WWDC 2020: macOS Big Sur


  • The new UI style is not entirely "flat gone mad" – it allows for depth and shadows and materials. Look at the speech bubble in the Messages icon, the envelope in the Mail icon or the pencil in the Pages icon. Many instances look a bit over-the-top-for-the-sake-of-the-effect, though.
  • I am not a big fan of the continued slaughter of available-space-for-the-actual-title in the title bar, or similarly of cleanly draggable areas.
  • The frontmost/active window needs to have a much more prominent title bar. Just going by the traffic lights isn't going to cut it.
  • Going from poorly-delineated buttons to borderless buttons isn't a good idea when the button icons are just outlined shapes with a button shape when hovering. Being in the unified-toolbar-and-titlebar is a sort of cue, but not as strong as just having a graphically richer icon to begin with.
  • Dear god, the just barely opaque menu bar is back, and it's just as horribly unreadable as a few years ago. Do we really need to keep doing this?
  • Control Center with modules that can be dragged into the menu bar – this I actually like. Coherent, rich presentation that is customizable, and where the customizability plays to the strengths and structure of macOS.
  • Catalyst better have grown some strengths, because the macOS Developer app released only a few days ago is a complete UI shit show that still feels neither like a Mac app nor an iOS/iPad app.
  • With all respect for the design upheaval and the technology changes – this is incredibly light for any macOS update, and choosing this version to round up to version 11 feels odd. The Intel transition didn't even get its own major version marketing-wise. Maybe it was chosen for semantic reasons?
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