Apple's Snow Leopard may arrive with unified 'Marble' interface

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
With the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple may be planning to rid its flagship operating system of the various user interface inconsistencies that have materialized in recent years, according to a pair of reports.



As part of his Macworld 2009 predictions earlier this month, Daring Fireball's John Gruber suggested that Apple was likely to demo a new build of the operating system at the conference that would "make old features look new, by updating the system-wide appearance theme."



"I’ve made this prediction several times in the past and been wrong, but eventually I’ll be right: it’s time for the last vestiges of the original Mac OS X 10.0 'Aqua' theme to go," he wrote.



Specifically, Gruber said that scrollbars and push buttons that have remained largely unchanged since the Mac OS X public beta in 2000 would adopt the smoother, darker style iTunes-style scrollbars, while application windows would move to a darker chrome motif alongside an inverted menubar with light text on a dark background.



Although Gruber, who said the new interface theme was rumored to go by the code-name Marble, admits that his prediction was wrong again, his general claim is being backed up this week by MacRumors.



Interface elements and colors of the rumored "Marble" theme.



The rumor site claims to have independently heard of the Marble-dubbed theme, which "will likely involve tweaks to the existing design and perhaps a 'flattening' of Aqua in-line with Apple's iTunes and iPhoto interface elements."



No further details are available given that builds of Snow Leopard reported to include the update theme have yet to see distribution outside Apple's walls.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    It would be nice to finally get rid of Aqua. It is such an ugly interface.
  • Reply 2 of 83
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    Jep, it's ugly, partially. Hate the buttons and scrollbars.

    Seems to come from the past.



    Seems like a logical step, when you look at Apples' latest apps, their website, and so forth.

    I expected a change when Leopard arrived. Luckely all interface elements can be tweaked with hacks and terminal commands.



    Let's also hope the Apple gets rid of the 3D dock, which sucks, as well as the ugly transparent menu bar. Ow, and the "space themed background".



    An OS should not get in your face!
  • Reply 3 of 83
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... Specifically, Gruber said that scrollbars and push buttons that have remained largely unchanged since the Mac OS X public beta in 2000 would adopt the smoother, darker style iTunes-style scrollbars, while application windows would move to a darker chrome motif alongside an inverted menubar with light text on a dark background. ...



    While it's always interesting to hear of the rude genius of John Gruber, (not) this one sentence is the only thing that actually describes the interface, and it does an especially awful and confusing job of it.



    Anyone care to explain what "... darker chrome motif alongside an inverted menubar with light text on a dark background" actually means? The picture you include doesn't seem to show anything of the sort, so it's either a poor illustration, or a poor description of the illustration provided.
  • Reply 4 of 83
    vandilvandil Posts: 187member
    Pinstripes were a little tacky.

    Brushed Aluminum was okay for a while, but I'm over it.

    So far I like Leopard's grayness for things.



    "Marble" as based on iTunes, would be an interesting UI choice. Personally, though, I think they should just modify the Appearances system pane to let you choose between all the different themes we've seen in OSX releases, complete with the appropriate Aqua Blue or Graphite wallpapers for the chosen release.
  • Reply 5 of 83
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    An OS should not get in your face!



    No, but it should make it easy to find the controls you need. I hate iTunes interface style and the sample shown in this article because everything looks the same. Just different shades of gray and blue/gray. The worse is the Coverflow slider which is black on a black background. The controls need better contrast. I always hated iTunes embossed buttons since they were so easy to overlook.



    Whether or not you like their appearance or not, it's hard to deny that's it really easy to tell where the buttons, scroll bars and other control widgets are in Aqua.



    If they decide to unify, I hope they give the choice to unify around either Aqua or this Marble crap.
  • Reply 6 of 83
    I agree that the Aqua interface is overdue for replacement, but I'm not sure I like the new iTunes appearance any better ? it seems too bland, as though it belongs in Linux or something.
  • Reply 7 of 83
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,746member
    Style is in the eye of the beholder. I remember when people used to revel in how modern the Aqua interface was as compared to Windows. Now it's considered tacky.



    I dunno, to me it's at least distinctive and usable. Unlike the XP theme which is just fugly and takes up too much space. Vista's theme is better, but the transparency bothers me a bit on the usability side.



    I'm not really a fan of flat interfaces -- not enough visual interest. I do hope they retain some depth and playfulness. Too much work and not enough play makes Mac a dull OS.
  • Reply 8 of 83
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    Jep, it's ugly, partially. Hate the buttons and scrollbars.

    Seems to come from the past.



    Seems like a logical step, when you look at Apples' latest apps, their website, and so forth.

    I expected a change when Leopard arrived. Luckely all interface elements can be tweaked with hacks and terminal commands.



    Let's also hope the Apple gets rid of the 3D dock, which sucks, as well as the ugly transparent menu bar. Ow, and the "space themed background".

    An OS should not get in your face!



    Check the bolded pieces. The 3D dock is easily removed with a terminal command and while I don't like it, I know several people that do like it. It's easily removed and replaced with the default, side docked 2D.



    Ugly transparent menu bar? Tickbox in System Preferences.



    Spaced themed background? A few clicks away.



