This design looks like an iPad screen to me. Did the implications of Apple's stated mission to "make the Mac more like the iPad" not sink in? The iPad doesn't have draggable windows. And putting big title bars on a nondraggable window is a waste of pixels.
As for the critique of various shades of gray and nonscalable text and laggy performance: It is launch day, people. We are lucky the app works at all. (It apparently doesn't quite work for everyone; those bugs are going to need to be fixed first.) It is hell on earth to meet a Steve Jobs launch date, I'm grateful to all those who made it happen, and I'd like to encourage the rest of the peanut gallery to be patient and see if revision 1.0.1 brings some improvements.
More likely: a bar-wide drag handler that takes precedence over widget clicking.
Why design the window twice inside of a year when designing it once will do?
Of course Apple won't take away OS support for draggable windows. That would be silly. What will happen, though, if the new full-screen mode takes off, is that app developers will redesign their windows to be more suitable for full-screen. And that may well involve smaller or nonexistent title bars.
I do agree, this could be a nuclear, apocalyptic scenario. But while photo, video and code workflows can be condensed nicely into one app, traditional mac workflows have been multi-window, multi-app in that most common tasks aren't IDE-oriented, and constructed from many different apps running on the Mac platform.
But, to counter your point about app laziness: most mac developers came to the platform to make really good apps. If it was about just throwing something easy out there, they'd have run to Windows or enterprise apps already.
The problem is that app UIs are going to pick a paradigm and it's going to feel out of place if you use a different one. The dragbar being replaced is a pretty good example of this.
It's a lot of why I'm not particularly looking forward to Lion.
The "interface" problem is not custom controls or back buttons. The interface problem is installing software. That's the interface most average people stumble on. That's where computers suck.
So yeah, some of the UI in the Mac App Store app feels a bit off, but the stuff that matters - one click install of great apps onto your Mac - works beautifully. That's the interface triumph.
>The actual problem the whole idea is solving is a revolutionary improvement.
Come on, man, it's a Linux Distro – how many of our moms are installing those?
Plus there's the whole easy monetization thing for developers.
This is like saying Dropbox's functionality was a solved problem thanks to rsync.
Apple's store is no revolution in my book, far from it, but at least they put that Amazon One-click patent to good use and made the process easy.
But there's still lots of polish that it lacks.
It puts every app in the dock. What happens when someone wants to remove the app and tries to do so by dragging it off the dock?
The app still resides in the Applications folder but the user thinks it's gone. Now if he wants to download it again and goes back to the App Store the app is still marked as 'Installed' even though he thinks it's gone.
If he knows to look in the Applications folder and then tries to drag it to the trash, you get a UAC dialog asking for the root password.
So, they've partially solved the App install experience but not fully. The interface still has rough edges, which I'm sure they may eventually get right.
This guys website looks like a nacho-colored version of Daring Fireball, complete with a star in the logo and for the favicon. Is there some star motif in the Mac world I'm not aware of?
I highly doubt that, given that the standard size for the dragging bar on in OS X is only 22 pixels tall, while the bar on the Mac App Store appears to be about 54 pixels tall. The increased vertical size would seem to make up for the smaller horizontal draggable area, from an accessibility standpoint.
Secondly the navigation can be handled with swipe gestures, which is where Lion is headed.
On the issue of dragging windows, I think that Apple is a bad boy that doesn't care about convention and wants to re-invent this. Right now, users have to know that only a specific narrow upper border is draggable. With any blank space replacing that tradition, users don't have to think about where they grab a window as long as they hit something gray that isn't a button.
To manage apps on my iphone/ipad/ipod I use iTunes. In iTunes I go to an app store if I want to install a new app on those devices.
To access what I perceive to be essentially a form of the same store but for Mac software, I use a dedicated application that now forms part of the Operating System's update management. This makes no sense to me.
Does this mean that we'll start to see iphone/pod/pad management moving towards the mac app store and a (hopefully) slimmer itunes?
In Mac apps adherence of HIG and use of standard Cocoa widgets is very important, and poorly thought out/unnecessary deviations are frowned upon — at least for 3rd party developers.
Many parts of OS X/Cocoa are very polished, so it's disheartening that Apple releases something that's debatable between hideous or barely good enough.
- A wishlist or a very simple way to mark apps that you are willing to buy in the near future.
- Price tags on every product. Not just the one's you haven't purchased. As I already have the iWork suite installed, I can't read the prices of those articles.
- Good autocomplete. The app store universe is a finite one, not a chaotic infinite one such as the entire web. Therefore, the autocomplete should respond accordingly. Terms that are actually app names should have some visual cue.
- A prominent search box. To be fair, they have the search box in the conventional place. However, being discovery on the the priorities of the store, search should be more visible.
- And let's not talk about recommendations. If Amazon is a tiger in terms of targeted recomendations, Apple's App Store is not more than a snail.
Agreed. If Google can do autocomplete with Google Instant against the entire internet, then the ability to do it against the "more than a thousand apps" that are in the app store should be entirely within Apple's reach.
iTunes did the horizontal window controls first. If you don't like these, wait till you try Tweetie 2 aka Twitter for Mac. It makes them smaller and black.
There's more than enough blank area to drag, enough there could have been a bit more space between the window controls and the nav back/fwd buttons. However, it feels like this is a move towards more standard window shapes and icon locations between the desktop and the iDevices. Everything's right where you'd expect it to be on an iPad.
iTunes is not, closing it leaves it running. iPhoto is, closing it shuts it down. Both look pretty much the same.
The distinction is arbitrary, though. There are plenty of single-window apps I'd like to stay running.
Regular people never really took advantage of the MDI anyway. (Not that I blame them, overlapping windows made a mess of everything.)
Yet this move is happening exactly as extremely high resolution displays that can easily handle multiple side-by-side windows are becoming commonplace.
MDI is a great thing for a certain class of people. And I'm talking about a trend in software for everyone else. Those people weren't a high-res monitor away from becoming power-users. It was never going to happen.
The pattern seems to be applications where once the window is closed there is little likelihood that the user will want to access it soon again. One-off applications get this behavior - not applications that suit extended use.
Close --> Actually just hides the app.
Expand --> Does literally nothing. Seriously.
It took a comment on this blog post for me to notice that iTunes has vertical buttons. I hope that is a fair indication how often I even look at those buttons.
Designers need to pull their heads out of their collective arses and realize that design is not just coordinated colors and the latest gradient button trends.