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Latest Apple interface spotted in new Tiger builds

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
Brushed aluminum swept aside as Apple's Mail 2.0 will reportedly sport an updated theme.

For the past several years Apple Computer has adorned its Mac OS X applications with a mixture of its Aqua and brushed aluminum interface themes. But with the release of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" due in a matter of months, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is primed to add a third interface theme to the mix.

An apparent blending of two themes, the new look lifts interface elements from both of the company's existing themes and embeds them inside a sleek platinum gradient. According to sources, the first application to adhere to the new look will be the company's email client, Mail version 2.0.



Removed from the days of old is the retractable Mailbox drawer. Instead, the reworked email client sports a single window interface with mailboxes and folders that are docked on the left. The titlebar now flows into the toolbar and message counts are encapsulated inside circular interface elements. Overall, the theme presents a soothing, yet futurist feel.

Interface changes aside, Mail 2.0 will sport several additional enhancements such as smart mailboxes, an e-mail certificate viewer, and iCal integration. The application will also interface with an upcoming set of parental controls, which will allow Mac OS X 10.4 administrative account holders to censor information provided to sub-users on an application specific basis.

Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" is currently undergoing extensive development inside Apple with recent builds falling in the 8A27x range. An official release of the operating system is tentatively scheduled for early next year.
post #2 of 96
It screams 'Longhorn'.


But if Apple discards Metal and Aqua, and uses this consistently, I love it.
post #3 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
It screams 'Longhorn'.


But if Apple discards Metal and Aqua, and uses this consistently, I love it.

I think it's more like, Longhorn screams Tiger. This interface is a logical evolution of Aqua and Brushed Metal. Not sure how much I like it, but it's certainly not bad. Thank goodness there isn't that "XP blue" from the spotlight window all over it. Plus I'm sure there will be a lot of refinements going on over the next few months.

It'll be fun to watch. Thanks Appleinsider for all your great work.

Cheers,
John
post #4 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
It screams 'Longhorn'.

If I remember correctly, your referring to the image of Longhorn that was put up that everyone said "screams panther"

At least ONE rumour site is keeping us up to date on Tiger, unlike others......
Not that it's a competition - but if it were - Appleinsider would be winning - but it's not.
post #5 of 96
I actually like it a lot.

In fact, this could just be the 'new' metal.

The drawers, while useful for somethings, really now look more like Aqua iCandy.

Mail looks like it will finally be a robust mail app.

I disagree this is longhorn-ish.

Quite the opposite. Longhorn seems to be going for OS X 10.1/2-ness. Heavy shadows, over the top effects.

Apple looks to be settling into a 'futurist' groove and and bringing system wide functionality (spotlight) in a way that is easy to access and functional.

Tiger is getting more significant.

Z
post #6 of 96
Very nice, I just hope they add the option of the 3 tier mail interface that Outlook 2003, Entourage 2004 and Thunderbird have added. It just seems to make more sense.

One thing I would like to see is what nested folders look like in this new mail.
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post #7 of 96
Personally, not being a fan of Aqua, I love this new theme! To me, it doesn't scream Longhorn, it screams Apple and how they consistently seem to come out with awesome interfaces. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Tiger in action next year...
post #8 of 96
It looks really cool but one thing doesn't make sense...

...is this the new Aqua? Because the 'large titlebar' gradient stuff seen in Spotlight seemed to be reserved for apps that didn't make use of toolbars. But now it seems the toolbar can be part of the titlebar. How do we know which part is draggable and which isn't (I guess the answer is that it works exactly the same way as metal titlebar/toolbar apps)...

I don't want another theme in the mix...this has to replace either metal or Aqua. Bringing yet another interface theme into the mix would make me wonder what Apple is smoking these days.

And hopefully the inactive window pinstripes that don't quite flow with the rest of the 'new theme' is just because they're still in 'early beta' and that they haven't had the chance to refine the theme.

IMO, though, the Finder would be the next perfect candidate for this theme. This theme seems to fit well with apps that have sidebars.
post #9 of 96
This was supposed to be a reply to this article so feel free to delete

The "third" theme seen from the very start in Tiger's System Preferences (and now in Mail 2) is merely an evolution of the white theme--specifically, the toolbar is no longer separated from the title bar. The resulting wider title bar is darkish, but that's nothing new, that happened in Panther.
post #10 of 96
Why doesn't the Preferences window support the same theme?

To me, that is the odd thing.

Oh, and I should say, I like this new interface! Perhaps this is the new Aqua, and if so, would make OS X look like an OS from the 21st century... m.
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post #11 of 96
This is NOT a third theme.

