OS X concept as inspired by iOS 7

“A concept version of OS X inspired by iOS 7,” Andrew Ambrosino, currently a Computer Science undergrad at University of Massachusetts Lowell, blogs. Ambrosino also minors in Business, Design, and Mathematics.

“Includes some good flatness, translucent blurs, and overall streamlining,” Ambrosino writes. “Enjoy!”


OS X Concept by Andrew Ambrosino
OS X Concept by Andrew Ambrosino

See more in the full article here.


  1. iOS 7 has some fans, but it is an inconsistent and sometimes cryptic design. Take a look at the icons.

    Put Mail and Camera next to each other. Mail is “lit” from below, while Camera is lit from above. It’s inconsistent.

    Put Music and iTunes next to each other. They differ in color, but the only difference in the symbols is that iTunes has a circle around the musical note.

    Put Phone, Messages, and FaceTime next to each other. The green isn’t dark enough for a good contrast with the white part, and since there is no texture or shading, the three icons are very similar.

    Put PassBook and Contacts next to each other. They are both a primitive form of skeuomorphism, but not good enough for immediate recognition, since they are similar.

    Look at Newsstand. It looks like a fourth-grader’s attempt to draw a brochure rack.

    Call someone then return to the home screen to run an app. Look at the return-to-call button at the top. Can you read the text? I can make it out, but a friend of mine with normal vision said, “I guess you just have to know what it’s for.” Those are bad color choices and they don’t contrast enough.

    Make a graphic that consists only of a flat, solid color background (say, medium gray) and put it in iPhoto. Sync the iPhone. Use the flat gray graphic as your background picture for the lock screen and the main screen. Notice how much “beauty” iOS 7 loses.

    There is too much use of walk-into-the-light white. I don’t want to feel like I’m dying when I look at the screen. It’s all light colors against bright white with very little contrast. Any book on web UI design can give guidance on color selection that would produce any number of color schemes that would be better.

    Even if you like iOS 7, now you can see where we’re coming from when we say that iOS 7 is an esthetic and usability disaster.

    1. Good comments, and I see where you’re coming from. But a lot of people disagree, both about the subjective conclusion of whether it’s good-looking-or-not, and its usability. As to the usability point, I think its an improvement. See http://9to5mac.com/2013/10/11/ios-7-tops-2013-mobile-os-user-experience-benchmarks/

      Regarding aesthetics, a lot of these complaints can be thrown at iOS6. Some default iOS 6 icons had gloss. Some didn’t. That’s inconsistent too, per your mail-camera observation. The musical note in iOS 6’s music app also was differentiated—in addition to color—by the lack of a circle around the note in iOS 6. I think the icons now look more cohesive. Again, that’s a subjective conclusion though.

      Your points on facetime-phone-messages and Newsstand are valid, in my opinion!

      1. When iOS6 came out, we talked about all the things we could do with our iPhones. When iOS7 came out, we started a public debate about whether or not it was awful.

        If you are giving a speech, you want the audience to debate your message, not your haircut. iOS7 is the iPhone’s latest haircut. Even if iOS7 were an artistic breakthrough and a usability masterpiece, it would still be a bad design, because it accomplishes the opposite of its purpose. It creates a controversy that detracts and distracts from the iPhone.

        1. Again, great points. There’s undoubtedly been a HUGE debate about iOS 7 among techies and normal consumers alike.

          That’s inevitable with any major OS redesign, though. Seriously, consider Facebook, Microsoft, Google, hell, even MySpace (remember them?) dealt with same issue. Redesign means change, change means uncomfort, and uncomfort means (justified) complaints.

          Complaints are justified because we *should* be questioning Apple’s choices. I still think, overall, that they made the right ones though. Their improvements in the latest beta also show that they are listening. They’re adding a “buttons” feature that allows users to more easily identify cues on the UI, for example.

          How much longer can the same aqua-UI last on OS X? Apple needs an interface that will take advantage of high-quality displays. We needed gloss in 2007 because of the low quality of the iPhone display. Crisp, flat text on a high-res display is so much more inviting! (Again, though, this is my subjective conclusion).

  2. Strong NO on convergence.
    Each version of iOS, in the area of consistently of how apps function and deliver information back to the user (app controls specifically) look the are all designed by completely different teams.

    The strength of Mac always was consistency of operation in the interface. If you were competent on one application, you could very easily learn a new app. That was because of Apples interface guidelines. My only guess is that since Steve Jobs is no longer around, those are definitely not being enforced.

    Change for the sake of change, not quality user experience.

    Am I going to Windows, of course not, but it is much harder to work on Mac than it was, every app is a new interface adventure, and that’s not what I need for entertainment.

    Mac (OSX) is indeed for me a “truck” I use my Mac to create content, and trucks are what is needed. As opposed to entertainment devices.

    i regularly use over 20 applications, and the only Apple software I regularly use is Pages maybe 6 times a year. Keynote, a fabulous application, but I only need it once or twice a year. I am a web developer specializing in HTML5 content, and that market is 100% specialized soft wear. Not going to happen on iOS.

    Most iOS users would likely never have heard of the apps that I use, or the names of the apps that create the content that they view. That’s why we have the “trucks” so that they can operate their Prius equivalents.

    1. Clarification; of course I use Safari, Mail, etc.
      But for production of serious content. Apple does not have the tools, any more than a box of sockets and ratchets can be used to tear down and repair the engine out of a 747.

  3. That is FU*KING UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please Apple, stop with the iOSinization of OSX, especially now that you’ve taken a very nice UI (iOS 6) and designed it for young girls and/or hippies.

    Please, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! don’t eff up OSX with this stupid and butt-ugly iOS7 look and icons.

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