Apple tweaks Dock menus in new Snow Leopard beta

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple on Thursday evening delivered to developers a new build of its forthcoming Snow Leopard operating system that addresses a number of outstanding bugs but also delivers a couple of interface tweaks.



"This Snow Leopard Developer Preview Update is recommended for all users running the Snow Leopard Developer Preview Build 10A394 or later," Apple said. "This update includes general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security."



The new build, labeled 10A402a, weighs in at roughly 1.3GB and was distributed via Snow Leopard's Software Update mechanism. It's the second such build to arrive in that manner in as many weeks, signaling ongoing tests to the new version of the system's automatic software updater.



In their brief experiences testing the new build, people familiar with the software claim it to be more responsive overall, as Apple focuses on optimization and stability ahead of a release planned for this fall.



Additionally, developers have noticed a couple of obvious interface tweaks, the first of which has seen the Dock's contextual pop-up menus re-skinned in a charcoal motif with white text. In previous builds, these menus were know to sport the same interface as traditional Finder contextual menus, which include black text on a platinum backdrop.



Snow Leopard's new Dock contextual menus | Source: The Quantum Byte



Apple may also be fiddling with the design of other Mac OS X interface elements, such as slide knobs, which now appear to feature a deeper, more vibrant shade of blue.







At its annual developers conference last month, Apple said it plans to release Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in September as a $29 upgrade for all owners of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    So the rumors ARE gonna be true.
  • Reply 2 of 102
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I installed it last night and while system response has improved a little, still takes longer to boot than 10.5.7. You would think that a 64-bit system that focuses on tweaks wouldn't take so long to boot. Oh well, I am still overall happy with it.
  • Reply 3 of 102
    I wonder if that black popup is showing a bit of what were going to get in newer builds...
  • Reply 4 of 102
    I wonder what else is going to click into place here... perhaps the much discussed iTunes style scroll bars? Nice to see steady progress. SL is no slouch as it is, so good to see further improvements reported...
  • Reply 5 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    You almost don't need the Finder with those new Dock menus, for browsing around at least. I suppose you still need it for file management - copying/moving etc, but then file management was always Finder's weak point.
  • Reply 6 of 102
    What idiocy is this? The slider shown is the slider from the Display preference pane, which pulsates as in picture if you enable ambient light brightness detection. That's been there since Tiger.
  • Reply 7 of 102
    Um, I think you have something wildly wrong:



    http://www.apple.com/macosx/

    "Coming September 2009 with every new Mac. Upgrade from Mac OS X Leopard for just $29"



    September has been repeated over and over and over and over and over, etc. You guys for some reason think it is October. Why?



  • Reply 7 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    You almost don't need the Finder with those new Dock menus, for browsing around at least. I suppose you still need it for file management - copying/moving etc, but then file management was always Finder's weak point.



    Yeah. By default, the hard disks are no longer displayed on the Desktop so it looks like they're trying to get away from the normal file management.
  • Reply 9 of 102
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    You almost don't need the Finder with those new Dock menus, for browsing around at least. I suppose you still need it for file management - copying/moving etc, but then file management was always Finder's weak point.



    Agree - this is the one area I think Apple needs to look a bit closer at the Windows world - I'd like CUT as well as copy and paste, split screen (easier than two windows).
  • Reply 10 of 102
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    You almost don't need the Finder with those new Dock menus, for browsing around at least.



    Interesting point.
  • Reply 11 of 102
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Agree - this is the one area I think Apple needs to look a bit closer at the Windows world - I'd like CUT as well as copy and paste, split screen (easier than two windows).



    The absence of "cut" and whether it's a good thing or not has been discussed for as long as there have been Macs and the general opinion on the Mac side is that it's not needed. If there was a single, absolutely safe bet to be made regarding OS-X UI changes, it's probably that Macs will never have this feature.
  • Reply 12 of 102
    mrparetmrparet Posts: 18member
    The Aqua interface is the only thing giving OS X wrinkles. The operating system would look a lot fresher if given the interface treatment seen in iTunes. I'm hoping that what we are now seeing with Stacks is giving us a glimpse at an Aqua-less OS X.
  • Reply 13 of 102
    esxxiesxxi Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grabberslasher View Post


    What idiocy is this? The slider shown is the slider from the Display preference pane, which pulsates as in picture if you enable ambient light brightness detection. That's been there since Tiger.