From what I see, this is just the WHITE theme that we already have, modified in one way: the line between the title bar and tool bar has been removed, so the title bar gradient is not the background for both.

Yes, that title gradient is darker than other bright white elements--but that was already true ever since Panther. (Right down to the way stripes appear when inactive.) This is ONLY a removal of the visible division between the tool bar and window title. A minor evolution. (Mail itself has changed in other ways, but that does not make a new overall window scheme. And individual buttons and highlights continue to evolve--just as with Jaguar and Panther. Still not a third theme--by that standard, OS X already includes numerous themes with different button and tool styles.)

Also, this is NOT the first we've seen this. Tiger's System Preferences has shown this new title bar style ever since it first appeared months ago.

I really like it--it looks cleaner and you can probably drag the window by the whole top area--and so I hope the new title bar look quickly spreads to all the white apps--otherwise there will be a visual inconsistency for a while. (As you can see now with Tiger Mail's own prefs not using the new tool bar style.)

But this change would ONLY affect apps with a toolbar anyway--so many windows would not change at all.

I predict that AI's headlines on this issue will set off a cascade of complaints about Tiger having three themes. Look at what's really changed though: just the tool bar.
post #12 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
This is NOT a third theme.

From what I see, this is just the WHITE theme that we already have, modified in one way: the line between the title bar and tool bar has been removed, so the title bar gradient is not the background for both.

Yes, that title gradient is darker than other bright white elements--but that was already true ever since Panther. This is ONLY a removal of the visible division between the tool bar and window title. A minor evolution. (Mail itself has changed in other ways, but that does not make a new overall window scheme. And individual buttons and highlights continue to evolve--just as with Jaguar and Panther. Still not a third theme--by that standard, OS X already includes numerous themes with different button and tool styles.)

Also, this is NOT the first we've seen this. Tiger's System Preferences has shown this new title bar style ever since it first appeared months ago.

I really like it--it looks cleaner and you can probably drag the window by the whole top area--and so I hope the new title bar look quickly spreads to all the white apps--otherwise there will be a visual inconsistency for a while.

But this change would ONLY affect apps with a toolbar anyway--so many windows would not change at all.

I predict that AI's headlines on this issue will set off a cascade of complaints about Tiger having three themes. Look at what's really changed though: just the tool bar.

But if you look at Mail prefs, it still uses the Aqua we all know today with the subtle pinstripe toolbar.

I'm all for changes but the rest of the OS and apps have to follow or else there are crazy inconsistencies. Apple is always changing the widgets and a lot of apps use older OS widgets because they still need to run on a framework that works on older OSs.

At one point, I swear, we had 2 different brushed-metal (fake and OS native), Aqua, and every possible combination of plastic or glass widgets as well as receded and protruding buttons in metal (still a problem today in Panther.)

Frankly it doesn't make sense...Apple needs to slow down for at least 2 years to bring all the apps up-to-date in terms of visual consistency.
post #13 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
But if you look at Mail prefs, it still uses the Aqua we all know today with the subtle pinstripe toolbar.

Yes, I noticed that in the shots too. In a FINAL shipping product, Mail prefs ought to match the new Mail main window and the new System Prefs. If not, it will be an inconsistency--as many shipping products, even from Apple, already have.

But the point is, this is the white theme evolving, NOT a third theme intended to live alongside two other themes.

I agree 100% about Apple lacking in consistency in some details like the ones you mention. They don't make my Mac any less easy to use, but it really surprises me. You'd think some "UI proofreader" would go through EVERY Apple app and window and report to the department in question anything that varies from the latest styling.

(Look at the glassy buttons on metal in Panther's Safari and Finder, vs. the metal-on-metal buttons in iTunes. AddressBook and iCal both use a MIX of the two. But that doesn't mean we have two entire different metal themes.)
post #14 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme

But the point is, this is the white theme evolving, NOT a third theme intended to live alongside two other themes.

Hope you're right...this really looks like a combination of OS 8 and 9 Platinum and Aqua. The best of both worlds.
post #15 of 96
I've been thinking about why I like having BOTH metal and white. And why I like Safari better than white browsers. I think the darker metal color is nice visual variety to separate the white "main" part of the window.

That may be why I no longer mind the darker titles on white windows in Panther. I found it weird at first, but I guess you just have to get used to change.

Now that I like it, I won't mind seeing that gradient extending to toolbars--or even other things.
post #16 of 96
The Mail preference (IMO) will continue to look different since it in fact is a different kind of toolbar. It isn't a user customizable area to access commands, it is more of a view-switcher. This is also why the current pref-pane that you have selected has a darker shade behind its icon as introduced with Panther. This makes that icon more connected with the content below them.
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post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisG
The Mail preference (IMO) will continue to look different since it in fact is a different kind of toolbar. It isn't a user customizable area to access commands, it is more of a view-switcher. This is also why the current pref-pane that you have selected has a darker shade behind its icon as introduced with Panther. This makes that icons more connected with the content below theme.

