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Apple unifies interface look in new Leopard seed

post #1 of 77
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The latest development build of Mac OS X Leopard finally tackles issues with consistent style that many say have plagued the Apple software for years.

While most of the test versions of the future operating system have so far handled only the many bugs still left in its code, this week's edition allegedly contains the first signs of obvious visual differences between itself and 2005's Mac OS X Tiger.

The brushed-metal look that first appeared in earnest with Panther has almost completely faded away, according to reports. Well-known holdouts for the style, including Finder, Photo Booth, and Safari, have purportedly abandoned the metallic sheen in favor of the simpler, gradiated style that first appeared in Apple Mail 2.0 and later transferred to Leopard's version of iChat and the more widely available iTunes 7.

A frequent sticking point with critics of Apple's user interface has been its tendency to use different visual elements for program windows without a clear shift in purpose, such as the use of the gradient style for System Preferences versus the metal of Finder or the Aqua style of generic windows.

See more Leopard build 9A410 screenshots supplied by hackint0sh and Flickr.
post #2 of 77
Not sure I like the squared-off corners, but Apple complying with their own GUI guidelines in a consistent manner can't be a bad thing. Honestly though, to me the squared-off corners say "placeholder graphics" to me - I don't know about those "illuminous" or "onyx" names, but I think we're going to see more of a glossy black UI come this June when Leopard is showcased more fully.
post #3 of 77
Eh..looks just like UNO to me.
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post #4 of 77
the squares are still rounded, it's just the Leopard screen capture tool that fails :-)
post #5 of 77
you really notice the squared edges. this would be a big change, its been rounded for quite some time. Like stated above, not sure if I like it. gotta wait for the preview in june / more pics to get a good idea i guess
post #6 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

Not sure I like the squared-off corners, but Apple complying with their own GUI guidelines in a consistent manner can't be a bad thing. Honestly though, to me the squared-off corners say "placeholder graphics" to me - I don't know about those "illuminous" or "onyx" names, but I think we're going to see more of a glossy black UI come this June when Leopard is showcased more fully.

The square corners was supposedly a screenshot issue and not how it really looks.

Also, it looks like they're progressing with the resolution independent graphics. The refresh and webclip buttons both look both look vector to me. I think one of the reasons they decided to do away with the brushed metal effect is that it's not feasible to do with a resolution independent interface. A simple gradient like they have in this build makes much more sense.

It does look a lot like Uno, which makes sense. It's the most logical progression of the OS X interface.
post #7 of 77
I like how inactive windows aren't dark. That is a flaw in brushed metal and the current polished--almost no diference between the active and inactive windows.
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post #8 of 77
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post #9 of 77
If they are moving to a entirely new UI it would make a lot of sense to unify all existing programs as a first step (get them to use the same UI framework).

Either way this is good, as it makes the interface more consistent and paves the way for consistent, overall interface upgrades.

Now lets just hope they can get these cowboys who work on the iTunes UI in check...
post #10 of 77
I think the current colour of system preferences fits it better, now theres too much contrast
post #11 of 77
Nothing UNO isn't doing now. Bored already, where is OS 11.........
post #12 of 77
Personally I prefer the brushed metal if I had the two side by side and had to choose one. But there is so little difference to me that I think you really have to be a nit-picker to get in an uproar over either one.

I just want my Spaces.

And I wonder if Leopard will do anything about thread-hopping (my own term). If you have MenuMeters and a Quad-something you can see what I mean. If you run some app that only has one thread you can see that thread execute first on one core for a bit, then another, and another, etc. It's got to be a bit inefficient since it will be reloading the processor cache every time it switches cores (or at least switching between chips).
post #13 of 77
I am a bit surprised by the importance you assign to UI borders, slight color changes etc...

I really hope Apple also do some significant work, not just advertisments and sales tricks -- I'd like to see some "revolutionary" (and I mean REVOLUTIONARY, not just in the marketing sense) new ideas in Leopard. For example a radically different GUI where we can zoom into apps rearrange spaces and zoom them in ("pinch", using the new touch mouse?) etc - if apple really stands for innovation, then some window borders and color change is ... well, nil!!
post #14 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post

If they are moving to a entirely new UI it would make a lot of sense to unify all existing programs as a first step (get them to use the same UI framework).

Either way this is good, as it makes the interface more consistent and paves the way for consistent, overall interface upgrades.

This is my feeling as well. I think it's obvious that they will ned consistency regardless of a new "theme" for the OS, but it would be vital to make sure the plumbing is in place if they want to send water down the pipes!

Quote:
Now lets just hope they can get these cowboys who work on the iTunes UI in check...

Can't really say how the iTunes codebase looks since it's in many ways now a cross-platform app, but I imagine they do not make use of the same "hooks" as the OS X-native apps do--which explains some of its ongoing inconsistencies.

