New answers tagged fullscreen
Either change your desktop wallpaper to black, so you don't notice it; or add a black 5px line to the bottom of your preferred wallpaper.
(Edited) The behaviour of this green button can be changed using a tiny accessibility add-on. Follow the instructions at http://osxdaily.com/2015/03/11/change-the-green-button-maximize-behavior-in-os-x-yosemite-with-bettertouchtool/ Basically, this application (once installed and authorized) with let enhance the the UX of OSX by allowing you to define new ...
To expand on patrix's point in comments above, essentially OS X keeps track of every open window regardless of where it is, because there is a process(es) running each window. It also manages RAM usage, taking from the poor (less recently used open programs) and giving to the rich (program currently being used). Even if a program has an open window on the ...
OS X has a feature called App Nap that slows down any apps that aren't front-and-center and aren't running a background task for you. I don't know what your setup looks like, but I think your logic about the computer not having to worry about the non-fullscreen windows sounds right. You should run an experiment and see what happens!
I've been annoyed by this, too, and the simple, yet very, very painful answer is to hold option/alt and press the green title bar button (which should turn into a + when you hold option/alt) If this doesn't make it cover the screen, you can drag the window to one edge and resize it until it does. If you make your dock hide by default, this essentially ...
Take a sip of your tea - it's finished ;) afaik, you can't bypass it. My guess is it's to mask the amount of 'effort' it takes to do the transition, smooth zoom rather than lumpy pseudo-instant transition with bits of broken screen til it's finished.
Like @james_fuller said auto-hiding the doc and maximizing the app window (use the alt key when clicking maximize) will have the requested result. Some apps (Google Chrome) have custom behavior for the maximize button so Shiftit.app can be used to maximize those apps with a simple key command.
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