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Apple preparing to expose Snow Leopard interface?

updated 10:25 am EDT, Thu March 26, 2009

Snow Leopard UI uncovered?

Developers may soon get to see the new user interface planned for Mac OS X Snow Leopard, sources claim. Described only as "people familiar with the matter," the sources say that the next developer build of Snow Leopard will introduce a major revision to the look of Mac OS X, such as an abandonment of the current color scheme, possibly in favor of a dark chrome aesthetic. The change has actually been planned since the beginning of the update's inception, the sources suggest.

Apple has previously stated that Snow Leopard will focus mostly on stability and security enhancements, though a number of components are known to be new or receiving upgrades. QuickTime X is switching to a minimalist design, while the OS in general should gain extra location and multi-touch capabilities. The code should also become Intel-only and add support for the ZFS filesystem.

There is a chance that the new interface will not appear in an immediate developer build however, as Apple management is said to be worried that the new interface will leak online, losing any impact in future announcements. The company may instead hold off until a feature-complete Snow Leopard debuts at WWDC, which the sources say may still take place two months before Snow Leopard is ready to ship. That period is thought to be needed for fine tuning.

by MacNN Staff



  1. isaaclimdc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Snow Leopard new dark UI

    Check this out:

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    artistic vision

    The link in the post above is to someone's imaginative work. It is somewhat inconsistent, though, but looks pretty. What Apple will do will probably be different, though.

    It is probably a good idea to make slight visual differences. For support people who support multitude of diverse Macs, this makes it even faster to figure out which cat is installed, without the trip to the apple menu.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Makes sense, who knows maybe Steve will come back in June and be like, OK So these are the features they came up with while I was gone.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    did anyone really think

    that they wouldn't introduce a new look with 10.6 despite rumors of only under the hood fixes?

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Hopefully they'll go with something closer to the Leopard 2D dock (the one you get at the side, or enable through the command line).

    It seems odd if they are going with less-3D flatter looking chrome and widgets elsewhere, but keeping the dock 2D.

    I will also say that if Safari 4s tab management is going to be common, I am going to be lost finding my windows, as the shades of grey are all too close, but a darker scheme overall may help.

    And I'd like Expose to do All Tabs for app first, then All Windows second . . .

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    as usual

    This is what you have to expect. Marketing gets involved, and what was supposed to be a 'stability and optimization' release is now getting decked out with new features left and right, because those guys need something visual they can sell.

    Plus, they've yet to leave the UI the same from one build to the next, why should this be any different.

    On the down side, the article also states it won't appear in any near-term releases because people might find out too soon. Oh heaven forbid! Hate to have the internet gossipers find out what the latest in eye candy is going to look out. Which also means the developers are going to find out late that their software isn't going to look right, and needs late updates.

  1. chirpy22

    Joined: Dec 1969



    @vasic: you think that looks pretty?? Bleh! Apple will hopefully not do that.

    @JulesLt: hopefully Apple will change the dock entirely and just purchase the rights to use DragThing and incorporate it into the OS.

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