I rarely upgrade any OS when it is first released. This was always my practice with Windows, then Linux and now with OS X. So when Lion was released back in the Summer I passed on the chance to be first in line. Then 10.7.1 came out and I still waited. But with the arrival of iOS 5 and iCloud it was time to upgrade in order to take advantage of PhotoStream among other things.

I’m a huge fan of trackpad gestures and so I was pretty happy that Lion expanded the use of gestures, but I was shocked that my most often used gesture from Snow Leopard, the four finger swipe to open the Cmd-Tab application switcher, was gone. Cmd-Tab still opens the old application switcher but the familiar four finger swipe is gone and now there is a three finger swipe that invokes a switch between the new Lion desktops and full screen apps. So unless I run all my apps full screen, the switcher just goes between Dashboard and the main Desktop. Not what I want at all!

After half a week of frustration and searching for a solution I found BetterTouchTool. BTT gives me back everything I lost and more! I left the three-finger swipe alone and now have a four-finger swipe that opens up my long lost Application Switcher. BTT doesn’t stop there, however. It has an advanced application switcher where I can start the swipe and leave one finger on the pad and while still touching the pad, move the cursor to my desired application and then let go of the pad. With a few seconds of training my brain, I now switch applications faster than I ever did under Snow Leopard.

If you’re longing for more out of your trackpad or magic mouse, you must give BetterTouchTool a try. At the very least it restores lost functionality to Lion, but I think you’ll find it adds even more possibilities to gesturing than you had previously imagined.