macOS Sequoia’s Window Snapping: A Step Forward, But BetterTouchTool Still Reigns Supreme

When Apple unveiled macOS Sequoia at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, there was a flurry of headline announcements: Apple Intelligence, iPhone mirroring, a new Passwords app, and much more. However, it was the seemingly modest announcement of window snapping and tiling that truly caught my attention. For years, Windows users have pointed to the lack of macOS window snapping as evidence of Apple’s operating system’s inferiority. After all, if Apple couldn’t even implement such a simple productivity feature, what else was it failing at? Apple has finally addressed this criticism, and I’ve been testing out the new feature in macOS Sequoia’s developer beta. Despite being a step forward, Apple’s window snapping pales in comparison to a third-party app I’ve been using for years to fill the void: BetterTouchTool. For a mere $12 standard license, BetterTouchTool outshines Apple’s solution in almost every way, offering more options, greater ease of use, and enhanced reliability. If you’re seeking window tiling on your Mac, BetterTouchTool is undeniably the superior choice.

In macOS Sequoia, window tiling is fairly straightforward. You drag a window towards the edge of your screen, and as you approach, an outlined frame appears beneath the window. Release your mouse or trackpad, and the window snaps into place. You can arrange windows to occupy half your screen, a quarter, or any combination thereof. Keyboard shortcuts are available (Globe+Control+Left arrow moves the window to the left half of your screen, for instance), and you can access all the options by going to Window > Move & Resize in the menu bar. Apple provides a few customization options, but not many. You can hold the Option key when moving a window to create a larger “drop zone.” More tiling choices are available if you hover over the green traffic light button in an app’s top-left corner, and you can also eliminate the gap between tiled windows, making them flush.

However, there are numerous shortcomings that leave me yearning for more from Apple. While you can reposition windows using keyboard shortcuts, you can’t customize these shortcuts for your personal preferences. Unlike Windows 11, snapping a window doesn’t automatically offer the option of snapping another app to the opposing side of your screen. Moving windows into place feels cumbersome, and some apps have minimum sizes larger than half a screen’s width, preventing them from tiling effectively (or at all) with other windows. In essence, window snapping in macOS Sequoia is decent, but not much more than that. While we’re dealing with a macOS beta here, even so, this feature doesn’t feel anywhere near where I’d like it to be.

Enter BetterTouchTool. This app is overflowing with window-snapping features – and a whole lot more – granting you greater control than Apple is likely to provide. This includes custom keyboard shortcuts for window tiling and visual tweaks that modify the app’s appearance and feel. It empowers you with significantly more power and flexibility than macOS Sequoia’s native solution. BetterTouchTool boasts a wealth of advanced features and power tools to satisfy every inquisitive mind. You can create your own snap areas and shapes, determine if a window reverts to its previous shape when removed from a snap zone, delay Mission Control launching when you move a window upward, and much more. There are even options specifically tailored for Stage Manager. It’s a power user’s dream come true.

BetterTouchTool excels not just in window snapping. Here’s one of my favorite features: When you press and hold a modifier key, your mouse pointer will move or resize any window it hovers over without needing to click a mouse button (this can also be achieved with a three-finger drag). It’s a brilliantly clever feature and incredibly effortless to use daily.

Let’s be fair to Apple: It’s clear that macOS Sequoia’s window snapping, like many of its other features, is in a very early stage of development. I’m not concerned about its bugginess; that’s standard procedure for beta testing, and Apple can fix it easily enough. However, I’d like to see greater ambition from Apple here, with more features and control over how window snapping operates. If this simply means customizable keyboard shortcuts and a smattering of advanced tools, that’s better than nothing. However, I doubt this will happen. Apple’s tendency is to create straightforward and easy-to-use solutions rather than rivaling the fully featured nature of BetterTouchTool. For now, this tells me that BetterTouchTool doesn’t have to worry about being overshadowed by Apple and that it will continue to enhance my macOS window tiling experience for the foreseeable future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top