Sources reveal Apple's new-look interface for Mac OS X Lion's Finder, Mail, and other apps

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
The developer preview of Mac OS X Lion released to developers on Thursday sports a new interface look akin to iTunes for the Finder, Mail and iCal, while applications like Address adopt design elements borrowed from the iPad. AppleInsider offers a first look.



iPad-style Mail, Address Book, iCal



According to people familiar with the software, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion features a new version of Mail with a widescreen layout inspired by the mail application on the iPad. Among the new additions is Conversations, a feature that automatically groups related messages into one easy-to-read timeline.



Mail also features a more powerful search, and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010.



The address book has also taken a cue from the iPad, and iCal has also borrowed design elements from the interface on Apple's popular touchscreen tablet.























New file view options in Finder, additional multi-touch gestures



According to the same people referenced above, a new view in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion's Finder will break down items in a folder by file type. Meanwhile, the Finder itself sports a new view called "All My Files," which works very much the same way for all of the files belonging to a user on a Mac's hard disk. The feature works like Cover Flow, in that you can scroll through rows with the mouse, trackpad or arrow keys when there are more documents or applications in the row that can fit inside the visible portion of the Finder window.



The new multi-touch gestures are designed to take advantage of the larger click TrackPads on more recent MacBook models, which could make them more difficult with older notebooks. Another strange quirk, people familiar with the developer preview said, is two-finger scrolling is reversed: to scroll down on a webpage in Safari, users must push up with their fingers, which is the opposite of how it works in Snow Leopard, but the same directly as scrolling on the iPad.











Apple has also added additional multi-touch gestures for users of the MacBook TrackPad, Magic TrackPad, or Magic Mouse. Users can invoke a pinch gesture to bring up the Launchpad, while spreading their fingers will access the Desktop.







Launchpad & Mission Control



Launchpad aims to make it easy to find applications on a Mac. With a single click, Launchpad displays all Mac apps in a full-screen layout that looks like an iPad's home screen.



From there, applications can be launched, reorganized, or placed into folders that operate identical to folders on iOS. Applications can also be arranged into multiple pages, also like on iOS, allowing users to swipe between them.











Mission Control unifies Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps, giving users the ability to view every application and window currently running on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. A simple swipe zooms out the desktop to display open windows grouped by application.



Mission Control also provides thumbnails of full-screen applications, as well as the Dashboard. It also gives users the ability to instantly navigate anywhere with a click.







Scroll bar settings, iOS-style switches for menus



As revealed by AppleInsider earlier Thursday, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion features overlay scrollbars similar to those in iOS. If a user's pointing device (such as a TrackPad or Magic Mouse) supports both horizontal and vertical touch scrolling, the scrollbars are hidden during normal use.



Scrollbars will appear as an overlay on top of the window's content while the user is scrolling. The bars will also remain visible briefly after scrolling, to allow users the option to drag the scrollbar.



If a user does not have a device attached that is capable of scrolling, the scrollbars will remain on the screen. In addition, users can turn on the "legacy scrollbar" option in System Preferences.







Other iOS-style elements have also been added to the Mac OS in Lion, with switches that resemble those that might be found in an application on the iPad.







New privacy settings, parental controls



A new privacy section has been added to the Security option in System Preferences. It allows users to choose whether diagnostic data will be sent to Apple, and also whether location services are enabled on their Mac. These options are similar to the location services settings on iOS devices.









Apple has also enhanced parental controls for the Mac, allowing users to restrict access to certain websites, programs, or even to use the machine at certain times of day.











New TextEdit, iOS-style autocorrect, additional Preview interfaces



Options and the overall look and feel of TextEdit have also been tweaked. And the autocorrect user interface from iOS has been brought to the Mac with Lion.







Users can also sort through pictures and view content in new manners with an updated Preview in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.











For more on Thursday's release of the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion developer preview, as well as comprehensive coverage of Apple's upcoming operating system update due to launch this summer, see AppleInsider's earlier stories:



Sources detail new features in Apple's first beta of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion



Apple releases preview of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion iwth AirDrop, FileVault



First look: Apple's new Mac OS X 10.7 Lion



Mac OS X 10.7 Lion bringing iOS features to Mac in summer 2011
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 140
    I'm confused by the new tab control... is the currently selected tab raised and the tab options dimmed and set into the background? That seems exactly opposite of the way that they should behave. If I was first presented with that control I would assume that the one raised tab was the only one clickable. Or am I just misreading these screen shots?
  • Reply 2 of 140
    So mission control unifies spaces, expose, and dashboard but it doesn't REPLACE spaces or Expose right? Have confirmed that spaces and Expose is still present?
  • Reply 3 of 140
    While it does reuse some of the iPad UI It doesn't look like a full on iOS coup of the desktop. It doesn't look bad but until I use it in person I will reserve final judgement.
  • Reply 4 of 140
    Not a fan of the iOS style autocorrect, hopefully there is a way to revert it to the style of SL as it is annoying enough clicking the x to close when on my iPhone much less on a computer.
  • Reply 5 of 140
    LOVE the auto correct features for Lion!



    Address Book actually looks like a book in Lion. Cool! Odd to have the window controls on the left-hand page though.



    And speaking of window controls, isn't it interesting that they are all horizontal instead of vertical like in the most recent iTunes version? I wonder if this means iTunes will be going back to the horizontal layout or if it will be the only app from Apple with a vertical configuration. I hope Apple makes the controls horizontal throughout the OS.
  • Reply 6 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hezetation View Post


    Not a fan of the iOS style autocorrect, hopefully there is a way to revert it to the style of SL as it is annoying enough clicking the x to close when on my iPhone much less on a computer.



