Full Screen iconWhen Apple announced the Full Screen feature in Lion I was quite skeptical of it. I really didn’t see the value of it from what I read. Of course, once Lion shipped and I gave Full Screen a try, I love it. It’s not just that it provides a distraction-free workspace, but when I use gestures to swipe between apps, I just feel more productive; much more so than using the application switcher, Mission Control or switching apps with the Dock icons.

Unfortunately the one feature that would make Full Screen much more valuable to me, and one that should be painfully obvious to Apple, is missing. The ability to set Full Screen as the preferred viewing method in the preferences would be a killer option.

Apple being Apple, if they were to implement this feature, they would probably put it in the System Settings and it would be an “all-or-nothing” option. But to me, that option would be a different devil in the same hell.

Putting the option in an individual application’s preferences won’t work, because we would be reliant upon the individual app developer to actually code this feature into their apps; and we simply can’t expect every developer to support this feature, at least not yet. But here’s an idea…

I think the better option would be a System Setting tab for Full Screen that offered me the ability to drag/add applications to a list, along with a checkbox to specify individual apps to always launch in Full Screen mode – or at the very least, a separate desktop Space. For instance, I would always want Mail, Safari, Pages, iCal and Adobe Creative Suite apps to launch in Full Screen mode (in it’s own Space). But I don’t want Keynote, Twitter, Transmit or Suitcase Fusion to do so.

I don’t keep all my frequently used apps open at all times, so having to click the double arrow icon in the top right of the Mail or Safari window every time I launch them is a nuisance.

The more I think about it, I would almost rather have every app launch in Full Screen mode (contrary to what I stated above) and exit the mode for the few apps I don’t prefer to use Full Screen viewing with.

I’ve submitted this feature request to Apple, but I don’t expect to see it appear in Mountain Lion later this summer. Perhaps some clever developer can come up with a way to add this feature to OS X.