Not much has been said about the Dock in OS X Yosemite. Tim and Craig briefly touched on the flatter interface and how the windows are more translucent — adapting to the “temperature” of the surrounding environment (via the desktop background picture). But there are other refinements within the Dock that didn’t make it in OS X Mavericks that will be part of OS X Yosemite:
1. Dock Returns to Its Roots — no longer 3D
The Dock has lost its 3D shelf look and now is back to the same 2D look found in earlier versions of OS X. A minor adjustment, but icons no longer appear hovering over the thick steel plate.
2. Glow Indicators Replaced by tiny black dots
To see which apps are currently running there are little tiny black dots under each app instead of the white glowing orb. I wasn’t a huge fan of the glow-lights before, but don’t know if the dots will be more or less visible or helpful. At this point, it is a sideways move, more than an improvement. One would think a more distinct solution would be to have the apps not running shift into a semi-transparent state, making it easier to distinguish between app states: running or not running.
3. Finder Icon: Is Yosemite Happier than Mavericks?
The Finder icon on the right (Yosemite) looks happier than the one in OS X Mavericks dock, while receiving a color shift. The long horizontal line that made the nose and separated the two faces — extending above the head and below the chin — is contained within the icon in Yosemite’s version. The icon no longer has square edges but slightly rounded corners, giving it a friendlier less 1980's computer look. This is also true with the thinner black lines and rounded edges of these strokes. The original Aqua themed glossy/reflective look is no longer present within the Dock icons, delivering a more iOS look, if not a more refined feel.
Maybe it is all these changes combined that make OS X Yosemite seem "happier" — or maybe it is because the refinements put in play by Jony Ive are finally coming to light on the desktop. One thing is clear, the skewmorphic, 3D look and feel found in earlier OS X versions is gone, in favor of a cleaner, if not simplified, design.
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