Some apps were designed for a 4/3 aspect ratios others assume the newer 9/5 ratio.
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This is an area that's quite confusing to PC switchers, because the "Maximize" button (green button on an open window) doesn't behave as it would on a PC.
"Maximising" for Mac apps is accomplished by dragging the lower right corner of most apps. The green button then "remembers" that position and will snap back to it if you resize and then press the green button. If there is no previous size in memory, it will try to open up to the width (but not necessarily depth) of the monitor.
An exception to this is iTunes, which uses the green button to switch between the mini-player and the full-size (whatever you've set that to) window.
With a lot of apps (but not always in Safari) if you hold down the command key and then click the green + in the toolbar you will maximize. Caveat: Safari only "maximizes" to the full width of whatever web page you're on currently when doing this. Most apps will fully maximize with this approach though.