Leaked images could show Mac OS X's new 'flat' design

With the keynote speech of Apple's WWDC 2014 conference just hours away, the rumor mill surrounding Apple's upcoming products has reached fever pitch. Apple is expected to announce updates to both OS X and iOS, with the former receiving a large visual overhaul.  

New images that have surfaced on the Internet (via MacRumors) confirm these rumors, showing a new OS X design that is much similar to iOS than any previous version. The new design appears to be much 'flatter' than previous versions of OS X with a new dock, Control Centre and notifications pane. The picture quality is low, however, so it is hard to detect smaller UI changes. 

Apple's introduction of OS X Lion (10.8) started the subtle introduction of iOS features into the desktop operating system. Features such as Launchpad, reminiscent of the iPhone home screen, and Notification Centre appeared but the overall visual design stayed the same with flashy graphics and a Chrome dock. With OS X 10.10, this appears to be about to change. 

In the image below we can see a Control Centre-esque side bar allowing for control of music playback and an array of quick access options, such as Sleep or Restart. This feature will likely be accessed via a trackpad gesture. 

In the picture below we see what could be an updated Notification Centre much more akin to that on the iPhone which displays stocks and the weather. 

Below is what appears to be a first look at an updated Safari running on OS X 10.10. The UI appears much flatter and the edges of the application appear much sharper and more pronounced. The application also appears much whiter than previous versions which focused on metallic effects, a sign that Apple is moving to more minimalist design. 

The image below appears to show a universal search option, similar to Alfred for Mac. Previously universal search is accessed via a magnifying glass icon in the top right of the screen but the version below appears to be far more comprehensive. 

Neowin will be covering the WWDC keynote today from 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern or 6PM BST. A full recap of what is expected at WWDC can be found here

Images via MacRumors

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Looks a lot like Windows 8 desktop mode - both trying to marry flat UI with non-flat and colorful iconography and both failing miserably at it. Hope Apple adds more polish but there is only so much they can do with all the legacy software...

68k said,
That's what I said a few days after March 24, 2001.

Oh heck, I still hate the OSX dock.... it's always been NeXT's bastardized family member

well, I will wait some hours today, to see it in HD, because on that resolution and quality we cannot appreciate it correctly.

well, it's OSX which has less apps than windows phone meaning that while some hard-core journalists will use it to blog about apple, the rest of the world will ignore it.

oh gawd no....... I can't be the only one who is sick of "flat"... to me if feels like the graphic designers gave up

I hope they don't go back to a flat dock, the 3d one is pretty nice. Anyways, guys, flat UI design right now is the trend. Apple was the trend setter for a while with glossy skeuomorphic design, now they are just following the trend of flat non skeuomorphic designs.

I hope these are fakes. :( What I dislike the most is that it just looks...bland. Windows 8 looks better. No Jobs, no polish.

I appreciate a more powerful search but it should remain in the top right corner.

Great to see Neowin not posting Mac news a day late though.

Edited by 68k, Jun 2 2014, 12:29pm :

Looking forward to it.. i'm expecting flat and more colour... as long as it's not too white with extremely thin fonts i'll be happy...

Too many cry babies on here... looks like Windows 8, seriously? Looks more like windows 7 but even that is a push, it looks like iO7.... It's time you guys got over the fact that flat is new the new design trend and can be seen across lots of software, apps and websites.. let burn them all at the stake.

I can't believe someone actually used the word METRO in this post. This guy is either:
1. blind
2. stupid
3. trying to troll
4. all of the above

goodbytes said,
Looking forward to it.. i'm expecting flat and more colour... as long as it's not too white with extremely thin fonts i'll be happy...

Too many cry babies on here... looks like Windows 8, seriously? Looks more like windows 7 but even that is a push, it looks like iO7.... It's time you guys got over the fact that flat is new the new design trend and can be seen across lots of software, apps and websites.. let burn them all at the stake.

I can't believe someone actually used the word METRO in this post. This guy is either:
1. blind
2. stupid
3. trying to troll
4. all of the above

Oh so Apple crybabies don't like when their holy company is accused of copying?

Only Apple fans can do that and not be any of those things you accuse others of, right?

Ozood said,

Oh so Apple crybabies don't like when their holy company is accused of copying?

Only Apple fans can do that and not be any of those things you accuse others of, right?

Not at all, the accusations have no merit it's just trolling... how the ###### does it look like Metro?

I'm not sure if I'll upgrade to this one or not. I like the way OSX looks right now, This new design seems very bright, which I don't want when I have to stare a computer screen 8+ hours a day,

Apple's UI's have always been minimalist, Windows has only recently become minimalist...and in a crass way...don't see how people can say with a straight face that its Apple following Windows UI, its the other way around....it has always been MS the follower

lets hope they update safari and open gl. Both are those a rather out of date in terms of their standards support. Pretty embarrassing considering how much money apple makes.

The pics aren't very clear but it doesn't looks like the icons have been flattened. This would be a mess as you'd have old and new "flat" icons clashing like crazy. Not every app is going to be updated for a while.

That said, the Finder icon looks like it might be different.

wow pretty bad pictures but it actually looks rather good, far better than the reflexing "tray" and idiotic folder opening anims

i am truly curious

morden said,
wow pretty bad pictures but it actually looks rather good, far better than the reflexing "tray" and idiotic folder opening anims

i am truly curious

I imagine some employee had to sneak cell phone shots during a presentation. Explains the quality!

