- Brushed metal (interface)
Brushed metal was a
graphical user interfacedesign used in Apple Computer's Mac OS X operating systemfor Macintosh computers. It can be compared with the Aqua interface. The first of Apple's applications to sport this look was the QuickTime Playerreleased as part of QuickTime4.0 in 1999.
Apple's Human Interface Guidelines state that the brushed metal interface should be used for programs that mimic the operation of, or interface with, common devices. Older versions (before 5.0) of
iTunesand the Panther and Tiger Calculator both use brushed metal because they mimic real-world devices, while iSync features the theme because it interfaces with PDAs.
Brushed metal primarily differs from Aqua in its appearance, but there are a few functional differences. Brushed metal windows can be moved by clicking any part of the window; Aqua windows can only be moved by clicking within the
Continuing the growth of Apple-sponsored, non-Aqua themes, Apple also introduced a
Pro themethat is used in its high-end video, music and image production and editing software. At the same time, with the release of Mac OS X v10.4and new iLifeapplications, brushed metal was being slowly replaced with a darker Aqua theme, often dubbed Polished Metal. Mac OS X v10.5fully replaced brushed metal with the new darkened Aqua theme, finally restoring a consistent look and feel to Mac OS X.
Brushed metal has been criticised by user interface purists, who point out that Apple frequently violates its own rules for the use of the brushed metal look. The most notable of the supposed violations are Safari, Apple's web browser, and the
Macintosh Finderitself. With the release of Mac OS X v10.3, Apple further expanded its list of acceptable uses for brushed metal to include windows that navigate lists of information. This absolves the Finder, but Safari's use of brushed metal remains a mystery. Opponents of the theory point out that even Apple's guidelines for the use of brushed metal are inconsistent, and that the motivation behind the alternative appearance's existence is unclear. [Gruber, John (October 16, 2004). [http://daringfireball.net/2004/10/brushedmetal "Brushed Metal and the HIG."] " Daring Fireball". Retrieved on May 19, 2008.]
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