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Inside Mac OS X 10.7: Apple to strip most Aqua gloss

post #1 of 179
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Apple's next desktop operating system release will tone down much of the Aqua user interface and change how screen captures handle windows' drop down sheets.

The most obvious Aqua gloss stripped from Mac OS X Lion involves scroll bars, which are replaced with iOS-like, grey segments that disappear when not in use. The Finder and Mail also drop the use of bubbly, colorful toolbar and source-list icons, indicating a general preference for simpler, monochromatic icons similar to those used in iPad apps.

Also missing are the Aqua pill buttons in the upper right corner of windows in the Finder and certain other apps, which currently display or hide the window's toolbar. These have been replaced by the Full Screen control used in apps that support that mode.

Across the interface, while Aqua highlighting still exists, much of the "blue gel" has been dialed down. For example, the standard Font panel uses a plain slider control rather than a blue bubble.




A variety of rounded buttons are now replaced with more squared off rectangles, and popup menus now lack a blue button selection indicator, as the Cell Background control in the Table panel from TextEdit indicates.




The standard print sheet also demonstrates the more square and conservative use of Aqua highlights used throughout the interface (with the help button now lacking a purple fill).

The screen shots below also show another new feature of Lion: screen shots of a drop down sheet now include the window they are connected to, rather than just capturing the sheet itself.



post #2 of 179
This isn't very exciting.
post #3 of 179
I have to say I really like the new look.

Aqua looks quite dated and the round cornered boxes look much nicer.

I'm seriously tempted to buy a Developer license simply to get my hands on and play.
post #4 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davejay View Post

This isn't very exciting.

Not everything has to be exciting. Sometimes the best changes aren't very big or glamourous.
post #5 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post

Not everything has to be exciting. Sometimes the best changes aren't very big or glamourous.

So how does one scroll with no scroll bar in fontbook?

I'm not liking the new look. I think it makes my screen look a little flat and boring without color. Does aqua look dated? Maybe a little in some places but i think they should update aqua not do away with it.
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post #6 of 179
I guess they have to do something to keep the graphic designers busy. Change for change sake. Steve problem threw them a bone.. "hey for working all those long hours on the icons for the iPad, I'll let you come up with a few new buttons and sliders for Lion." If it is part of a movement to standardize interfaces between OSX and iOS it could be good. But maybe the time would be better spent coming up with something better to manage your whole digital world than iTunes?
post #7 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post

I have to say I really like the new look.

Aqua looks quite dated and the round cornered boxes look much nicer.

I'm seriously tempted to buy a Developer license simply to get my hands on and play.

No need to pay $100 to get Lion preview, just apply for Apple Customer Software Seeding: https://appleseed.apple.com/
post #8 of 179
Aqua was pretty nice looking in its day (around 2001), and it still looks very modern. I think Steve Jobs said the UI was so good looking, you'll want to lick the screen.

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post #9 of 179
Meh, one of my biggest complaints about Windows is that things just don't pop out the way they do in OS X. This was in large part due to the Aqua UI.
post #10 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

I guess they have to do something to keep the graphic designers busy. Change for change sake. Steve problem threw them a bone.. "hey for working all those long hours on the icons for the iPad, I'll let you come up with a few new buttons and sliders for Lion." If it is part of a movement to standardize interfaces between OSX and iOS it could be good. But maybe the time would be better spent coming up with something better to manage your whole digital world than iTunes?

Ah yes, there is a curmudgeon inside all of us and yours just slipped out. Better if we were still using OS7 graphics, eh? The OS interface has been evolving since day one and it is still evolving. With each new major revision there is lots of fine tuning to do. Design is a living thing and it evolves in the same way our perception and understanding of design evolves. To do nothing is to go backwards. The only difference is that today we scrutinize every little change. I am sure that when some visual tweaks were done to 6.05, or whatever, it was barely mentioned in the Mac Magazines (pre web)
post #11 of 179
For the most part, the small geometry tweaks make sense and look good, but while aqua was perhaps showing its age, replacing it with a monochromatic interface strikes me as stupid.

