Hands On: Yoink 3.2 (OS X)

Convenient drag and drop between Split Screen apps and more

We're a funny bunch. We say we want full screen apps but when we get them, we're not satisfied. We want split screen now, we want multiple workplace Spaces, virtual desktops that we can swap to for different jobs. Apple does all that and still we're not grateful. Mind you, this may be a little to do with how OS X is oddly clunky when you want to change the two apps in split screen -- and how you drag items between the windows. Yoink 3.2 is an itch-scratching utility that means to at least make it easier to copy items from one split screen app to another or one desktop to the next.

It means to do this and it does it. Yoink isn't going to be a mandatory part of every Mac user's Applications folder but what it sets out to solve, it does. So for instance, this is a typical iMac screen when MacNN is producing This Week in Apple History:

On the left is a bulging OmniOutliner document with every scrap of history research note we've got. On the right is Safari with a web page open. We're showing a finished MacNN history page but it could be any site and any browser.

What's key is that you see the NeXT logo image in that Safari page. Imagine we wanted to keep a copy of that over in OmniOutliner. When you have Yoink installed, you click and hold on that image as if you're going to drag it somewhere -- and you do. You drag it to the Yoink icon that appears underneath your cursor.

Drag the image to there and drop. Anything you can drag and drop -- including text -- goes into Yoink and appears in a special sidebar that overlays your screen regardless of whether you have apps in full or split screen. It's a dock-like sidebar that holds items you've dragged.

It holds them there so that you can then drag them back out again into the other app or onto the other spaces you're using. Click on the app you want or move to the Spaces virtual desktop you want and then click on an app there, then you can drag the item out of Yoink into it.

Usually you can only drag it out once: this is not meant to a clipboard manager that will build up a huge stock of copied items. It's a shelf to pop something on that you're going to need in a moment. If you choose, though, you can pin an item: have it permanently in Yoink ready to be dragged out as often as you need.

That's about your lot: it does this, it does it well, that's all. There are options for where the shelf-like dock appears on your screen and in this latest update there is a Force Touch feature. That's meant to speed up pinning items though we kept finding it quicker to click the lock icon next to each.

We did have to think about what kind of circumstance we'd use Yoink in but that speaks more to us than to it. This isn't a must-have tool for everyone but it is for some.

Yoink 3.2 requires OS X 10.7.3 or higher and costs $7 on the Mac App Store.

Who is Yoink 3.2 for:
If you use full and split screen apps or you're spread out across multiple Spaces and need to move items between all of this, Yoink does the job.

Who is Yoink 3.2 not for:
If you've never even heard of Spaces then you don't need them and you don't need this.

-William Gallagher (@WGallagher)

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  1. Avatar
    aroxnicadi Junior Member Joined: Jun 03, 2011

    We're a funny bunch. Cosumers want it for free since it should have been included in the split screen.

  2. Avatar
    Charles Martin Mac Elite Joined: Aug 04, 2001

    OTOH, if Apple did everything there would be no need for third-party utility developers, and frankly there are many I'd miss if it wasn't economically viable for them to continue, so in some ways I'm quite happy that Apple doesn't mandate that only they can fully control the entire OS X experience. That diversity of approaches and philosophies has proven quite valuable, giving us stuff like OnyX and Hazel and so on.

  3. Avatar
    Spudboy2004 Fresh-Faced Recruit Joined: Jan 26, 2004

    Outstanding product.

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