A few weeks ago I wrote about the new, flat look of OS X 10.10, and how it could be inferred from Xcode. But that was just a very small taste of what could be coming. Lately, after getting a Windows PC and using iWork on iCloud, it suddenly dawned on my that the new look of OS X 10.10 is probably staring us all right in the face.
The photo above shows preference settings on the Calendar app. On the left is the Calendar app from OS X 10.9 (Mavericks). On the right is the iCloud Calendar app’s preferences.
Initially, I thought iCloud apps were going to look more like their iPad brethren on iOS 7. The iWork apps, certainly, take a lot of inspiration from the iPad versions. But the utility apps (Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Reminders, and Mail) certainly look more like OS X, with complex dialogs with Save and Cancel buttons in the lower right. Mail preferences, for example, on both iCloud and OS X look a lot alike in terms of their layout (tabs on the top, attributes in the middle, help button on the bottom)–but their look and feel (fonts, colors, graphics) are significantly different.
The iCloud versions may not look exactly like what the final version of OS X 10.10 will look like, but I’ll bet they’ll be very, very similar.
What look is that? Just like the transition from iOS 6 to iOS 7, the transition from OS X 10.9 to 10.10 is much flatter: the tab icons at the top of the dialog go from photorealistic with drop shadows and gradients to simple, very thin line art with only color to suggest selection status. The typeface is much thinner and airier (Helvetica Neue?) and the popup menus are much flatter.
I dare say the popup menus, buttons, and other controls are tall enough to be … tappable. Perhaps Apple is preparing OS X 10.10 for use on hybrid (eek!) devices, in other words laptops with touch screens or tablets with keyboards?
Perhaps Apple is readying a set of OS X 10.10 controls that are compatible with equivalent iOS controls, making it easier to port iOS apps to OS X? Note the lack of radio buttons, which don’t exist as controls on iOS, in the iCloud app settings dialogs.
I will say the new look is fresh without being quite as stark as the transition from iOS 6 to 7. Or maybe I’ve finally gotten used to 7.
Here’s the Mail app’s settings, as another example of how the new OS X 10.10 look might appear: