by MRU.

Since people probably switch to currently visible applications more often than to applications on other virtual desktops, this might be an improvement over how task switchers work right now. This change would also allow the task switcher to visually divide applications into two groups; if the user knows that the application he wants to switch to is on another virtual desktop, he would only have to look through the second group.

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