    This. Come on AI.



    It's also depressing to see people still think Apple is going to introduce a new UI suddenly with zero developer announcement, support or information within two months. (Why on earth do people still go on about "Illuminous" when the person that made it up confessed as much! And when Gruber claims the next UI revamp is called "Marble".) And something like 2+ weeks of that time would be needed for production, packaging and shipping SL out.



    Even more depressing to see people clammering for iTunes style elements, when it has a terribly implemented style. OS X should go matte, but they should be the metal elements we already know and not the horribly toned iTunes ones.
  • Reply 14 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    That slider for adjusting icon size in the Finder - it would be cool if moving to minimum size changes to list view.



    Edit: the main weakness with the Dock menus is that the Back button moves around when the window size changes. This is a pain when you are trying to go up multiple levels. Maybe if they put it bottom center.
  • Reply 15 of 102
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I like the new menus--makes sense, as a match for Stacks views.



    I'm happy with white menus elsewhere, though.



    And I've lost hope for a new UI (for now). Not that I see the need for a new look anyway--but I WOULD like to see more consistency: iTunes scrollbars should match the rest, whichever style they choose!
  • Reply 16 of 102
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I installed it last night and while system response has improved a little, still takes longer to boot than 10.5.7. You would think that a 64-bit system that focuses on tweaks wouldn't take so long to boot. Oh well, I am still overall happy with it.



    Well, isn't this likely a non-optimized, debug release?
  • Reply 17 of 102
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esXXI View Post


    This. Come on AI.



    It's also depressing to see people still think Apple is going to introduce a new UI suddenly with zero developer announcement, support or information within two months. (Why on earth do people still go on about "Illuminous" when the person that made it up confessed as much! And when Gruber claims the next UI revamp is called "Marble".) And something like 2+ weeks of that time would be needed for production, packaging and shipping SL out.



    Even more depressing to see people clammering for iTunes style elements, when it has a terribly implemented style. OS X should go matte, but they should be the metal elements we already know and not the horribly toned iTunes ones.



    And yet, we are already seeing more and more UI changes. There's only a few more things left to change, like buttons, sliders, and scrollbars, and you've pretty much done a UI overhaul.
  • Reply 18 of 102
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esXXI View Post


    It's also depressing to see people still think Apple is going to introduce a new UI suddenly with zero developer announcement, support or information within two months. (Why on earth do people still go on about "Illuminous" when the person that made it up confessed as much! And when Gruber claims the next UI revamp is called "Marble".) And something like 2+ weeks of that time would be needed for production, packaging and shipping SL out.



    Even more depressing to see people clammering for iTunes style elements, when it has a terribly implemented style. OS X should go matte, but they should be the metal elements we already know and not the horribly toned iTunes ones.



    You're depressed by other people's...optimism?



    Who in this thread is clamoring for an entirely new UI? I see people suggesting that this change to the Dock's contextual menus may foreshadow other tweaks coming between now and whenever Snow Leopard ships in September (I would guess late September).



    Don't you think it'd look a little odd to have white-text-on-black contextual menus only in the Dock? How difficult would it be to similarly invert the color of the Menu Bar and the standard ctrl-click context menu? That would certainly go along with the Dock's white-text-on-black app icon labels introduced in Leopard, TimeMachine, iTunes 8, QuickLook, QuickTime X, etc.



    Leopard's muted, unified window theme would remain intact (aside from QTX, obviously), though I don't think implementing new window controls, buttons, and using the new black glass scroll bars from Stacks or iTunes 8's matte look for scroll bars would be that hard.
  • Reply 19 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrparet View Post


    The Aqua interface is the only thing giving OS X wrinkles. The operating system would look a lot fresher if given the interface treatment seen in iTunes. I'm hoping that what we are now seeing with Stacks is giving us a glimpse at an Aqua-less OS X.



    I don't think they're going for Aqua-less, it's bigger than that - they're almost going for everything in the OS being a HUD, with user applications being the only non-HUD things.
  • Reply 20 of 102
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Well, isn't this likely a non-optimized, debug release?



    It's possible that it is, and that's what I was thinking. However if SL is going to be available in September (not knowing when in September of course, typical) then it would RTM probably sometime in mid-August at the latest based solely on my assumptions. I would hope that they still wouldn't have debugging turned on this late into development. Oh well, I still am happy with SL so far.
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