All-in-One Health & Fitness Dashboard

Swapp For Mac is One Impressive App When Working With Multiple Monitors

Okay you MacBook Pro plus Cinema Display users, I’ve got an app for you that impresses me more than the balls Tyler Glenn had to wish the USA a happy fourth of july with his pair of patriot boxers at this year’s iTunes Festival. (Can you tell I’m watching the Neon Trees today)? If you’ve ever wanted to swap windows between your MBP and Cinema Display monitors, move the front most window over, or move all of an app’s windows (say all of your open Safari windows) to the next monitor, Swapp for the Mac is impressive.

With the iTunes Festival going on, I’m keeping iTunes open on my MacBook’s monitor, with all of my work related apps on my main display. Now I’m not lucky enough to have the glamorous setup most of you guys do, but for reference I’ve got a nice 1920 x 1080 monitor in conjunction with a 1280 x 800 display. When I’m ready to kick back after writing this review and hitting the publish button, I just have to press control +`. That little ` symbol above the tab key your ticket to Swapp — windows will fly across the screen and resize themselves to fit the new monitors. My iTunes windows, once on my MacBook, has successfully traded places with my Safari and Twitter windows. This is the part that impresses me: the windows resize themselves to the new display, while retaining their position and aspect ratio. You could drag your windows to their new locations, but Swapp keeps track of where your windows are situated and appropriately takes care of all the hard work for you. No matter how many windows are switched in the process, Swapp does a mostly elegant job of keeping apps just where you want them. It remembers where windows were located on the display, and repurposes them to the new monitor.

In some cases this can be a little funny. For example I keep Twitterrific open next to my IRC or other chat windows, and Twitterrific can get a little large when coming from a smaller display. While Swapp does have a blacklist feature (for those apps you don’t want to move off the main display), I wish there was a deeper setting to prevent an app from resizing between displays. Aside from this, I think Swapp is pretty great. In the future, I’d also like to see an option to turn the dock icon off so Swapp wouldn’t ask me if I want to run it in the background each time I close the preferences window.

Swapp has some nice settings, including instant swap (to turn off those animations) and the option to turn off the sounds Swapp makes when you initiate a swap. The left mouse button can also be used in addition to your keyboard shortcuts for granular control over switching your windows.

While the menubar icon isn’t black, that doesn’t change just how well Swapp works between your paired displays. I can’t vouch for how Swapp works with more than two monitors (I don’t have the equipment to test that), I know it works as advertised for a majority of your setups. I’m definitely impressed with how easy it is to manage a multi-display workflow — it’s so easy switching between entertainment work with a quick key combination. At $4.99 in the Mac App Store, if you work with multiple monitors, I suggest giving this a try and seeing if it fits in to your workflow.

Unlock MacStories Extras

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it’s also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’ll also give you access to advanced iOS shortcuts, tips and tricks, and lots more.

Starting at $5/month, with an annual option available.

Join the Club.

A Club MacStories membership includes:

  • MacStories Weekly newsletter, delivered every week on Friday with app collections, tips, iOS workflows, and more;
  • MacStories Unplugged podcast, published monthly with discussions on what we’re working on and more;
  • Monthly Log newsletter, delivered once every month with behind-the-scenes stories, app notes, personal journals, and more;
  • Access to occasional giveaways, discounts, and free downloads.