What is Apple’s next UI move?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 18:28
Posted in category Featured, Operating Systems

Everyone has been getting all hot and bothered lately about Apple’s next UI overhaul.  What will it look like?  Well, since iTunes 7 came out with a darker look, you have probably been staring at the next Apple OS UI and didn’t even know it.  Apple loves simplicity, eye candy, and used to cherish uniformity.  However, with the darker look in iTunes 7/8 and now the new iLife ‘09 suite, Apple seems to either be going through a slow transition as to not shock us all at once, or they themselves don’t even know what they want to do, like they’re stuck between Aqua and “Marble”.  All of this uncertainty on UI styles brings up the question: Why one style?  Come inside for a look back in time at several styles OS X has taken and the possibility of what future renditions hold…


*The much brighter, flashier look of Aqua in Tiger*

Personally I really like Aqua…Leopard Aqua that is.  The Aqua styles from Tiger and Panther were a little *too* bright.  However Leopard seems to have gotten it right.  Though the inconsistencies throughout Leopard take away from the whole “unified” effect slightly.  If the inconsistencies in Leopard’s aqua UI were cleared up, Leopard would be close to perfect in my opinion.  However I know the shiny and brightness of Aqua turns many off.  That is where Marble could be their saving grace.  But who says that there has to only be one look.  Many OS X users under 10.4 Tiger used theming programs such as Candybar and Shape Shifter to completely redo the look of their machines.  One would think with Apple’s push of individualism and standing out from the crowd that theming and customization would be widely supported from the start.  But it isn’t.  Why?  Is Apple more about uniformity instead of individuality?  That is certainly what it seems like.  


*Leopard’s refined, “calmer” Aqua look*

Here is a crazy idea.  How about with 10.6 Snow Leopard give users the option to toggle between Aqua and Marble much like you can currently toggle between the normal “blue” and “grey” themes in Leopard.  The blue and grey themes in Leopard are can hardly be called themes as the only glaring changes are the title bar controls (3 colored cirlces) and sliders change from full color/blue aqua to grey aqua look all around.  Again, hardly a theme at all.  I for one would love to see Apple implement a dual theme toggle switch for Snow Leopard.  It would silence both Aqua and Marble haters as each would have a choice…old shine or new class.

*iPhoto ‘09 UI to become the overall UI in Snow Leopard?*

What do you think?  Should Apple include a toggle for Aqua and Marble?  What will Marble even look like?  Will it look like the new UI in iPhoto ‘09 (above) or will it look more like the MobileMe.com UI (below)?  

*Snow Leopard…is that you?*

Why just two themes?  I’m sure there are more than just two ideas of what Apple’s UI should look like.  Should Apple take it further and include a few more UI themes?   It is sad that 10.5 really doesn’t have any easy theming options except for one: iLeopard, (screenshot below) which makes it extremely easy to apply an iTunes 7/8 darker skin entirely over Leopard if you wish. I’ve been using iLeopard on and off for a couple months now.  When I get tired of the Aqua look I’ll switch some things up using iLeopard and vice versa.  It keeps things fresh.  I won’t go into iLeopard as I’ve already reviewed it previously if you are interested.  Is this “freshness” something Apple could draw on?  


*The look of 10.6?*

What about a “theme store”?  Apple could sell UI add-ons and themes through iTunes or on the Apple Store online.  The have various icons, screensavers, and other small UI goodies in the downloads section.  But it could be so much better.  Are they missing a big opportunity here?  It has the possibility to be a huge money maker.  Of couse, Apple could be keeping all UI ideas close to heart for future Mac OS X versions.  Still that’s a poor reason to neglect I’m sure what is a fairly large group of individuals just itching for easy UI options.


So what will Apple’s next operating system look like?  Either way, they can’t please everyone.  Aqua users will cry foul if and probably when Apple moves away from Aqua, and Marble hopefuls will continue using apps such as iLeopard if Apple pulls a more surprising move and keeps the multi UI elements that are currently in Leopard intact in Snow Leopard.  But really it’s all speculation and rumor until the almighty fruit lets us in on their plans.  Until then we wait, and wait rather unpatiently.


So what is your take.  Are you an Aqua lover, or are you on  your knees begging, praying, and hoping that Apple moves towards a MobileMe/Marble look?  Shout out below…I really want to know!

Source:Venture Beat, Mac Daily News, Apple Insider

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