Bright like To m Cruise’s teeth

Mac Format - - APPLEOPINION -

The new OS X Yosemite is so bright, you might

need a welder’s hel­met to look at it

If you hang around long enough, his­tory starts re­peat­ing. Sound fa­mil­iar? After a pub­lic beta, Ap­ple ships the lat­est ver­sion of its Mac op­er­at­ing sys­tem – and many peo­ple are hor­ri­fied. Where the pre­vi­ous OS was grownup, the new one looks like some­thing from a nurs­ery. Where the old ver­sion was sober and se­ri­ous, the new one is candy-coloured. Where the old one did its job with­out draw­ing at­ten­tion to it­self, the new one bel­lows “look at me! Look at me!” while burn­ing your reti­nas. No, not Yosemite. OS X 10.0. It sounds odd now, but the re­ac­tion to the new Aqua in­ter­face OS X sported wasn’t en­tirely pos­i­tive or sim­i­lar. Many Mac users hated the way the in­ter­face aped the hard­ware of the iMac and iBook. Oth­ers hated the stripes. And oth­ers hated the whole thing be­cause they didn’t like change.

Over time, two things hap­pened. Ap­ple re­fined the in­ter­face, and most peo­ple got used to it. And over more time, Ap­ple dumped it for some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

I’m try­ing to bear that in mind when I look at Yosemite. And by ‘look’, I mean ‘squint at it through re­ally thick sunglasses from a long way away.’ Call­ing Yosemite bright doesn’t do it jus­tice. It’s bright in the way Tom Cruise’s

I re­mem­ber how Leopard made ev­ery­thing look nice again after sev­eral stripy OS X ver­sions

teeth are bright. It’s bright like the morn­ing of the world’s worst hang­over. It’s bright like iOS 8 turned up to eleven.

I don’t like it. I don’t like the neon blue of the folder icons. I don’t like that trans­parency makes win­dows darker when you’re us­ing them and brighter when you’re not. I loathe the tool­bar in the new ver­sion of Pages, and hav­ing Dark Mode only af­fect the Dock and the Menu Bar is adding in­sult to in­jury. With it en­abled and Logic Pro X run­ning, switch­ing to a non-Pro app is like be­ing on Mer­cury and star­ing di­rectly into the sun.

It’s im­por­tant to keep it in per­spec­tive, of course. OS X still works the same: we’re not talk­ing a Win­dows 8 ‘let’s take out the fa­mil­iar bits and add weird stuff for no good rea­son!’ ap­proach that’ll re­quire an up­date to fix ba­sic us­abil­ity is­sues. And, of course, there’s lots of good stuff hap­pen­ing un­der the hood. It’s just a shame that somebody de­cided to paint it in such aw­ful colours.

I said that his­tory tends to re­peat, and I re­mem­ber how Leopard made ev­ery­thing look nice again after sev­eral overly stripy OS X ver­sions and the much-hated and short­lived brushed metal. So that’s the good news: if I don’t learn to love Yosemite, I just need to wait five years for OS X 10.15.

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