When comparing Slate vs Amethyst, the Slant community recommends Slate for most people. In the question“What is the best window manager for Mac?” Slate is ranked 2nd while Amethyst is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Slate is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely configurable
Pro Lets you set default layouts
By using a feature called "snapshots", users can set up different default window layouts in Slate that they can switch to and from on the fly.
Pro It's free
Slate is completely free to download and use, which is a great option in a field of Mac WMs that often costs money to use.
Pro Based on hotkeys
Hotkeys can be set to re-size and focus windows, as well as activate layout presets.
Pro Window hints
Slate offers window hints which are an intuitive way to change window focus.
Pro Allows for tiling
Slate allows for customizing the config file in order to emulate tiling windows.
Pro Recently updated and rewritten in Swift.
The application was written in Objective-C, but was recently updated and completely rewritten in Apple's new native language Swift.
Pro It's free and open-source
Amethyst is published under the MIT license making it open-source and id offered completely free. This allows anyone to give the tiling window manger a try, which is great.
Pro True tiling means never losing track of windows under a huge pile of others
Pro Works with keyboard shortcuts, no mouse needed
As it's designed to work closely to how xmonad, Amethyst uses keyboard shortcuts to control the windows being used, meaning no mouse input is necessary. This can make for a faster way to control windows.
Pro Multi-monitor suppport
Pro Under active development
Pro Has Many common layouts to choose from (fullscreen, floating, row, column, wide, etc)
Pro Can switch between tiling and floating mode
Con Project maintainance is on pause
The developer is currently taking a pause to focus on other things as of December 2015.
Con Hard to configure
There's no graphical user interface for configuring Slate, meaning it has to be done from the command line interface or by editing a config file. This makes it somewhat difficult and time-consuming.
Con Missing features
Unable to perform all tasks of software it was meant to replace.
Can not move windows between 'Spaces' (virtual desktops).
Con Video fail
Demonstration video failed to highlight any of the advantages of the windowing system. Or at least, the advantages were so subtly intrinsic that no-one who didn't already use the system could appreciate them.
Con There are more user friendly window managers available
There are certainly more user friendly window managers available for MacOS, such as Divvy or Moom. Amethyst, however, is more powerful and customizable than the more user friendly options available and therefore may be a better choice for a user looking for more advanced capabilities and customization.