I saw the original thread and it sounds like it was intentionally blurred. The source posted the original versions to moderators for confirmation of his identity.

Apple seems to be leaking like a sieve these days :/ anyway, 10.10 looks interesting but since my '09 Mac mini is unlikely to see it I'm not really that interested in it (although will be updating to a newer model sometime this year or next). My interest is in iOS 8, I like my iPad mini but coming from Android (which I am still a big fan of) iOS feels a little lacking. Looking forward to seeing what improvements Apple has planned (Y)

I'd say more like Win8, since that version is rocking the more flat UI style (which I happen to like). Seems to be the in thing these days, everybody is doing it.

My god. And Windows isn't even the first. Minimalism started a long time ago.

This looks nothing similar to Windows 8. Like, why?

Xerxes said,
I'd say more like Win8, since that version is rocking the more flat UI style (which I happen to like). Seems to be the in thing these days, everybody is doing it.

I haven't really used Win8 to get a proper feel for it, but having itunes and notification centre running on the side seems an awful lot like snapping.

Not that any of these things are bad, it's just interesting.

Brendeth said,
I'm not the only one getting a Win7 vibe here am I?

You are not.

iOS 7 basically smashes Aero and Metro together, and it looks like more of the same here (with the "glass" blurred transparent backgrounds of Aero in some places, and "flat" styling elsewhere).

Steven P. said,
The colors certainly seems to have made it in :p

I actually quite like it, not to say it's original or anything but it's a nice flat modern redesign

Aren't you tired of the same comment on every Apple article? This is what the kids in my daughters class do and she's 7 years old.

JHBrown said,
Aren't you tired of the same comment on every Apple article? This is what the kids in my daughters class do and she's 7 years old.
I mean, yeah, but he's still right at least.

elenarie said,
INNOVATION!

fishing for likes, eh? ;)

JHBrown said,
Aren't you tired of the same comment on every Apple article?

Some things apparently will never change around here.

JHBrown said,
Aren't you tired of the same comment on every Apple article? This is what the kids in my daughters class do and she's 7 years old.

pot, meet kettle

anywho, is that a glorified charms bar on the right?

JHBrown said,
Aren't you tired of the same comment on every Apple article? This is what the kids in my daughters class do and she's 7 years old.

Well am sure a lot of "journalists" will vomit the word "innovative" all over the interwebs .... ewww ... sick of it. This word should be banned. It's the worst buzzword of the last decade.

ZipZapRap said,
is that a glorified charms bar on the right?

no, it's a glorified notification center. I'm sure it'll turn up in Windows 8+ at some point...

dopydope said,

Well am sure a lot of "journalists" will vomit the word "innovative" all over the interwebs .... ewww ... sick of it. This word should be banned. It's the worst buzzword of the last decade.

That word is used more here.

CJEric said,

no, it's a glorified notification center. I'm sure it'll turn up in Windows 8+ at some point...

Oh so now it will turn up in Windows 8 at some point and it's not obviously what he stated first that this is basically a charms bar...

Apple keep your copiers running, your blind zombies in the distortion field will cover you.

It's quite obvious where Apple got their inspiration from in iO7 and now OSX.

nickcruz said,
this is basically a charms bar...

i like the "charms" bar as much as the next guy, but that's simply not what this is. *shrug*

JHBrown said,
Aren't you tired of the same comment on every Apple article? This is what the kids in my daughters class do and she's 7 years old.

Why... so... serious...?

Magical... revolutionary... innovation?

If that's what you're looking for, maybe you guys should check out a company called Microsoft.

Rumor has it, they have this feature coming to their new OS that's dubbed "the start menu". May not see it until 2015 though, but dammit... if you want unicorns and rainbows... that my friends is it! :woot:

nickcruz said,

Oh so now it will turn up in Windows 8 at some point and it's not obviously what he stated first that this is basically a charms bar...

Apple keep your copiers running, your blind zombies in the distortion field will cover you.

It's quite obvious where Apple got their inspiration from in iO7 and now OSX.

When will people realize that coming out with something first is not what matters. What matters is which product/company is first to be able to implement and utilize the feature the best.

still_rookie said,

When will people realize that coming out with something first is not what matters. What matters is which product/company is first to be able to implement and utilize the feature the best.

To Apple fans, you try to have it both ways.

Apple does it first, then it is perfect and everyone else is a copycat.

Apple doesn't do it first, then it doesn't matter because it is about doing it "right".

Right is defined only by Apple fans in a way that Apple will always be the one that did it "right".

Classic cult thinking.

Ozood said,
To Apple fans, you try to have it both ways.

Apple does it first, then it is perfect and everyone else is a copycat.

Apple doesn't do it first, then it doesn't matter because it is about doing it "right".

Right is defined only by Apple fans in a way that Apple will always be the one that did it "right".

Classic cult thinking.


Implying people gave a crap about tablets before the iPad. (hell, even I criticized the use of tablets back then...)

Ozood said,

To Apple fans, you try to have it both ways.

Apple does it first, then it is perfect and everyone else is a copycat.

Apple doesn't do it first, then it doesn't matter because it is about doing it "right".

Right is defined only by Apple fans in a way that Apple will always be the one that did it "right".

Classic cult thinking.

I'm not an Apple fan.