For so long, both iOS and OS X have been known for a comfortable, “human” interface that made you feel emotions whilst using each respective operating system. The original interface for OS X (back when it was Mac OS X) was named Aqua: named for its distinguished and realistic appearance. Steve Jobs announced it saying “one of the design goals was when you saw it you wanted to lick it” when he introduced it to the world along with OS X Cheetah in 2001. It was a real break from the norm that was OS 9, completely revolutionizing what it was people expected in a desktop operating system.
And it worked for more than a decade before it became stale. For it was the moment that Apple introduced iOS that many Apple fans would become invested in the notion of a total interface upgrade. Such an upgrade would not come, at least, not for a few years.
It is now 2013, and we have seen that Apple is able to growing up. iOS 7 may have some issues, but all in all it is a total step in the right direction. It presents a complete break from the past, while simultaneously building on Apple’s design legacy. Isn’t that the very thing that Steve hoped would happen with Aqua over a decade ago?
And it did. Until Apple had to move on. OS X Mavericks may not have the total iOS 7 interface change, but it is too starting to move on. I wouldn’t be surprised if OS X 10.10 or maybe even OS XI (omg what a thought) makes the same break that iOS 7 does. Who knows, maybe we’ll even have a new model for computing come this time next year.
Either way, by advancing forward and still incorporating some elements of familiarity, Apple has not only ensured the continuity of its legacy, but also inspired change across all levels of OS design. Who will be next? Stay tuned.