Apple to tone down Aqua gloss in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

“Apple’s next desktop operating system release will tone down much of the Aqua user interface and change how screen captures handle windows’ drop down sheets,” AppleInsider reports.

“The most obvious Aqua gloss stripped from Mac OS X Lion involves scroll bars, which are replaced with iOS-like, grey segments that disappear when not in use. The Finder and Mail also drop the use of bubbly, colorful toolbar and source-list icons, indicating a general preference for simpler, monochromatic icons similar to those used in iPad apps,” AppleInsider reports. “Also missing are the Aqua pill buttons in the upper right corner of windows in the Finder and certain other apps, which currently display or hide the window’s toolbar. These have been replaced by the Full Screen control used in apps that support that mode.”

AppleInsider reports, “Across the interface, while Aqua highlighting still exists, much of the ‘blue gel’ has been dialed down.”

Full article, with screenshots, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


    1. You can always use the “Graphite” setting in the Appearance control panel. I’ve been using that since the introduction of Aqua. I tend to blink at the bright colors when I sit down at someone else’s Mac.

  1. Microsoft invested a lot of R&D making exact copies of OS X’s Aqua gel. Whether or not to follow Apple’s move, which is the microsoft default, or stay with the more “garish” version (they like garish), may be one of the most anxious decisions of the year at Redmond.

  2. I use the free iLeopard skin, which (for my taste) “softens” the Mac UI, makes it look similar to the iTunes UI.

    The standard Mac UI looks a little bit “cartoonish”.
    (I am not related in any way to the creators of iLeopard)

  3. I have an issue with the “disappearing” scroll bars. I don’t feel I should have to mouse over a list to see if there’s more to it. Luckily, I understand this feature can be turned off.


  4. I like the new look, it’s more refined. However, as with LordRobin, I have issues with the disappearing scroll bars. It’s understandable on the iPhone with it’s limited display size, but on a large display that’s a problem.

    An example of where this is a problem is the screenshot of the FONT DIALOG. Unless you move your mouse over the COLLECTION list, you have no way of knowing if options exist after the WEB item (which based on the other font dialog would be yes, WINDOWS OFFICE COMPATIBLE).

  5. “indicating a general preference for simpler, monochromatic icons similar to those used in …. ”

    Uhh, Windows!??

    I guess if you’re trying to sell to the world you need to make it look familiar. First there was the general *Outlookification* of Apple’s, then monochromatic system folders followed, now the buttons are being reduced to flat squarish dots, just like Windows. With the move to iOS, Apple has placed all controls within the App window (like Windows) instead of at the top of the screen (like Macs). Soon Apple may move window control buttons to the right corner, where 95% of the world thinks they should rightfully be, but it’ll still be a Mac, right?

  6. The significance of this is that as the Mac OS comes to resemble iOS more and more, it becomes easier and easier for tens of millions of iPhone and iPad users to migrate to the Mac when it’s time to replace their existing computers.

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