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System utilities receive facelift in recent Tiger builds

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
As Apple strives to complete the development of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger for a potential launch in early 2005, several system utilities are being revamped and rejuvenated.

The consistency of the Mac OS X look and feel remains at bay in Tiger as Apple appears torn between its two user interface themes. A new version of the company's Audio MIDI Setup has shed its discrepant combination of Aqua and brushed aluminum in favor of all Aqua motif. Meanwhile, a revised version of Keychain Access has seen quite the opposite revision and is now adorned completely in aluminum. The application sports a single window, which features keychain and category selectors on the left, and items and info on the right.



The interface to Apple's new Automator applicationa personal automation assistant that lets users streamline challenging repetitive manual tasks without writing codealso continues to evolve. Recent builds of the application sport an action menu, reshuffled interface, and a more complete listing of categories and actions. The application now adheres to its "Automator" name, leaving behind the "Pipeline" code name and application icon.



As mentioned previously, Apple has also overhauled its Printer Setup Utility, refreshing its interface and adding interaction with the company's online store. Although miffed over a disclosure of relevant details, the company continues to refine Apple Store integration in Tiger and reportedly plans to add similar functionality to at least one more component of the OS before its release, sources close to the company said.

Inside Apple's Cupertino, Calif.-based campus, Tiger has approached and likely surpassed build 8A270. Sources close to the Tiger development team warned that several application interfaces remain a work in progress and will likely change considerably over the next few months. Additionally, tipsters hint that forthcoming builds of the OS will throw a third application interface theme into the mix--a look similar to the one found in Spotlight search result windows.
post #2 of 10
I like the new interface on Keychain. Makes it more usable and clean looking.

But I don't know what to think about Automator. There's just something that I don't like about it. It seems cluttered and too busy. I personally liked the previous interface.

Mike
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by MPMoriarty
I like the new interface on Keychain. Makes it more usable and clean looking.

But I don't know what to think about Automator. There's just something that I don't like about it. It seems cluttered and too busy. I personally liked the previous interface.

Mike

It's fine...it's no more busy than iTunes.

The actions column updates depending on which app you choose.

The two-column wide interface allows for the action description to have more space...otherwise it would be all scrunched up.

The right side is where most of the work will be done.
post #4 of 10
Yeah, I suppose.
post #5 of 10
I like having the two themes--a little visual variety to tell overlapping things apart a little better, but not to the point of visual confusion.

I wish Apple was more consistent about HOW the themes were used--white for "document-centric" or "productivity/creation" apps (ones that use Open and Save) vs. metal for self-contained, library-based, or viewer apps (like Mail and iTunes). Apple's moving slowly towards that plan, it seems.

As for the Spotlight Results "third theme"... it's not. It's just the same old white theme. Yes, they have removed the line between the window title and the toolbar. I like that added simplicity (and you can probably drag the window by the whole top area now), so I hope that all white apps get that change eventually.

The new Preferences is an example--see how the title bar and toolbar are now one, simply by removing a line. Looks pretty slick to me.

I do think that blue used in Spotlight is way too bright--even Windowsish--to match the rest of Aqua. It should be more like the gradated highlights used on the left in Finder and iTunes. Oh well, I'll get used to it. (The same cannot be said for the orange and red Exposé widgets! I'll be replacing those )

(PS, the banner ad at the bottom with the woman's head following the pointer cracks me up somehow. No, I'm not going to click!)
post #6 of 10
Nice looking Keychain interface..yet that's the utility I probably use the least
Jason [thebox] - Software Developer
Creative Box - http://www.creativebox.net
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Jason [thebox] - Software Developer
Creative Box - http://www.creativebox.net
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme

I wish Apple was more consistent about HOW the themes were used--white for "document-centric" or "productivity/creation" apps (ones that use Open and Save) vs. metal for self-contained, library-based, or viewer apps (like Mail and iTunes). Apple's moving slowly towards that plan, it seems.

Surely Mail is a document-centric app.

The idea of a brushed-aluminium mail turns me right off. It's heavy and of questionable ergonomics.

3rd party devs use the metal look way too much.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by Mickster
Surely Mail is a document-centric app.

Not in the way I mean it: you don't Open files from locations and Save them to locations as the main way of working with the app. In word processors, Photoshop, etc., Open and Save are your primary file access. But with Mail, iTunes, iCal, AddressBook, Safari, Finder, system utils, etc., that's not the case. Your data is stored automatically in a set location. Open and Save, if present at all, are there for special reasons like importing data or attachments--they aren't the primary operation.

There will always be grey areas--QT Player? what about if you go Pro?--and personal preferences may not agree with this scheme. But having a SYSTEM for what's metal makes sense to me--and the document-centric rule seems to be the closest to the direction Apple's going.

The psychological result, to me, is that metal apps feel "compact" and "self-contained," (even when, like iTunes and Mail, they hold great flexibility) while white apps are broader "workspaces."
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Additionally, tipsters hint that forthcoming builds of the OS will throw a third application interface theme into the mix--a look similar to the one found in Spotlight search result windows.

Coming to a website near you, 10-04-04 8PM EST.

Kasper
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by Kasper
Coming to a website near you, 10-04-04 8PM EST.

You mean Think Secret?!
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