Humans perceive a wide range of colors with little or no conscious attention, and throwing away the ability to convey so much information so subtly is an absurd waste. This isn't a shirt or a skirt - it's a place where some of us spend huge amounts of time. Any industrial designer can tell you that color coding increases efficiency and reduces errors, and a behavioral psychologist isn't going to have anything good to say about surrounding people with shades of gray.
post #12 of 179
Seems like some of the Lion UI is going all the way back to classic Mac OS, the slightly rounded rectangular buttons look very familiar.
post #13 of 179
It looks so dull and utilitarian now. Like Windows 2000.
post #14 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Breckinridge View Post

Seems like some of the Lion UI is going all the way back to classic Mac OS, the slightly rounded rectangular buttons look very familiar.

Only thing I wish is that everything would go slightly darker. White and more white is hard on the eyes when staring at a computer all day.
post #15 of 179
Great job, Apple!
post #16 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by O and A View Post

So how does one scroll with no scroll bar in fontbook?

I'm not liking the new look. I think it makes my screen look a little flat and boring without color. Does aqua look dated? Maybe a little in some places but i think they should update aqua not do away with it.

How does one scroll in iOS when there are no visible scroll bars? Apple doesn't sell a mouse without the ability to center scroll, correct?

Two button mice are no longer the standard. a center wheel 3 button mouse is the baseline for quite some time.
post #17 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

No need to pay $100 to get Lion preview, just apply for Apple Customer Software Seeding: https://appleseed.apple.com/

how can i apply for appleseed id? i tried but i think i must have invitation by email...

my way or the highway...

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my way or the highway...

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post #18 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Across the interface, while Aqua highlighting still exists, much of the "blue gel" has been dialed down. For example, the standard Font panel uses a plain slider control rather than a blue bubble.

[...]

A variety of rounded buttons are now replaced with more squared off rectangles, and popup menus now lack a blue button selection indicator, as the Cell Background control in the Table panel from TextEdit indicates.

odd, all the "blue" you mention is graphite on my computer. i must have a special build?
post #19 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Two button mice are no longer the standard. a center wheel 3 button mouse is the baseline for quite some time.

That was in 2008. In the past two years, wheel mice have been replaced by touch controls, first on the Magic Mouse and later on the Magic Trackpad.
post #20 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

and a behavioral psychologist isn't going to have anything good to say about surrounding people with shades of gray.

I like gray for the interface. I think all the color should be coming from the content not the interface. Grays and blacks are timeless. Psychologically they represent both power and submission. Whites represent purity and innocence. Bright colors are interpreted differently by different cultures and Mac is global so it makes sense to be neutral. I don't think you should worry about the interface becoming too monochromatic, it will feel natural after you get used to it. I have always set my desktop to gray since I do a lot of color work. That way I don't have any conflicts when designing.

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post #21 of 179
I also think it looks flat and Windows-y. I like a small bit of color in my field of view.
post #22 of 179
I think Windows is the opposite of flat. Windows screams out "LOOK AT ME!" The Mac has always been more subtle. It stays out of the way so I can pay attention to my content.
post #23 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

I think Windows is the opposite of flat. Windows screams out "LOOK AT ME!" The Mac has always been more subtle. It stays out of the way so I can pay attention to my content.

Windows Vista and 7, sure. Windows XP, debatable. Windows before XP doesn't scream out anything. It yawns.
post #24 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkiran View Post

Great job, Apple!



System 7.5.3 - 1995-6
Clearly Lion is miles away from Sys7. Personally I like the look of Lion and I agree with mstone above - the color is better served up by the apps rather than the system. One day the gray minimalism will seem outdated and something else will take its place and all aqua lovers will rejoice.
post #25 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

I think Windows is the opposite of flat. Windows screams out "LOOK AT ME!" The Mac has always been more subtle. It stays out of the way so I can pay attention to my content.

I agree.
post #26 of 179
Aqua and the Dock are the reason I switched from Windows to Mac in the first place. Now with Aqua gone, it's going to look boring like Windows.
post #27 of 179
IMO, OS X peaked aesthetically with Panther and Tiger. It's been getting progressively drabber and dingier ever since. That's just my preference, thoughI'm sure they're losing sleep over what I think.

Functionally, I don't like the idea of the scroll bars being hidden. This from a guy who has his dock hidden on the right! I'm nothing if not inconsistent.
post #28 of 179
I don't like it....I find the colored scrolls easier to identify.
post #29 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by O and A View Post

So how does one scroll with no scroll bar in fontbook?

It appears when you mouse over the region.

You can also use the touchpad, magic mouse, et al to scroll.

Quote:
Originally Posted by O and A View Post

I'm not liking the new look. I think it makes my screen look a little flat and boring without color

Filling your screen with color is the job of your wallpaper, and, first and foremost, your content.

