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OS X GUI Operating Systems Upgrades Apple

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review 222

Posted by Soulskill
from the installation-will-finish-before-you-get-through-the-article dept.
An anonymous reader writes "John Siracusa at Ars Technica has put together a comprehensive review of Apple's OS X 10.9 Mavericks. This is the first time a major OS X update has been free, and it works on any device that supports Mountain Lion. This suggests Apple is trying to boost adoption rates as high as possible. Siracusa says the following about Apple's move away from skeuomorphic design: 'Mavericks says enough is enough. The leather's gone, the fake pages are gone, the three panes are independently resizable (more or less), even the title bar is bone-stock, and it's boring?' On the other hand, he was a big fan of all the internal optimizations Apple has done, since the energy savings over Mountain Lion are significant. He found a 24% increase in his old MacBook Pro's battery life, and a 30% increase for his new MacBook Air. He also praised the long-needed improvements to multi-monitor support: ' Each attached display is now treated as a separate domain for full-screen windows. Mission Control gestures and keyboard shortcuts will now switch between the desktop and full-screen windows on the display that contains the cursor only, leaving all other displays untouched.' The 24-page review dives deeply into all the other changes in Mavericks, and is worth reading if you're deciding whether or not to upgrade."
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OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review

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  • Re:Enough already! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @07:28PM (#45207987)

    > Skeumorphism is just a thing, if done right it is great, if done poorly, it is bad.

    As a 3D, UI, & UX expert I concur 100%.

    Skeumorphism is like spice. A little kicks it up a notch. Not having any is TOO plain; having too much and that is worse then not having any.

    IMO the BIGGER problem is OSX 10.9 and iOS 7 completely desaturating and removing all 3d shading -- THAT is the hideous UI crime. The UI designers should be forced to use Windows 1.x for their stupidity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @07:39PM (#45208053)

    Where by personal information, you mean an arbitrary string of characters (log in name), and an arbitrary string of characters (password)?

  • Re:Enough already! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @07:47PM (#45208091)

    I guess it depends on what your standpoint is. From a user standpoint, transitioning to a new technology via a familiar UI is better than doing it via an unfamiliar one. Once there however, the real test is how unintrusive and easy to use the UI actually is.

    From a designer standpoint, again, when in transition, a familiar UI is easier to work with. However, once the transition period is over, it can be a limiting factor for improvements to the interface or to the functionality of the device.

    Take the keyboard for example. We still use the same QWERTY layout of its predecessor, the typewriter. This was the natural course of evolution for typing as people transitioned away from typewriters to keyboards. But it is limiting, in that the key layout is not ideal for the typist, and the flat keyboard layout itself is not friendly to the hand at all.

    On the other hand, look at the Segway. It has such a revolutionary interface that nobody really knows what to do with it. It probably would've gained far more traction had it looked closer to a bicycle. It could have eventually replaced all those motorized bikes with the 80cc engines, been legitimately the next revolution in transportation. Instead, it's now associated in my mind with being a fat slob, since the only people I've ever actually seen use one are mall security guards and the occasional beat cop.

  • Fuck You (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @08:08PM (#45208225)

    With your "OMG, they must be fucktards" mentality and your openly bias "Linux before God" agenda have you ever stopped to consider for so much as a second that Apple's setup has some real value to ordinary consumers who just want shit to work?

    Their closed garden approach may irritate the hell out of you information ought to be freers but good God, it makes certain my grandmother doesn't have to worry about viruses or malware. There is plenty of shit to be found on the app store, but a hell of a lot less than for Linux or Windows [or the Mac for that matter] on the wider Internet. You may prefer a over the antenna, torrenting or streaming approach - or just anything without DRM - but the movies, television shows, etc. provided by iTunes are of a reasonable, watchable quality and portable.

    Besides, if you want to talk about the "brainwashed idiots" crowd - who are really not Apple fanbois, but instead the techno hypster - news flash, Linux is next for them. (Fuck, my bet is that you're one of them because you aren't stopping to really consider that OS X may provide all they need for a great many people. Fuck, Windows does.)

  • by IHTFP (742046) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @09:03PM (#45208473)
    Overall, Siracusa's review of OS X.9 is excellent but I got a chuckle out of this statement about the Sprite Kit: "All of this functionality is provided through a pleasantly abstracted Objective-C API that's a far cry from the typical low-level C/C++ game engine code." I understand the distinction he's trying to make between a pleasantly abstracted API and a typical low-level API, but Objective-C is a fright pig of immense proportions, not to mention overt vendor lock-in bullshit.
  • Re:Fuck You (Score:4, Insightful)

    by docmordin (2654319) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:01PM (#45208791)

    Mac is also not very stable with heavy applications like photoshop, after effects, 3dsmax, etc.

    I chuckled heartily over this, especially considering that Autodesk hasn't released a native 3DS Max binary for OS X.

  • Re:Enough already! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:55PM (#45209039) Homepage Journal

    Any "computer art professor" that teaches which style is "superior", as opposed to "how to do" any style you are tasked to implement, isn't worth the time spent with them.

    The issue of replicating physical interfaces is not, and never will be, cut and dry. Some physical interfaces are highly refined and functional, and abandoning them leads to problems (look at a modern audio system as compared to, for instance, a late 1970's Marantz. Now try to turn up the midrange, or route one recording input to a recording output, assuming your modern hardware even has them.)

    There are some excellent UI design guidelines out there. Like, don't constantly show and hide interface elements, it fouls up muscle memory. But "bury everything in menus" is a total newbie suck move, and "remove all familiarity" (which is what the rabid anti sku folk are saying, really) is also a suck move.

    Change and so forth in moderation, see?

  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @02:11AM (#45209801) Homepage
    The Sprite Kit is just a 2D sprite library

    There you go again. Have you used it? It's "just" a 2D sprite library that has the simplest API I've ever seen, and yet handles all the OpenGL stuff behind the scenes for you, has a full particles system AND a physics engine, all built in. The physics alone (which is not just basic collision detection but a full physics environment) is worth the price of admission, which is ummm, free.

    As a test I piled sprites of about 100x100 pixels, all with attached particle emitters and each with a physics body into the system, moving randomly and interacting according to their 'natural' physics. On my 13" Macbook Pro Retina I only started to see the framerate dip below 60fps when I got to almost 3000 sprites. That's good performance actually.

    2D games may be ho-hum to some, but with simple API, power and performance SK gives you, I look forward to seeing what cool stuff people come up with. Should be fun.
  • Re:Enough already! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <> on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @06:41AM (#45210877) Homepage

    and "remove all familiarity" (which is what the rabid anti sku folk are saying, really) is also a suck move.

    The problem with skeuomorphism is that the familiarity is often misleading or at best limiting. People experience something like this when they go to a foreign country. Things look similar superficially, but are subtly different and disorienting.

    For example a skeuomorphic address book would look like an actual book, but not really work like one. You can fold the corners of real pages down to act as bookmarks, then turn the book sideways to find them. You can't search a real book by entering search terms, so there has to be a non-skeuomorphic text entry box with a magnifying glass, a symbol that represents searching even though it is rarely used for that purpose. It's just a mess.

    On top of that space is wasted on the graphical elements, which add clutter and distraction.

    In short there is a reason why only Apple did skeuomorphism, and it wasn't that skeuomorphism is better. Rabit skeuomorphism nuts seem to think that ordinary users are complete morons who have never used a computer before and can't understand any information that isn't presenting in a way they are familiar with. I kind of wonder how they imagine people managed to understand the object the skeuomorphic design is based on in the first place.

The difficult we do today; the impossible takes a little longer.