Hyperspaces: Review

by postbreak

For those of us who use Spaces the lack of advanced options can be aggravating. Allowing you to keep certain applications in specific spaces is great for productivity, however, keeping the same dock in each space is not. Having the option to change the wallpaper of each space is glaringly obvious as well. It’s almost as if Spaces started out as a flagship feature yet got pushed to the back burner after the launch of Leopard. I’m going to take a look at Hyperspaces which restores many features that are absent from Spaces as well as hand out a few copies.

It's almost intuitive.

It's almost intuitive.

The 3rd person view as I call it doesn’t really tell you much information about your current spaces. I mean yes it does show you what applications are open where. Why is the wallpaper blue on each screen? Is there some conspiracy against wallpapers? Now jumping on the rational train Apple probably picked such a boring matte color for contrast allowing you to easily see which window is open where, however, why don’t we have the option of disabling that? Each time I open this 3rd person view I get confused as to why my wallpaper is blue.

The next thing that drives me up the wall is the lack of information for each space. Lets assume you are a Spaces fanatic and use every space you can which hits a wall at 16. What visual representation can you use to see which space you’re on? I mean that information can be vital so you don’t get lost in your virtual desktops. Apple decided that all you need to know is a number stated by the menubar icon for spaces. If I look up and see the number 5 in my menubar the last thing I will know is what space I am currently in. The image above just goes to show, Apple’s productivity theory does not scale.

Lets jump on the rational train again and assume you use a normal amount of spaces (since I deem 16 to be a bit insane). Can you change the wallpaper on each space? No. Can you change the dock depending on each space? No. This brings up an interesting point. If you use more than one actual desktop, ie. dual monitors, you can change each desktop. Why in the world can’t you do the same with Spaces is beyond me. This is where Hyperspaces come in to restore cabin pressure.

The beauty of Hyperspaces is that it takes over just about every aspect of Spaces. You can configure your Spaces within the application. You can set specific backgrounds for each space and even make the transition fade between wallpapers. I love the eye candy. So now that you can change the background for each space you now know where the hell you are. I mean staring at the same wallpaper yet being in space 5 can be confusing. Now space 5 can have your Scarface wallpaper and you’ll know exactly what’s above you and below you.

To supercharge my Spaces workflow I use a combination of Hyperspaces and Dockspaces. Hyperspaces changes the wallpaper of each space and Dockspaces changes my dock. Now each of my spaces has a specific task at hand. My school space has some browsers, Pages, Microsoft Word, Excel, Dictionary, and a few others. My podcasting space has a different wallpaper, Garage Band, Wiretap, Gizmo, some browsers, Audio Midi settings, System Preferences, and all of my chat/IM applications.

This is what Spaces should look like.

This is what Spaces should look like.

Not only does Hyperspaces support different wallpapers, but it does labels, Growl, and hot keys. Over all I have yet to run into a bug with this application and for $12.95 it’s a steal. My only complaint was the payment method being strictly paypal, which I avoid like the plague. I’ll be asking a friend to purchase a license for me. A feature I’d like to see added is the ability to change the dock depending on the space which Dockspaces already does but it would be nice to have incorporated into a single application.

I’m sure a few of you are asking “Is it worth $12.95 to change the wallpaper of my different spaces?” and as a Spaces power user I can only answer that with a Hell Yes! The trial of this application allows you to change the wallpaper of 3 spaces asking for payment if you want to go past the 3 space limit. Go download this application and check it out.

The contest ends on Saturday June 13th at 5PM EST!