Why doesn’t Apple show its patented Mac OS X ‘Genie Effect’ in TV ads?

“Apple issued patent for interface design effect in Mac OS X. The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple Computer with a patent for an ‘ornamental design for a user interface for computer display,'” Andy Barnes reports for AppleInsider.

“Otherwise known to Mac OS X users as the ‘genie effect,’ the feature presents the illusion that application and Finder windows are shrinking into the system dock when minimized by the user,” Barnes reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A “fun” effect that we infrequently use, preferring Exposé, the good old “Hide” command, and even “Command-Tab.” We do wish Apple would show this kind of “eye candy” to the rest of the world in TV ads. We always trot out “Genie” when showing people Mac OS X for the first time, just to see them gawk. Could Windows’ UI be farther behind? Windows users who are unfamiliar with Mac OS X would be amazed at what we Mac users consider routine and mundane. Showing people Mac OS X in action would sell more Macs by luring TV viewers into Apple Retail Stores where the Mac’s true benefits and advantages over Windows can be adequately explained.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Top Ten things Apple needs to show the world about Macintosh – July 30, 2003


  1. uhhh …

    because His Steveness seems to believe the iPod is the only advertisement he needs right now…

    Why doesnt MDN post a survey to find out if Mac users would like to see more ads about all the other fine products made by Apple… then foreward the results of that survey to one Infinete Loop ??

  2. Indeed. There are so much more effects that the OSX is capable of doing, comparing to the junk windows. Even the fact that OSX is virus free till date doesn’t seem to be loud enough to wake all those windows user out there to switch.

  3. i wonder where alt tab came from… oh no! apple copied someone!

    and no, MDN, showing this to people is cool – BUT it WON’T sell Macs. People don’t buy a computer just because they see a cool effect.

  4. Cool! Another user who has the dock on the right-hand side. I adopted that a few weeks ago and love having the full height of the screen. Plus, it’s less reminiscent than the Windows task bar. ;^)

  5. “… I wonder where alt tab came from… oh no! apple copied someone!…”

    uhhh…. Ive looked on all of my keyboards…and cant find the “alt” key….

    Did someone swipe it from me ??

  6. Because if a Windows user saw that, they would most likely assume there is no option to turn it off and that would be another strike against OS X. It may be eye candy to some, but many would think it a waste of time. I turned mine off…

  7. The person who mentioned the free advertising from the iPod is partially right. Apple is probably being careful about its advertising dollars. I think they are also trying to stress the engineering and design aspects of their computers (to move into the business world) instead of the eye candy appeal. People who are motivated by pretty colors are probably not necessarily ready to drop a couple K on demand.

    Also, hardware is not software. Apple needs to manage it production carefully not to develop excessive inventory or to drive demand to the point where they can’t deliver (which has been a problem).

  8. my buddy who i switched, loved the genie effect. He was awed. He nearly died on the puff of smoke.

    He can’t believe he didn’t switch years ago. He hated his XP box, but loves his Mac. He now goes to the apple store a few times a month to play and see what’s new.

  9. Genie effect? This is one feature I detest. I turned this feature off day one.

    If you want to show some eye-candy with real usefulness show Expose.

    Next year show ’em Spotlight and politely ask when WinFS is going to be released for Longhorn.

  10. I’m sitting in an office with a disgusting IBM NetVista running Win2k. What a piece of shit – takes nearly 5 minutes to restart (which I’ve had to do AT LEAST 5 times today due to mysterious crashes. Why doesn’t my F9 key expose all my open windows? Why do I have to go to the Start button to turn it off? Where is the Any key? Why do fonts look so terrible – Times New Roman looks like Courier?

    There are so many stupid little ‘trays’ and ‘toolbars’ it looks like 20 people have designed the OS without talking to each other.

    And Steve Ballmer, you can kiss my rusty sheriff’s badge you idiot.

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