Disabling Space Switch Animations seems to be possible now without disabling SIP - M1 Macbook

The purpose of this post is to:

  1. Make those (who care about this) aware that there are a few solutions on M1 Macs now to disable screen transition animations entirely.

  2. And, to see if it would be possible to integrate this feature into BTT, now that (it seems) it may no longer need disabling SIP.

One of the most annoying things for me has been the inability to turn off animations in transitioning from space to space. There are ways to make it faster (ie use keyboard shortcuts instead, turn off animations in the settings [which doesn’t actually turn off animations, just replaces existing with an annoying fade effect]). Previously, with an app called TotalSpaces2 it was possible to entirely turn off animations, AND make a ton of other cool adjustments. However, this required turning off SIP.

On M1 Macs there did not seem to be any real way of turning off animations. The app Yabai (through Homebrew) seems to offer a degree of instant screen switch, but it requires a lot of messing around with (which may be worth it if you are using all of its other features) and it too requires disabling SIP.

I saw a post on the BTT forum where someone had mentioned TotalSpaces2 and asked BTT if it was possible to put similar functions within BTT (post from 2020 here: Space switch without animation - #2 by Andreas_Hegenberg). In this post it is mentioned that the process of instant screen switching involves disabling SIP, and that in a large part, is a reason this feature is not integrated within BTT yet.

More recently, I have been following the development of TotalSpaces3 which had promised to be compatible with M1 Silicon Macbooks. In November 2021, one of the developers of that App posted a link to an unfinished (and unsupported) version of the App (Discussion found here: Can we help test Total Spaces 3 if we have Apple silicon? - TotalSpaces - BinaryAge and download link here: https://downloads.binaryage.com/TotalSpaces3-0.8.114.dmg).

Naturally, I downloaded and have been using TotalSpaces3. The functionality is a lot more limited than TotalSpaces2 at this point. However, the Grid setup AND the ability to change the animation (several choices are available, like slide, fade, or cube), the speed (a slider is available) both work very well. AND, you can also totally disable animations between screen transitions (there remains just a split second of delay before the new space becomes usable, which is normally masked by the animation; however, it is still much faster and less annoying to me than the built in animations that we cannot turn off). The grid can also be setup in any orientation you like, making switching pages between the dozens of fullscreen workspaces that I use much easier.

Relevant to BTT here, all of this is done WITHOUT turning off SIP. Thus, this topic maybe worth a revisit. The developer of TotalSpaces may even be open to sharing some of his code and perhaps it can be further developed and integrated into BTT. I think this would be awesome.