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If the first Apple product you used was an iOS device, meaning an iPad, an iPod Touch, or an iPhone, the Mac's interface may seem a little unfamiliar to you. What is familiar to you is seeing apps on a screen somewhere that you can tap or click and they automatically launch. Well, with Lion before and now with Mountain Lion, Apple offers a similar interface, and that's called, Launchpad. There are a couple of ways to launch Launchpad. One is to bring your cursor down to the Dock and click on Launchpad, or if you have a trackpad, pinch with thumb and three fingers and you expose the Launchpad interface. And this works very much as it does on an iOS device.
If you want to launch an application, all you have to do is click on it. So for example, if I wanted to launch Calculator, click once, and here's Calculator. When I launch an application, Launchpad disappears, so let's bring it back. So, that's pretty simple. There are few other things you can do in here. You can drag applications to new places, and notice that the other applications will get out of the way. So, you can organize your applications in a way that best suits you.
You can also create a folder full of applications. So, let's say we wanted to put together the iLife applications. I'll grab iDVD and I'll drag it on top of iPhoto. When I do that, this interface appears. So I can click on Photography to rename it, and I'm going to call this "iLife." Press Return, and now I have an iLife folder. So, let's also put GarageBand in there. We can put iMovie in there, and we'll put in iWeb.
Now, when I want to access one of those applications, I simply click on the iLife icon and then I can launch these applications. To get out of there, click. Now, if it turns out that I have page after page, after page of applications, I could move from one page to another, but an easier way to do that is to use the Search field. It narrows down the application I'm looking for. I can press Return, and that launches the application. And that's it. Launchpad is not for everybody.
Some longtime Mac users think it's a little too simple, but if you're coming to the Mac from an iOS device, this is not a bad way to launch your apps.
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