    What's wrong with the defaults? If someone likes them, great. The dock isn't easily changed for Jenny Newuser but the other things are. Why do they need to go away? Trying to understand your logic.
  • Reply 9 of 83
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel001


    I agree that the Aqua interface is overdue for replacement, but I'm not sure I like the new iTunes appearance any better — it seems too bland, as though it belongs in Linux or something.



    Funny you should mention that...Someone at the airport the other day asked me "What distro?" while I was choosing music in iTunes on my MBP...
  • Reply 10 of 83
    Just make the interface nice and unified. I personally don't mind the Aqua interface, but some hate it, so the better option might be to give users a limited choice. One "Pro" theme that uses minimal colors and a "Consumer" theme that uses brighter colors and effects.



    I also never understood why Apple doesn't take the time to do the little things (giving users new desktops and user icons, ect). We all know how to change these ourselves, but Apple SHOULD add them with each OS release.



    Why have a Jaguar pattern and not one for the other cats?

    Why have a basketball icon, but no football or golf ball?



    How about a screensaver that shows photos of all the great Apple products ever made. Some nice Apple wallpapers.



    Your thoughts?
  • Reply 11 of 83
    I find the new interfaces grey and drab and far too dark, very much the UI equivalent of the old beige boxes.



    Keep Aqua.
  • Reply 12 of 83
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Do away with the GUI altogether and just give us a terminal prompt.



    It would be nice if OSX had themes to choose from, but that's not really on my top 10 list for things I'd like to see in Snow Leopard.
  • Reply 13 of 83
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr Squid View Post


    It would be nice to finally get rid of Aqua. It is such an ugly interface.



    I am optimistic that all the random interface oddities will get ironed out in S-Leopard. I think Apple has been making an effort in that direction and I thought Leopard had a refinement over Tiger. I don't think just changing colors is what Apple is eventually striving for with the next OS. Hopefully if will focus on intuitive design allowing newbies to the platform as well as seasoned users to bring an ease of use to a very old concept born decades ago. Not everyone will love the changes and there will always be hacks for those geeks that care enough to bother but all you need to do is look at a current version of Windows to see how garish a GUI can look and you will realize that Apple has some talented and esthetic people working on it.
  • Reply 14 of 83
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    _____
  • Reply 15 of 83
    Apple have been at the forefront obviously when it comes to GUI, it would be a great idea to stop for a moment and develop a more timeless and clean interface, especially considering their ever expanding product line have display components. With the widening no. of apps and the multi media aspects of all the devices, Apple should consider a very simple neutral interface.
  • Reply 16 of 83
    Bring back Kaleidoscope!







    The 10.0 aqua scrollbars are looking more and more odd the more OS X gets refined, from the white to the metal windows, then to iTunes style windows in Leopard, and now something different again!
  • Reply 17 of 83
    phizzphizz Posts: 142member
    I agree with @Virgil-TB2 that the interface description is not very clear ... I assume it will be simply along the lines of what we've seen in iTunes / iPhoto?



    I loved the aqua interface back in the early 2000s when it was fresh and new, and I actually did not like the iTunes look and feel at all when they first brought it out. But now I'm inverted - the aqua controls look very out-of-date, and the iTunes / iPhoto ones look very clean and professional. I think most would agree the ITunes/iPhoto controls match the general grey interface of Leopard better (whereas the aqua controls suited the brighter pinstripe interface).



    The one thing I don't like about the iTunes/iPhoto controls is the 1 pixel of light-coloured space that "appears" to be at the right side of each vertical scroll bar handle. When I screenshot and zoom in in Photoshop you can see the gradients and that it is fitting in the middle etc, but at normal view they just need to tweak the contrast IMO.



    Also, I reallllly think Apple should move away from Lucida Grande as the default system font, or at least provide more flexibility to globally change it. Some apps like Mail do (which I view in Helvetica - much much nicer), but many don't. It too had grown tiresome.



    But these are just nitpicks - overall, the OS X interface is still top of class in comparison to others.
  • Reply 18 of 83
    Whilst I agree with most comments on this, OS X does need to keep itself from looking like most other OSs. One of the things that wows new users to the Mac is that it's just 'fun' to use it, and AQUA has played a big part in this. Looking at the new iMovie, it looks good, but it's not going to make average users go 'wow look, glowing buttons' as was the purpose with the original AQUA.
  • Reply 19 of 83
    rpsxrpsx Posts: 46member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auxio View Post


    Style is in the eye of the beholder. I remember when people used to revel in how modern the Aqua interface was as compared to Windows. Now it's considered tacky.



    i considered it tacky from day one. i would be so joyed to see the fake plastic scrollbars go. i think the scrollbars are better in itunes, but those could still could be a bit more refined. but please, no more fake plastic. i was overjoyed with the loss of fake brushed metal. a screen is a screen! any kind of reproduction of real materials is just mimicry when rendered in pixels. especially when next to the real material itself. glad that era is possibly coming to an end.
  • Reply 20 of 83
    The first thing I always do when I need to install Leopard is get rid of the Aqua OS X scrollbars and replace them with the iTunes version. Makes the OS look SO much better. Now I just need to get rid of Aqua buttons and that'll be that!
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