Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Archive for July 20th, 2011

The Siracusa Review

Doesn’t get better or more detailed than this, folks. The whole review is a must-read, but I’ve pasted in some of the best segments:

Lion no longer includes Rosetta, even as an optional install. […] [I]t’s hard to understand why Apple would remove an existing, completed feature that helped so many people.

Putting it all together, Apple says you’re allowed to run up to three copies of Lion—one real, two inside virtual machines—on every Mac that you own, all for the low, low price of $29. Not a bad deal.

Address Book goes so far in the direction of imitating a physical analog that it starts to impair the identification of standard controls. The window widgets, for example, are so integrated into the design that they’re easy to overlook. And as in iCal, the amazing detail of the appearance implies functionality that doesn’t exist. Pages can’t be turned by dragging, and even if they could, the number of pages on either side of the spine never changes. The window can’t be closed like a book, either. That red bookmark can’t be pulled up or down or removed. (Clicking it actually turns the page backwards to reveal the list of groups. Did you guess that?) The three-pane view (groups → people → detail) is gone, presumably because a book can’t show three pages at once. Within each paper “page” sits, essentially, an excerpt from the user interface of the previous version of Address Book. It’s a mixed metaphor that sends mixed signals.

One of the first things experienced Mac OS X users will notice upon first using Lion is that running applications no longer have a dot below them in the Dock. As with nearly all potentially upsetting interface changes in Lion, there’s a conciliatory preference to restore the pre-Lion behavior. [Apple seems to have added preferences for many of the UI changes as a quasi-transitional tool. — Nick]