    I like the autocorrect/autocomplete feature on iOS, but I'm not sure I'd have the same appreciation of it working on OS X (i.e., with a full-sized physical keyboard). I'll have to experience it in action.
  • Reply 7 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hezetation View Post


    Not a fan of the iOS style autocorrect, hopefully there is a way to revert it to the style of SL as it is annoying enough clicking the x to close when on my iPhone much less on a computer.



    I imagine the 'esc' button will close it.
  • Reply 8 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troehl View Post


    I'm confused by the new tab control... is the currently selected tab raised and the tab options dimmed and set into the background? That seems exactly opposite of the way that they should behave. If I was first presented with that control I would assume that the one raised tab was the only one clickable. Or am I just misreading these screen shots?



    I thought the same. My first reaction was "how can three tabs be selected at once?", until I released they've done the reverse of what's logical and made the selected tab raised.
  • Reply 9 of 140
    apple and i appear to have diverging ideas as to where to use colour - when i get a new mac install i always switch the three coloured top left widgets to graphite



    was frightened the sidebar will lose its colours after the last itunes update featured the change and am surprised that no other ui elements made their way from itunes - i thought the matte scrollbars would've made an appearance



    which leaves me wondering if there are any scrollbars left in the os or is it just a coincidence these screenshots had none (i read elsewhere that scrollbars would appear as needed but i thought that was in full screen mode only)
  • Reply 10 of 140
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member
    In general, I LOVE the new UI updates. Definitely looks slicker and more modern. I can only assume they will improve further towards release.
  • Reply 11 of 140
    Well done AI. Especially like the accompanying photos.



    I like the look and can see the reason for incorporating iOS features into OSX. Reminds me how Apple changed the iMac keyboard to mimic a MBP's keyboard. Then the track pad for the iMac to mimic the trackpad on the MBP's. Works really well for switching between iMacs and MB's. Unless your daughter-in-law uses the trackpad as something to lay your wrist on while she uses the magic mouse. Twit!



    I think Apple is on the right track here. Mail should look like the iPad and iPhone as much as possible. Same with the other apps, buttons and scroll bars fading in and out, etc., etc.





    Best
  • Reply 12 of 140
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    All looking great.



    Now wait for the usual faces to hate every aspect of any change based on their own guesswork and assumption.



    I love 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6 - had them all on day one, had a great experience. I backup before i upgrade, if there's an issue, I go back. I guess that's why apple say "back up" before you install.



    10.7 will be another exciting new chapter, and if I don't want upgrade - no one is forcing me. I'm also guessing it'll be half the price of the version of windows that actually contains all the features it advertises.



    I've got an LCII in the corner running 7.5 like a dream - that's the joy of mac. It'll do in five years what it does now, if you wanna do more, upgrade, if you don't - then don't upgrade.



    it really is that simply.



    Bring on Lion, I can't wait.



  • Reply 13 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troehl View Post


    I'm confused by the new tab control... is the currently selected tab raised and the tab options dimmed and set into the background? That seems exactly opposite of the way that they should behave. If I was first presented with that control I would assume that the one raised tab was the only one clickable. Or am I just misreading these screen shots?



    I believe its more implemented as a slider. notice how there isnt button lines on anything but the item raised out. Seems perfect for touch.... just saying
  • Reply 14 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer


    I thought the same. My first reaction was "how can three tabs be selected at once?", until I released they've done the reverse of what's logical and made the selected tab raised.



    Umm... use a tabbed web browser. They *all* use raised tabs to indicate the current one.
  • Reply 15 of 140
    Not big on having AddressBook look like a book. Some things are limiting when they look like their real-world counterparts.



    This tells me that GPS chips will be coming to Mac notebooks on the next revision. Of course, Skyhook can grab your location in other ways, but I think it’s the long overdue GPS coming.



  • Reply 16 of 140
    Looks good so far -



    I really hope they allow you to paste excel or numbers data into a email and keep the formatting. and when you get a mail with excel data in the body of the email to be able to copy and paste it back into excel.
  • Reply 17 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    Umm... use a tabbed web browser. They *all* use raised tabs to indicate the current one.



    I suppose they are, but those tabs are more an extension of the header (at least in Firefox and Safari). In Lion's case, the "tabs" are actually button-shaped, and an indented button would indicate that it's been pressed. In the screenshot above, the logical design would be for Privacy to appear "pressed", while the other three should be raised.
  • Reply 18 of 140
    In general is what I was hoping wouldn't happen to OSX. Everything gets bigger and playful like it's on an iPad sitting on my lap. Ugh.



    -Can you turn off the couple of preview lines in the mail list so you can see more than just a half dozen at a time?



    -Can the Address Book be expanded to show a longer list of names? (And having it look like a book is really a step forward graphically?) Fisher Price rules!
  • Reply 19 of 140
    I really enjoyed the photos in this article, macosx lion looks promising, can't wait to load it on my workstation.
  • Reply 20 of 140
    I like the look of the Finder where the applications scroll by like cover flow. I use an Apple track pad and magic mouse with my iMac and really am coming to appreciate the touch gestures. Took me a while not to have to actually "click" on the trackpad but now I like it a lot.



    Same with the chick-let keyboard. Could not see myself going back to those big clunky PC type keyboards.
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