Frustrated with OS X

I'll preface this with the usual disclaimers: I love my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Pro. After years of experience with Apple products, I have a degree of trust that they know what they are doing. When Apple makes changes to their products, I try to embrace them and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Verteran Mac users like to complain about "iOS-ification" of OS X. As a user of OS X since 2007, I am largely the opposite. I feel that iOS is more modern and simpler to use in a variety of ways and that OS X still suffers from some legacy baggage.

All that said, I've had a hard time adjusting to the new OS X paradigm that was introduced with Lion and further refined in Mountain Lion. While these features were designed to make the system easier to use, I think they have done the opposite.

Here are the issues that are making me frustrated with OS X:

-Mission Control - at work, I typically have a couple dozen windows open - Office documents, e-mails, browser tabs, and Finder windows. It adds up quickly throughout the day, so I need a simple way to manage all those windows. My issue with Mission Control is that it is quite cluttered and requires me to dive in and out of my workflow to switch to or close other windows. Frankly, I think the Windows task bar does a much better job of this. You can switch to or close windows without first switching into a different view.

I really wish there were a way to close all the extra windows I no longer need from Mission Control view. Instead I have to zoom in and out, in and out, in and out, to see and close unneeded windows. The alternative of using Command + Tab and Command+~ to cycle through open apps/windows, and then Control+W or Control+Q to quit/close works better, but I wish Mission Control did more to help me manage my desktop and more quickly switch to and close windows. Keyboard shortcuts have always felt like a bit of a hack to me, I'm just more of a mouse/trackpad guy.

-Auto-Resume - this is what makes window management even harder to deal with. I get the concept of picking up where you left off and not losing state every time you shut down or quit an apps. It sounds great in theory, but in practice itmakes managing a ton of windows a nightmare.

Before you could just Command+Q as a shortcut to close all windows of an app. Now, you have to close them one. by. one. Even worse, Office 2011 has a nasty habit of opening new documents behind all the auto-resumed documents. You click on a Word doc on your desktop and have to hunt through 5 other docs that you had open earlier. I also find that I prefer to start the day with a clean slate instead of picking up right where i left off.

I'm aware that you can Option+Command+Q to close all windows and quit, but again, who wants to do this voodoo every time you quit an app. I also know that you can disable auto-resume, but that again defeats the purpose of one of the main features of Lion/Mountain Lion.

-Auto-Save/iCloud - I've been excited about iCloud since day one and look forward to the day when I no longer have to care about when or where I save documents. Auto-save and iCloud should theoretically give you an iOS-type experience of never having to worry about where you're saving something and making your documents available on all your devices.

But in practice Auto-Save is not much of an improvement - the "Save or Delete" dialogue is just as annoying as the old "Save or Don't Save" dialogue, if not more. And the current implementation of Documents in the Cloud is severely limited - it's not supported by Office (which I have to use for work) and doesn't even let you open things like Preview documents from an iOS device. As a result, I end up just using Dropbox for everything.

Aside from these issues specific to Lion/Mountain Lion, I have several other standing issues that frustrate me about OS X:

Dashboard - theoretically, it would be very useful to have key information available at a glance. But in reality the widgets are clunky and the whole thing feels isolated. This feature has been languishing for a long time, and I'm surprised they haven't pulled the plug.

Window Re-sizing - my desktop is always a clutter of overlapping windows. PC users in the office often comment on how cluttered and overwhelming it looks, and I have to agree. I use a window-snapping utility, but I really wish that OS X would intelligently arrange and size my windows for me.

Quitting/Closing/Minimizing/Hiding - there's too many different ways to get widows and apps out of your way, and each have their drawbacks. Hidden and Minimized windows don't show up in Mission Control. Quitting an app will make the windows auto-resume, but closing all the windows leaves the app running in the background. I have to close all open windows and then quit.

Spotlight - to find location of a document from Spotlight, you have to mouse over the search result, hover over the preview, and then hold down Command. This really irks me and makes me just open Finder more often. Also, I find it take a while to index new documents and things I am looking for often don't show up.

Keyboard Shortcuts - keyboard shortcuts are not very discoverable. I frequently have to go online to remember the various screenshot commands and other functions. Also, the keyboard shortcuts in the menu bars use the ⌥ symbol for Option, which not printed anywhere on the keyboard. This is very unfriendly, especially for new users.

Overall, I like OS X and don't want to switch back to Windows. However, I often find myself wrestling with the OS and trying to adapt my workflow to it rather than it just working for me. I am actually looking forward to a potential Jony Ive redesign of OS X next year. I like the power of OS X but feel the whole process of opening, organizing, saving, and closing content needs to be drastically simplified.