Apple keeps fiddling around with their flagship OS, changing little things here and there. One of the less intrusive, yet still annoying changes from Mavericks to Yosemite and El Capitan is the addition of a “transparency” effect that gives this sort of frosted glass look to menu bars and drop-downs. I prefer my easily-read opaque menus, thankyouverymuch. Fortunately for Apple Luddites like me, there is a way to eliminate transparency in OSX altogether.
Just like the tap-to-drag settings, reverting any of Apple’s silly aesthetic choices is as simple as finding them in the Accessibility pane under System Settings. In the menu on the left, highlight “Display” and check the box next to “Reduce Transparency”.
In Tim Cook and Jony Ive’s quest to change everything arbitrarily just for the sake of being different, they took away one of the most useful and intuitive features of the OSX touchpad interface–the tap and drag–and replaced it with an esoteric gesture that makes less sense than removing all the ports on a MacBook Air!
Call me a Luddite, but I prefer the old tap and drag way of interfacing with the machine. Fortunately, there is a a way to get that functionality back! Apple just did a clever job of hiding it. Under the “System Preferences” menu on your Mac, click the “Accessibility” icon. On the Accessibility options pane, scroll down in the left sidebar until you find “Mouse & Trackpad” and select it. Then click the “Trackpad Options” button.
You’ll get a window popup with a few options. Check the box next to “Enable dragging”, and you’ll have your functionality back. I keep it without drag lock because that’s yet another click to make, and slows down my workflow, but you might prefer to click again to finish the drag. That choice is yours!
Seriously, though, the fact that you have to re-enable tap and drag after it’s been turned off during an “upgrade” is a piss-poor element of UX design, and for a company that prides itself on design, these sorts of changes (headaches is a more appropriate term) create unnecessary hassle for the end users. Introduce the concept in the update, but give the user a choice before implementing it. Arrogance is always the position of the company who is dancing on the rain-slicked precipice of consumer opinion, and it never bodes well when its applied to arbitrarily changing deeply-ingrained interface gestures.
Adventitious Geekery and other distractions created or curated by Matthew "Atari" Eargle