Why should the peripheral widgets take precedence with their flashy colors from: a) what I'm writing in Pages, b) What I'm working in Photoshop, c) What I'm editing in FCP, d) What I'm reading online, etc?
post #30 of 179
some screenshot showing the evolution of os x:

http://www.aventure-apple.com/logiciels/evolx.html

I still think Aqua was gorgeous at the time. Now, I love the refinement in Lion, it's true Lion make the content stand out beautifully (Preview app for example), but I miss some colors, for example, the purple help button was great : it was not possible to miss it.


in fact, Apple shouldn't be afraid to use colors in specific place, to communicate meanings.

I miss some stripes too.
post #31 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira4u View Post

Aqua and the Dock are the reason I switched from Windows to Mac in the first place.

Then, by all means, switch back...
post #32 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

odd, all the "blue" you mention is graphite on my computer. i must have a special build?

You can choose between blue and graphite in System Preferences appearance pane.
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post #33 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

IMO, OS X peaked aesthetically with Panther and Tiger.

You are the kind of guy who also like faux-wood application skins, huh?
post #34 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutykamu View Post

how can i apply for appleseed id? i tried but i think i must have invitation by email...

Hmm...seems they closed it and now only accepting invites.
post #35 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

It looks so dull and utilitarian now. Like Windows 2000.

Overstated much? I like the look. I think too much aqua is dated. Also, I always felt the round buttons looked ironically clunky. I like the rounded corners much better.
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post #36 of 179
So far, the plain gray is seeming so bland that it loses the visual color cues that helped to identify what to click or grab or slide.
At first glance, I think this is a bad change.

Though, given how Apple changed all the special folder icons in SnowLeo to be dark blue on light blue, throwing away the colors, I guess plain is the new "IN" thing.

The one plus is allowing screen snapshot grabs to include both the drop-down panel and the window it belongs to.
That is how I always grab the screen shots anyway, pressing shift to get it to be crosshair selection then outlining both.
Now I will be able to let it get both without having to draw the box around it myself.

Is this worth going to gray to get....... umm, maybe not.

~~~~

Maybe they should try some other color scheme...

Spaceballs:
Barf: "They went to plaid!"

...just kidding (about the plaid scheme) ...

~~~~~~~~~~
P.S.
maybe I'm just in curmudgeon mode... :P
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post #37 of 179
Recent Apple designs have always been about the extra chrome.

Buttons are glossy, 3D and often depicted as sitting on a glass tablet (I see this every time I turn on my iPhone or iPad).

Notes are displayed in a faux leather binder,


Game Center comes complete with woodgrain and felt...


iBooks is a bookshelf and each book looks like a book.




Ditching the 3D gloss effect isn't like Apple at all, it's actually moving more toward Microsoft's Metro design.

I hope they don't continue too far with this. I kind of like the idea of finally having different platforms using multiple unique designs instead of them all looking somewhat the same.

Just look at the different phone email clients. One is distinctly Apple, the other is distinctly Microsoft. I think having them look different is better for both companies.

post #38 of 179


This looks very...Dull. Windows-ish. Seems like change for changes sake. I guess square buttons might have some teeny tiny bit of increased functionality, but ones that look so drab the blend in to the rest of the screen? Doesn't make sense.

And look at the window function buttons, they look so much more bland as well.
post #39 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

I guess they have to do something to keep the graphic designers busy. Change for change sake. Steve problem threw them a bone.. "hey for working all those long hours on the icons for the iPad, I'll let you come up with a few new buttons and sliders for Lion." If it is part of a movement to standardize interfaces between OSX and iOS it could be good. But maybe the time would be better spent coming up with something better to manage your whole digital world than iTunes?

I don't think it's "change for change sake". Arguably, Aqua was "eye candy for the sake of eye candy". I can appreciate the aesthetic of the times - the late 90's/early 2000's was all about bright colors, rounded edges, and the like. But it looks very tacky now.

Apple has always been about creativity, but also restraint. I think pulling back on the "glossy bubbles" look is a great idea. I wish the color would come back to iTunes though - that's actually one area where the color was helpful and nice. At the very least, they should make it optional.
post #40 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


This looks very...Dull. Windows-ish. Seems like change for changes sake.

I would be curious to know the amount if code it takes for each style. If the drab takes a third the lines of code for each element then you could have the reason right there.

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