Bright like To m Cruise’s teeth
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.