In many ways iTunes is now in the same boat as a Photoshop or a Word: it needs a common codebase and can't always take advantage of 100% of the features of the "host" platform...
post #15 of 77
Square or not I get the impression from these screenshots that the interface change is incomplete. In a couple of them there is a too abrupt transition (black line, then light window dressing below). This could very well be by design, but I hope not.
post #16 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevalierMalFet View Post

Square or not I get the impression from these screenshots that the interface change is incomplete. In a couple of them there is a too abrupt transition (black line, then light window dressing below). This could very well be by design, but I hope not.

Yea--the abrupt contrast reminds me of vista--yuck!
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post #17 of 77
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Originally Posted by Wings View Post

Personally I prefer the brushed metal if I had the two side by side and had to choose one. But there is so little difference to me that I think you really have to be a nit-picker to get in an uproar over either one.

Eh... brushed-metal always makes me think of QT5 and its stupid roller-wheel volume control. The issue with brushed-metal was it was always a "consumer device" mimic theme, in original intent--then Safari showed up with it and I have to ask--when's the last time you bought a Panasonic Web Browser at Best Buy?

Apple was trying for a "theme for app function" method for awhile and it sort of fell apart. Better to resume consistency.
Quote:
I just want my Spaces.

Hear, hear! Esp. if it's "sticky" (i.e. apps remember their "Space" between loads).

Quote:
And I wonder if Leopard will do anything about thread-hopping (my own term). If you have MenuMeters and a Quad-something you can see what I mean. If you run some app that only has one thread you can see that thread execute first on one core for a bit, then another, and another, etc. It's got to be a bit inefficient since it will be reloading the processor cache every time it switches cores (or at least switching between chips).

My feeling is this has more to do with distibuting load. MenuMeters et al. probably have low priority threads and thus they are likely to be bumped when a higher-priority process wants processor cycles. If you'll notice, OS X tends to try and disribute processor load pretty evenly--at least when you're in an "idle" situation.

As the MacOS has been able to deal with multiple processors at least on an application level since the System 7.5 days, I don't think it's worthwhile to second-guess how Apple's engineers have decided to do this. Probably any imagined performance hit is more than made-up for by the load optimizations...
post #18 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

Not sure I like the squared-off corne.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blascock View Post

you really notice the squared edges.

How is it not obvious that it's the result of a screenshot.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

Eh..looks just like UNO to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daneoni View Post

Nothing UNO isn't doing now.

UNO rocks!
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post #19 of 77
I am glad to see the GUI getting a revamp, but unification is not necessary. Individual apps should have the best GUI for them, regardless of what others are doing. And Expose doesn't work as well when all apps look the same.

I don't think they should unify, but just go through all apps one by one, and make them look lighter. More dominated by their content and less by their controls.
post #20 of 77
Anyone who even notices these things has waaaay too much time on their hands.
post #21 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I am glad to see the GUI getting a revamp, but unification is not necessary. Individual apps should have the best GUI for them, regardless of what others are doing. And Expose doesn't work as well when all apps look the same.

I don't think they should unify, but just go through all apps one by one, and make them look lighter. More dominated by their content and less by their controls.

I, personally, prefer a unified look among OS X, but you make a good argument with Expose.
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post #22 of 77
This link summarizes the graphic history of the OSX visual interface design:

http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments...ard_interface/
post #23 of 77
This is why I think Apple is being modest with an October release. They're not going to be working on refining the GUI if they're that far off from releasing the product. They aren't going to be concerned with the polish yet if they have things being worked on under the hood. I'm still holding for a June/July release of 10.5.
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post #24 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

the squares are still rounded, it's just the Leopard screen capture tool that fails :-)

I would suggest it is the way in which the captured image was cropped either pre or post use of the screen capture tool. In other words, it was not the capture tool that failed, but the way the user took the image.

Notice that there is no shadow on either and I doubt highly that this is intended as well.
post #25 of 77
I really don't get how it makes sense to have the active app to be darker than inactive apps, as in, I think of an active app and I'm thinking that the OS should "highlight" it. It's a little bit better contrast than now, the contrast between active and inactive windows is too slight.

At least this isn't trying to be an all-black UI. I think that would be too harsh looking, and I think that of the iPhone UI, I'd rather that the iPhone UI be varying shades of gray.

The shown images look kind of like a lightly textured powder coat to me.
post #26 of 77
i dont like the multi-sized icons. supose you can change that though...
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post #27 of 77
I really like the fact that stripes are finally completely gone!
post #28 of 77
I think it would be neat to have a selection under "Appearance" where you can decide the look for the overall os. Like Uno does right now...switch between brushed metal or the more plastic look...heck even change the contrast...
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I really don't get how it makes sense to have the active app to be darker than inactive apps, as in, I think of an active app and I'm thinking that the OS should "highlight" it. It's a little bit better contrast than now, the contrast between active and inactive windows is too slight.

At least this isn't trying to be an all-black UI. I think that would be too harsh looking, and I think that of the iPhone UI, I'd rather that the iPhone UI be varying shades of gray.

