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OS X Lion’s default gestures and Google Chrome – UPDATED

July 27, 2011

Photo credited to pocket-lint.com

As I have written in my Mac OS X Lion review, Apple has made a bunch of changes with the usage of gestures. Apple changed the direction of scrolling, removed the scroll bars, and added a slew of new OS-level gestures that most people will never know about except when they accidentally rub their fingers on the trackpad. Now third party applications are starting to get updated with the new Lion features, including Chrome.  

Today Google released Chrome version 14 to the dev channel with the updates for Mac OS X 10.7 and it will soon trickle down to the stable general release of Chrome. With version 14, Google removed the visualization of the scroll bars, like in Safari 5.1, so that you only see them when you are scrolling. Also with the release of version 14 is the correction(?) of the swipe gesture for simulating the back and forward buttons in the browser. 

In OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and previous versions of Chrome before version 14, a user would use three fingers to swipe from the right to the left to go back in the browser to the previous page. Lion changed the page-back and -forward swipes to two fingers from three and reversed the gestures by default. That means in Safari 5.1, a user will swipe with two fingers from left to right to go back in the browser. This is like how you would swipe on a touch screen device. The problem Chrome has with this is that Chrome does not follow Apple’s default reverse gestures in Lion. Instead, Chrome still wants users to swipe from right to left using two fingers. 

I am not sure if Google did this intentionally, or if they will fix this is the general release, but this can cause confusion if a user switches between Chrome and Safari regularly. A fix for now is to change the default Lion gesture control “Scroll direction: natural” setting for the mouse and trackpad in system preferences. This would set the default gestures for Lion and Safari to be the same as Chrome. 

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From → News, Rant

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