Leopard pounces – sort of

Non-Mac fans look away now. In fact, perhaps Mac fans ought to look away too. Steve, Steve, what have you done? What possessed you?

Leopard is undoubted better in many ways but in terms of appearance it’s a disaster. The bright, semi-3D folder icons of Tiger have been replaced by dull, flat blue lumps. Worse still, the coloured, instantly recognisable “folder labels” that distinguished different folders  – applications, pictures, movies, etc – have been replaced by dull, dark-blue, impossible-to-see labels.

Then there’s the see-through menu bar. I had read gripes about it but was prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt. In the event, it’s worse than I imagined, distracting rather than pleasing as soon as any window is opened. All these points and more are made by John Syracusa in his incredibly detailed review of Leopard for Ars Technica (how long has he been working on that!)

Unless I missed it, he hasn’t mentioned my pet peeve, though – the new picture preview icons. Suddenly, a thick white frame has appeared around the preview icons, separated from the pic by a black rule. As a result, the picture preview is suddenly much tinier and less useful, as well as looking hideous to my eyes. Why? If white frames are such a good idea, why doesn’t iPhoto have them?

I didn’t think Tiger’s Aero theme was broke, but it certainly is now… 

Update: Part II and III

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