Blog Post

The 5 best third-party apps with Lion full-screen support

Want some great Mac (s aapl) apps that work with Lion’s new full-screen mode and really show off why the new feature is one of the best new additions to OS X? We’ve got you covered. Each of the following apps has been updated to include the telltale little icon of two diverging arrows that indicates full-screen support, and each works very well when in that mode.

1. Reeder

Most of us likely do a lot of reading on our Macs. Reeder for Mac is a great way to make that reading even more of a pleasure. The RSS app ties into your Google Reader (s goog) account, and syncs read and unread status Google and with Reeder for iOS devices. The Mac version was already a lot like the iPad version when it first came out, and with full-screen support in the latest version, it’s even more so. Grab a coffee, but leave the newspaper on the table; Reeder with full-screen active provides a distraction-free environment for catching up with all the latest.

2. Screens

When you need to remotely access your computer, there isn’t always an easy solution, especially when you’re trying to connect from the road. Screens (combined with Screens Connect for hassle-free remote access) is a great way to quickly and easily setup and manage VNC access between Macs. With full-screen support, working on your home computer away from home (or your work computer from home) feels even more like you’re actually working on the target machine, since everything you see is on the remote Mac.

3. Fluid

I noted this update when it arrived, just ahead of Lion’s release, but it’s worth noting again. Fluid provides the ability to turn any website into its own, dedicated Mac app by creating a site-specific browser (SSB). Facebook, Google Docs, and Google Plus are all favorite Fluid apps of mine, and full-screen support means I can keep them even more safely contained away from more productive, work-related apps and content.

4. MarsEdit

If you’re a regular blogger with multiple sites on the go, you’ve probably heard of the Mac standby MarsEdit. It’s a blogging client that’s compatible with most major blogging services, including Blogger and Tumblr, and it’s a native Mac app. MarsEdit’s latest update allows you to compose and edit posts in full-screen mode, which means you can get down to writing in a much more distraction-free environment.

5. Sparrow

Apple’s new Mail app in Lion remedies a lot of the problems many users had with it, and brings some nice new features as well, but that doesn’t mean it’ll feel right for everyone. Alternatives are always appreciated, and none maybe more so than Sparrow, a nice light native email client originally designed for Gmail. Sparrow now works with most other email services as well, and it has a refreshing simplicity that Apple’s own offering can’t match. Plus, now that it has full-screen support, it provides a great environment for catching up on your correspondence in a really focused way.

Those aren’t the only apps with full-screen support, but they are my favorite. What are yours, and which would you like to see get the update that don’t have it yet?

12 Responses to “The 5 best third-party apps with Lion full-screen support”

  1. Ei Kukaan

    In win 3.1, I had full screen apps that were easy the change from one to another (alt+tab)… a feature that didn’t need any separate support from the developer. It just worked. Now I’ve been a mac user for years and I cannot believe other mac users for not recognizing that.

  2. MarsEdit? It is a great app but the full-screen-mode is crap. It just maximizes the editor-window which gives you eternal long lines. No. 4 should be Scrivener or something from the OmniGroup…

  3. MindNode – a mind mapping app – is easily one of my most loved Mac apps, already has Lion support for not only full screen, but also Auto-Save, Resume and Versions, and has great apps for iPhone and iPad too. Hands down the first tool I reach for when I need to think deeply about something.

  4. Are you kidding? You wrote actually wrote how the ability to “full screen” a window is, and I quote, “one of the best features of Lion”? If someone wrote that about ANY linux or Windows OS they would be ridiculed and likely never to be paid for writing again. However, about a Mac and it’s like sliced bread.

    • Gokhan

      Full screen on Mac is completely different than Windows or Linux. It doesn’t expand on you desktop and it gives you the ability to switch to other apps easily. Don’t comment if you don’t know about it.

    • Yes, full screen support was really a long time overdue for Macs, quite ridiculous that its not been added earlier. That said, the new fullscreen support is done a lot better and intuitive than it’s ever been in Windows (can’t speak for Linux though, as I’ve never used it much)