Hmm...good point.

So you're saying preference toolbars will continue to look as it is...but all other Aqua apps should start looking like Mail's toolbar?
post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
So you're saying preference toolbars will continue to look as it is...but all other Aqua apps should start looking like Mail's toolbar?

Well, if thats what happens thats the logic that I can see Apple using. Also depends if its something that you have to code for or if its a system wide change that effects all apps. If its the latter then any app using the system toolbar (without the view switcher view on) should get it.

I would kind of like to see how its looks when you shrink the toolbar, does the gradient animate and shrink?

On the note about it looking like Longhorn, well... Current (as in OLD PDC builds) of LH have a look reminiscent of brushed metal, same gradient (light in the middle) just no texture.
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post #19 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
You'd think some "UI proofreader" would go through EVERY Apple app and window and report to the department in question anything that varies from the latest styling.

I want that job!

Also- First post. I'm from Spymac- have over 7,700 posts there...

Love the frequent Tiger updates... and wanted to reply to this post, so I signed up.

Hi everyone.
post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Zweben
I want that job!

You and me both! And Welcome!
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post #21 of 96
I would love it if they get rid of Drawer UI elements, and it looks like they did in Mail. Cool.
post #22 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
I would love it if they get rid of Drawer UI elements, and it looks like they did in Mail. Cool.

They can't get rid of it this late in the game. It would break way too many apps.

Besides, the drawer is fine when it's used correctly...for scarcely used items/options. It's just too bad developers and even Apple made the drawer look like an idiotic UI element.
post #23 of 96
Yeah, drawers are usually more annoying than useful.

Mail is looking good..
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post #24 of 96
Wonder if they have improved Exchange support. I see the iCal integration. That's hopeful. Now if it had real GAL support and public calendar views it would rule.
post #25 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by jwill
[B]Yeah, drawers are usually more annoying than useful.

I like them, most of the time - especially in Mail as I usually only use my InBox anyhow. Mind you, there have been some atrocious uses of drawers, too, so I guess I see your point!

What's really useful in Mail's drawers is that they automatically slide out when you drag messages to the edge of the window, so you can drop messages into a different mailbox, and then they close themselves again afterwards.

I thought this was a great feature and should be used by more apps, but apparently it's an app-specific thing implemented by Mail rather than in the OS (so if Apple want to improve drawers at all, having system-wide functionality like that available to apps would be great!).

Neil.
a.k.a. Arnel
post #26 of 96
with all these big changes which seem to be going on (they are working just as hard if not more than they were on panther last year!) i'm wondering when the next dev seed will get out, also, the topics of core image and core video have been pretty silent as far as how they will be used in the os, i wouldnt be surprised to see preview get some core image effects (color correction stuff maybe?)
anyways as a graphics person im definately looking forward to realtime gausian blurs and ripple effects, that's just plain stunning.
post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Zweben
I want that job!

Also- First post. I'm from Spymac- have over 7,700 posts there...

Love the frequent Tiger updates... and wanted to reply to this post, so I signed up.

Hi everyone.

I've called for the same thing, an Apple UI Tzar. Having actually run a native OS 7-9 system would be one of the job requirements...
post #28 of 96
Why, so you can have old stuff clogging your brain? :P

OS7-9 was good.

OS X is better, if not as 100% consistent.
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post #29 of 96
Looks great. Hopefully the silver UI will eventually replace both standard Aqua and brushed metal. I rather think it has the best qualities of both.

What happened to the Junk Mail mailbox, I wonder? And is it still possible to use the Mail bar (a la Safari's Bookmarks bar) instead of the sidebar, or is that feature replaced by the new interface?
post #30 of 96
I really like that the drawer is leaving mail. Anything that Apple can do to unify the look of their apps is great. Placing things on the left and containing them within the window (ala iTunes, etc) in my book is the way to go.

At the first I liked drawers. Now I really find them bothersome. I would like to see the drawer disappear in iCal as well.

Coming back full circle to Platinum is also welcome. The blue bubbles created attention. Brushed metal has never been real popular. Platinum is comfortable.
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post #31 of 96
It's funny that people (and MacRumors, natch) are calling this Platinum. I suppose one could see that way, but it's definitely -- at the very least -- Platinum 2.0.

