Re-Imagining OS X: Introduction



My current favorite OS is OS X and it has been for the past few years. I wasn't hooked at first, but after using it for a while doing web design and programming, I really became impressed. The combination of a great UI, powerful desktop, Unix underpinnings, and a stellar app ecosystem is simply brilliant. You probably already know that though. I was originally going to create a long and winded post detailing the reasons why I love OS X, but I decided against it. I thought I could do a little better. The Verge community has been great so far, so it seems only natural to post my ideas.

The Story

Imagine in a few years, Apple holds a press event to announce their next OS. Millions of fans are apprehensive, The Verge is holding a livestream, Gruber is smugly preparing to release his blog post on the subject because he has already been shown the OS in an odd NY hotel room by Hair Force One. People are nervously predicting the imminent launch of another iOS inspired OS with an odd rehash of features. Haters are already predicting Apple's doom, Apple fanboys defend Apple's moves, Dvorak rushes to type up a negative click baiting article declaring Apple's attempts awful and not "open" enough.

The audience gives a round of applause as Tim Cook arrives on stage. Instead of blabbing on about growth performance and YoY profit increases, he cuts to the chase. But he surprises everyone. He begins talking about trucks and cars, and he is not talking about those engines built in America. He instead channels his inner Jobs, adding his special drawl.

"We have found that most people are choosing cars over trucks now. We have sold over 300 million iPads since the post-PC revolution started in 2010. Still, people need trucks to do important work. That's why we are all here today; we are going to talk about trucks. OS X has lasted us for almost twenty years, and it has served us well. We were able to go from nearly 3% of the market, to now just over 15% of the traditional PC market. People have been questioning lately whether we are serious about professionals and trucks ( a picture of an old Mac Pro and a copy of FCX appear, garnishing nervous laughter from the crowd). Today, we are here to prove that we know how to create a real truck, not a car-truck that can't do anything well. Today, we are previewing OS Next."

OS Next

A throwback to NeXT, OS Next is my codename for what I hope the next version of Mac's OS will look like. This is what I hope will be Apple's step to avoid Copland, a step towards removing confusion between what a "truck" and "car" is, and a step towards the design future with Ives at the helm. OS Next will probably never come, nor will the design that I am going to showcase, but it is a look at what could be and its purpose is to keep me, and everyone else, thinking.

Re-Imagining OS X: The Series

This post is the preview to a series of posts I will create, attempting to piece together what the future of design and software could look like at Apple. I am not the most skilled UI designer, so please bare with me. It is the feature ideas and execution of those ideas that I want you to focus on.

The order of the series is not rigid and will most likely shift to what inspires me next. Feel free to add any ideas of suggestions.

Part One will be released soon focusing on a re-imagined file system and Finder. It will also be a peak at what Ivesian design could entail.

I would hate to have you read all of this long post and not get a reward, so I will give you a sneak peak of the next part.

This is just a preview, so don't be too critical :) The design will evolve over time.


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