June 2018

The way Alt-Tab used to work was that you'd press down Alt, and then each time you pressed Tab you'd pick a different app. Switching apps was fast using only two fingers.

The way some systems made Alt-Tab work now is that if an app has many copies open, like a text editor or a terminal which are two of the most important tools for a programmer, then it's impossible to switch between each copy of the same app using only two fingers. Now you must use the arrow keys, reached only with the other hand. Now Alt Tab needs both hands.

There's also the mental cost of pressing the correct arrow key to pick between the copies, in a new area on the screen you didn't need to look at before. First you must press the down arrow, then look, then press the right arrow one or more times.

So what was meant to be a shortcut, to switch fast without thinking, now needs both hands, eyes, and thinking. It's no longer automatic.

Keep Alt-Tab automatic.