Besides, given Apple's UI team to, ah, gather visual inspiration from the look + feel of current Apple hardware... might not Aluminum be a more appropriate nickname?
post #32 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Why, so you can have old stuff clogging your brain? :P

OS7-9 was good.

OS X is better, if not as 100% consistent.

In OS X, open a Finder window in List view mode.
Click at the bottom of the list in the white area.
Drag upward.
Nothing happens.

Is that better?

Everyone I know who uses OS X has a top ten list of stupid little UI issues that never get addressed. The amount of goodwill from OS X users would certainly be worth the effort for Apple.

Some UI inconsistency in OS X is good/understandable since it usually is the result of Apple application engineers developing new UI elements that have yet to be turned into system toolkit calls for other applications to use.
post #33 of 96
Explain what the Apple Menu under OS 9 was for. Now the Application Menu. Explain why applications can show up in both to a new user.

*Overall* OS X is better. Yeah, it has some annoying things, no doubt about it. But *overall* it is so much more well though out that it isn't funny, in my opinion.

In my case, it passed the Mom test. My mother could *never* remember where things were under 9, or why. I had to show her X's layout *once*, and she got it. If you knew my mother, you'd know why that's a major coup for Apple.
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post #34 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Agent_Phoenix
Personally, not being a fan of Aqua, I love this new theme! To me, it doesn't scream Longhorn, it screams Apple and how they consistently seem to come out with awesome interfaces. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Tiger in action next year...

Wait, you don't like Aqua, but then say Apple comes out with awesome interfaces?
post #35 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
It screams 'Longhorn'.

I see no glass
post #36 of 96
Chris G's scheme makes sense--a "set of panes" could be considered something different from a toolbar. If so, I don't think customizability is the issue--System Preferences has a customizable bar, but it changes views just like any app preferences.

In that case, toolbars that just change views are really just another kind of tab. Maybe they could be styled that way--icons held with a big row of blocks that are glassy like Panther's tabs (which don't look like tabs anymore of course).

I too think the drawer serves little function in Mail. But drawers in general aren't a useless UI element--really, they're just a way to re-size a window when adding/subtracting optional content, so that the other content stays the same size. The drawer appearance makes this behavior obvious, while hiding/showing a pane WITHIN a window isn't so obvious: Does the other content re-size (as when hiding iTunes Browse panes)? Or does it stay the same and the window as a whole changes size? Either way could be awkward. With a drawer, you know just what's going to happen.
post #37 of 96
Quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes
It's funny that people (and MacRumors, natch) are calling this Platinum. I suppose one could see that way, but it's definitely -- at the very least -- Platinum 2.0.

Besides, given Apple's UI team to, ah, gather visual inspiration from the look + feel of current Apple hardware... might not Aluminum be a more appropriate nickname?

I have been thinking to myself what this theme reminds me of and that is the aluminum motif Apple has been using.

I personally like the new theme. If they were to replace Aqua with this and still keep the brushed metal, there would be a lot more consistency. While they may not be using one universal theme, Apple would have two themes that do look similar in some ways.

Mike
post #38 of 96
(By the way, I said the "the title bar gradient is not the background for both." That was a typo, too late to edit. The gradient is NO[b]W]/b] the background for both.)
post #39 of 96
Yeah, I agree. It seems nothing less than the latest step in Aqua's long, slow evolution towards a silvery gradient and away (sllllllowly) from the pinstripes.

What's exciting (for me) about the leaked Mail 2.0 pic (as much as the new look) is the (finally!) official de-emphasizing of drawers and beginning of a kind of savvy sidebar, akin to the Finder's, in all applications. Much, much better, and a big step forward from the so-so drawer concept, toward a better UI.

But the new(ish) Aluminum Aqua looks awfully good, too. I too hope (and expect) it to extend to all Aqua apps, and eventually one day replace brushed metal as well.
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Yeah, drawers are usually more annoying than useful.

Seconded, although the drawer in Mail was one of the few useful implementations. I don't need to see my mailboxes most of the time.


Quote:
They can't get rid of it this late in the game. It would break way too many apps.

Besides, the drawer is fine when it's used correctly...for scarcely used items/options. It's just too bad developers and even Apple made the drawer look like an idiotic UI element.

......and thirded

Some apps web pages proudly state they use ALL the interface elements as if it's a goal everyone should strive for. Just makes for messy interfaces most of the time.

I'd like to be able to read and send new emails without the main Mail window popping ot the front all the time - unless I'm looking for something in my mailboxes, I don't need it.

Who knows? With spotlight coming in, maybe there will eventually not be a mail app as such - just mail in folders you can view and manipulate from the finder. No wait, that's BeOS.

I forgot to say, the Aluminium interface sucks so if it's gettign left behind, that's good.
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