As much as I love the new MacBook– light, fast, portable– there’s nothing like screen real estate to chew through a few projects, and that’s where the iMac’s big, wide 27-inch Retina 5k display wins your heart.
There’s just one problem with all those pixels. Open up a dozen Mac apps and in awhile they’re swimming all over the screen. The display is big enough to have two side-by-side windows that makes it easy to bounce back and forth, but how do you get apps to behave side-by-side?
Enter the very elegant, simple, and fun-to-use Split Screen app. What it does is what you can do manually and with some tedium– grab and move every Mac app so it fits right or left of the iMac’s icon, but Split Screen does the same thing with a click.
Wait. What? Doesn’t OS X El Capitan have a built-in split screen. Yes. And no. That one splits only one way, cannot split using just the keyboard, or keyboard shortcuts, doesn’t work on Macs with multiple displays, and doesn’t have that nifty little drag and snap option (which, if you want it, costs extra).
In the basic Split Screen version you just need to click the Menubar and a front-facing Mac app will Shrink Right, Shrink Left, Shrink Up, Shrink Down, or go Full Screen but not in OS X’s fullscreen mode.
Frankly, that may be all you need to keep your Mac’s app windows hanging left and right, but if you want more features and don’t mind the price tag, the Pro version provides dual display support, restores windows to their original space, divides the Mac’s screen in three parts, and does all the other placements, including centering an app window.
Preferences are nominal and straightforward. In the basic version, simply select the keyboard shortcut to move a window into Left, Right, or Full Screen, but there is also a setting for toggling hidden files and searching the web (don’t have any idea why those are in there), or start the app when you login to your Mac.
Mac users have a number of such split screen or screen management options. I like Split Screen because it’s elegant. If you want more options to manage the Mac’s screen, and prefer to pay less money, there’s the bargain priced Magnet, a long time favorite.