HazeOver 1.2 review

With a modern Mac you could have upwards of a dozen applications running before it even begins to complain. This is great in many ways – but having so many open windows can be a distraction.

With HazeOver running and active, switching to one particular window fades everything else on your Mac’s screen – except the Dock and the menu bar – to any brightness level you choose. Switch to another window and the previous window fades away gracefully. It’s the new window that gets the ‘lights on’ effect now. It’s a simple idea, well executed, that enables you to concentrate on one window at a time.

HazeOver’s approach gives you many of the benefits of other focus utilities – such as Desktop Curtain – without completely blocking out other apps and windows. HazeOver’s gradual fade is easier on the eyes than an instant flip, although we do wish you could customise the length of the transition.

HazeOver was released just a few weeks ago, so it’s still a brand-new app, and the developer is already working on enhancements. What’s on our wish list? We’d like to see an option for HazeOver to focus on multiple windows within the same application. For example, showing multiple Safari windows while obscuring other programs. We’d also like to be able to exclude particular programs so they’re never dimmed.

Concentrate on one window at a time, even when you have a dozen open

HazeOver doesn’t work properly with every program. For example, when using Microsoft Excel 2008, it treats the document window and data-entry bar as standard windows, but it thinks the formatting palette is always active. That means if the formatting palette is visible, the main document window is always dimmed.

OUR VERDICT

Still, HazeOver is a clever utility with a lot of promise. Just a few tweaks here and there could make it a five-star program.

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