Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard’s core to power new revolution in application design

“There’s been a lot of brouhaha about Leopard, but the most exciting thing about Apple’s latest OS upgrade hasn’t even arrived yet — a wave of third-party applications that make use of new technologies under the operating system’s hood,” Leander Kahney reports for Wired.

“Core Animation could prove particularly revolutionary. A powerful programmers’ toolkit embedded in Leopard, Core Animation makes it easy to create flashy, animated 3-D interfaces. While some observers dismiss such things as pure eye candy — mere special effects to make the UI pretty — others have said they may herald the most significant advance in computer interfaces since the original Mac shipped 30 years ago,” Kahney reports.

“‘The revolution coming with Core Animation is akin to the one that came from the original Mac in 1984,’ says Wil Shipley, developer of the personal media-cataloging application Delicious Library. ‘We’re going to see a whole new world of user-interface metaphors with Core Animation,'” Kahney reports.

Full article, “Best of Leopard Is Yet to Come: Innovative Third-Party Apps,” here.


  1. For every good, creative and tasteful use of CoreAnimation, there will be a dozen others where it’s only purpose will be the effect itself. There are plenty of small-time developers without UI design teams who will jump at a chance to have their app look ‘cool’.

    Having said that; those tasteful implementations will raise usability of desktop apps to a whole new level.

    This article is right. In six months, we’ll have tons of stuff to show off to our drooling Vista users. I’m sure Delicious Library will be a great example, much as it already is, with its amazing intuitivenes of scanning book (and CD, and DVD) barcodes with built-in iSight and automatically looking up Amazon data. Every Windows user I know who saw this dropped their jaw in amazement.

    Spread the word, folks, spread the word!

  2. Those who dismiss Core Animation as “pure eye candy — mere special effects to make the UI pretty” aren’t seeing how the technology can be used to create “self evident” UI navigation and intuitiveness.

    Core Animation will be like Flash to the next level.

  3. “…if you use it well and with class it will be great,
    if not it will just be flashy eye candy”

    As for the first part … we can only hope. It should be possible to do this well.
    As for the second part, you’re just being nice. Use it poorly, it will be fugly. Use it without class and fugly will look good, by comparison. This is SO much a chance for the pitiful minority to show what they are made of – to those of us who’d much rather noy know.

  4. Justified,
    So right you are. Core Animation will allow iPhone-like UI’s. If you’ve ever used the iPhone you will see that the UI is not just flashy. It allows you to intuitively follow what is going on as you use the phone. It provides visual feedback that lets the user know exactly what they just did. Much better than the Windoze usual “OK, did that double-click register and is the app going to open up?” because of its poor implementation of the sandglass “Winblows is working” icon.

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