The “Mail-like look” is all the rage. Have you noticed how it is creeping over your entire interface? First, came the new iTunes. Not quite the same look; it was a little darker, but the trend was set.
Today I stumbled across an open source notebook/organizer app called Forest (screenshot here) in which the developer has striven to get “the Mail look”. Now that I type this, I see that the latest version of ecto (2.3.9) has the Mail-look as well (although buff instead of “baby blue”). It’s everywhere.
This weekend, Docktopus hit the blogs and news sites. This nifty utility brings Mail’s unread messages badge to all the apps in your Dock, letting you access real-time information about, and control over, your Dock apps. It boasts a variety of badges for various Dock apps, all of which serves to increase – in a small way – Mail’s creeping interface imperialism.
To me, the most interesting thing about this trend is that it is not driven by Apple. Apart from iTunes, the rise and rise of the Mail-like look is all user- and developer-initiated.
Whether it is a distaste for Brushed Metal (who is tired and grumpy as the Daring Fireball revealed) – and so a negative thing – or a more positive delight in the new, lighter look, the enthusiasm of the user community for the new look is something that Apple can’t fail to see.
So, what about that prediction that the next revision of iLife will see more Mail-like looks? I’d bet on it.
UPDATE: Try UNO for a complete Mail-like look makeover on your own Mac.
- UNO 1.5: Mail.app’s good looks for every app
- Latest Leopard Build: Total Mail-like look makeover
- The complete Mail-like makeover
- UNO 1.2
- Hacking Mail.app’s interface
Tags: aesthetics, apple GUI, Apple interface design, Apple Mail, brushed metal, iLife, mail.app, unified toolbar