The shown images look kind of like a lightly textured powder coat to me.

At first I thought it was my screen but you're right, there's a texture to those plastic windows. We've got Pinstripe, Brushed Metal, Smooth Steel, Plastic (of varying shades)... what should we call this one?

I wonder if this is a follow through on the idea that iApps get lighter shades of grey and ProApps darker shades?

EDIT: Eggshell?
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post #30 of 77
Well, I guess some icons will change, like the folder icons; they are still too aquaish.
Give it some time...Apple always make their stuff look pretty - it's not going to be any different this time.
post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

This link summarizes the graphic history of the OSX visual interface design:

http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments...ard_interface/

Very nice page and excellent site design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAM View Post

I really like the fact that stripes are finally completely gone!

Hear Hear


I'm not sure if Apple is going to make huge inroads in the GUI unifcation. I tend to think the changes they will make will be more operational. Hell...they could always make some people really happy but offing a "Shapeshifter" killer that is actually safe.
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post #32 of 77
I feel like this so called "update" to the UI is a front. From the screen shots it looks like somebody took the application and crumpled it like a piece of paper and then smoothed it out on the edge of a desk. The UI needs an update bad but I don't think this is the right path that Apple should take. I am banking on the fact that this is just temporary and they are really going to release something with a lot more suave.
post #33 of 77
Shapeshifter is still going to be the only solution for me... I cannot stand the boring GUI skin Apple has mutated since 10.0. They should move away from Aqua since Vista had so heavily copied their Glass theme. It would be revolutionary to change how we interface with the computer, but I guess we have to wait for the mouse and keyboard to die.
post #34 of 77
I WONDER WHAT APPLE WILL RELEASE IN NAP AND WWDC07 THEN!? No Leapord, iPhone and iTV are already old, MacPro has already been released, hmm.. it HAS TO BE NEW iMACS OR/AND MACBOOK F'N PROS!
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The latest development build of Mac OS X Leopard finally tackles issues with consistent style that many say have plagued the Apple software for years.

That sounds serious indeed. Apple better fix that straight away.
post #36 of 77
First, don't get used to that new look. It's just the iLife '06 theme, and clearly it's just a placeholder. Any fancy new theme will be debuted at the hands of His Steveness, it won't just appear in a developer seed.

Second, why is Apple unifying the look now? Considering how bad it is usability wise (and in Expose) for all different applications to look identical.

A few sources have popped up on various message boards recently, and the speculation is that, given the switch to vector graphics and resolution independence, this new look is just set up for a proper theming engine in Leopard, allowing the user to dramatically customize the looks of their applications. Someone went so far as to say that Leopard would support dynamic theming, allowing windows they change their 'theme' dynamically, say to match the time of day, or to pulse red when showing an alert. He based his speculation on some prior patents granted to Apple.

Anyway, things should 'look' very exiting in June when this stuff is finally disclosed, but for now, we have the iLife '06 theme to look at.
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaynham View Post

i dont like the multi-sized icons. supose you can change that though...

I don't like it either although it only appears in Safari as far I can see from looking at all of the screenshots. It seems appropriate in something like iTunes where the play button is bigger, but in Safari it just looks sloppy.

Personally, I hope they remove the faux wood from the sides of the Garage Band window. It makes me feel like I fired up a program from the early 90's since it looks like it was created with a very limited palette. It could at least look like real wood (or simulated wood for that matter). Not something that makes me wonder if the system requirements for it are 16-color EGA or 256-color VGA.
post #38 of 77
It's more reminiscent of Openstep which of course had the most consistent UI and was out-of-the-way visually to allow you to concentrate on your WORK.
post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrosmash View Post

First, don't get used to that new look. It's just the iLife '06 theme, and clearly it's just a placeholder. Any fancy new theme will be debuted at the hands of His Steveness, it won't just appear in a developer seed.


What makes you say it's "clearly it's just a placeholder...". I don't see it being clearly that case at all. I am willing to bet this is the theme they ship with. I was saying it before leopard released builds, that they would move to this theme next. Mainly because of iPhoto, iTunes... iLife. Those apps usually get the new ui first, then the OS goes along with it. This new theme is very nice on the eyes... you can finally see where an inactive app is vs an active one.

They have been slowly converting the rest of the built in apps to this theme before this build, terminal, automator, Netinfo... the rest of the utilities. One by one have been going to this theme. That takes a lot of time to do. I seriously doubt they are going to suddenly change the themes on every one of those apps and Leopard as well. It's been a long drawn out process just to get here. I wouldn't get your hopes up for a different theme than this on Leopard.

 

 

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post #40 of 77
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


See more Leopard build 9A410 screenshots supplied by hackint0sh and Flickr.

Interesting if you look at the link in the article there is a finder.jpg, with what appears to be a thumbnail/preview button. So finder gets a long await update.
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