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. I must work at the same place you do Smithy, because I’m sitting in front of an equally sh*tty NetVista. This piece of junk crashes at least 3 times a day and also takes forever to boot back up. God, how much better my work life would be if they would ever dump this sh*t in favor of Macs. At this large corporation it’ll never happen though, they don’t even know what a Mac is around here. Oh well, at least I have my Mac at home…

  2. Eye candy does have a small effect on sales…not huge…but a small effect. More “genie” type stuff should be in Tiger to offset smallcow’s attempt in a few years, but it should be able to turn on and off in System preferences. It should not annoy the pro, but should wow the newbie.

  3. Lance,

    Ditto! These clowns in my company (massive international recruitment agency) will not even consider OS X – no reason, just a straight “no”

    Think how much more productive the world would be with OS X – systems running 24/7/365, just Sleep your machine then INSTANTLY wake it up to begin work again.

    I love taking my iBook in and using it during my lunch hour (I do freelance design). The funniest thing is the IT clowns have installed a Wireless network, and even though I’m not meant to be able to do it, my iBook switches effortlessly from my home AirPort network to theirs and they’re none the wiser.

    Windows is pathetic. I really hate this NetVista. It’s even got a HUGE power brick which I’ve just found on the floor (I thought it was a paperweight ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Lance & Smithy…

    Start slow….

    Register (anon) for a web-based email somewhere.. then start forewarding articles from MDN about the lack of security (and other WinCrap problems) to the “decision-makers” in your respective companies..

    Eventually… even they might have a light bulb turn on over their heads…

    hey, it couldnt hurt !

  5. What if the world did go to OSX in all work environments? Could we shorten the work day as we wouldnt have to deal with crashing computers or lost work? Im still in college but I notice it takes me much less time to write papers and I dont worry about losing anything.

  6. I agree that Expos� is much more impressive than the Genie Effect. You also have to make sure that your computer is equipped to do Genie justice though. I’m using a Dual 800 G4 at work and it’s a bit sluggish so I don’t use it.

    Besides that, not everyone is as impressed as they should be. I remember a couple years ago when a friend who’s a PC users came to visit and I was getting online so he could check his e-mail. He saw the dock icons jump to attention (I wasn’t even showing off!), but instead of saying “Cool!” like I expected, he said “I don’t like that cartoon crap.” What a downer that was.

    Truthfully though, I’ve been a huge proponent of pushing OS X in their ads instead of how cool the box looks, but right now they’re having trouble with demand as it is. Advertising might hurt them more than it would help until they get their manufacturing woes in order, but then they’ve been around for years, so who knows?

  7. CONSPIRACY THEORY: Microsoft has a deal with Apple that they will produce MS Office for Mac on the condition that Apple will not advertise how good their Operating System (including the GUI) is.

  8. Sorry to get a little serious here guys, but people these days don’t pay much attention to advertising. They know ads have been paid for.

    Instead what really works is editorial (which can even be “purchased” like advertising). In this regard, with the iPod and G5 iMac, Apple is doing a fantastic job of getting their products reviewed in the media, and that’s worth much more than advertising.

    Phew, enough of that – back to the silly me.

  9. RW…

    In the “corporate workplace” theres a huge IT “infrastructure” in place… dedicated to just keeping the WinCrap machines up and running… avoiding malware, virii and the like..

    The prevelant thinking here…. is such an infrastructure is a “necessary” part of doing business, and the funds are then allocated for this futile exercise…

    Should Mac and Mac OS become the dominate platform in the corporate world .. a lot of people would find themselves in the unemployment lines with a out-dated “skill”…

    A local “urban legend” here, has it, that a large Graphics House (in town) who uses Macs for creative purposes and PeeCees for admin … also has several “Win-techs” around keeping VERY busy trying to stay ahead of the problems associated with WinDoze…
    but, only has one “Mac-Tech” around… and he spends his day surfing the internet, using his iPod.. and playing games !!

    If this is true… a lot of corporate types could learn a lesson from this model !

  10. I think the better question is:
    “Why doesn’t Apple show anything about Mac OS X in TV ads?”. The pretty iPod ads are fine, but how about some hard-hitting ads that play up the greatness that is OS X? How about an ad that shows all the software there is for Mac OS X? You know how many people don’t know there is a version of MS Office for the Mac? A lot. Any why not have a whole campaign about easy of use, or no viruses, etc. Apple has been silent way too long. Steve Jobs, get with the program already.

  11. For gods sake Apple!

    Listen to your users!!!

    Run a fast moving ad on tv (like the ipod film at Mac Expo!!!) with a fast pop soundtrack and showing off OS X genie, expose, fast user switching etc.

    This will go down a storm on tv and will impress all the potential mac buying public.


  12. Amen. Show off the sexy beast that is Jaguar/Panther/other version of OS X. Expose rocks, iLife still leaves me amazed, Spotlight blew me and the techically inclined in my family away. One Mac IT and all he does is play games and jam with his iPod? Sign me up for that job, I need the cash!

  13. I’m with Solar Flare. Come on Steve, I know you read these MDN forums, just run a couple of 30 second commercials showing OS X in all it’s Glory.

    What about the catchline:

    From �549

    Just a thought �

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