I’m officially tired with the messy look of Mac OS X Tiger. Brushed aluminum. Platinum plastic. Plasticky whatever. Will Apple ever clean up the mess?
Finally, someone has a fix that make’s Tiger look cool, sleak, unified. It’s called UNO, and it’s free.
For the most part, I don’t hack OS X to make it look much different than it looks. It is what it is and we gets to live with it, right or wrong, right?
Wrong. Apple forces us to live with a very unusual mishmash of interface looks that finally got the best of me. I grew tired of brushed aluminum in Safari but not in iTunes.
There are Mac utilities which use iLife’s sleeker plastic platinum look and others which adhere to the not-so-gracefully-aging brushed aluminum look.
Can’t Apple figure out a unified way to make OS X appear as a single, unified scheme. Or, better yet, give us, Mac users, the ability to “skin” OS X however we wish?
Fat chance. Steve Jobs is such a control freak that I’m sure that day won’t come, and 3rd party hacks will always be “hacks” into OS X that break things. Those I avoid.
Late last night I received an email from Alexis who said to try out the new version of UNO (the Mac360 staffers had returned from Bambi’s wedding the day before, and Alex had a Tuesday doctor’s appointment with her daughter). As you would expect from one of Alexis’ recommendations, UNO is free.
UNO is a simple theme for Mac OS X Tiger which enhances the Aqua interface and makes it mostly consistent in all applications. UNO is derived from the Latin, meaning “as one.”
Where you see brushed aluminum on Tiger applications, you’ll see something that looks like platinum plastic, yet still Aqua.
In fact, nearly every application begins to have a similar ‘classic’ look once UNO is installed.
Mac OS X Tiger, as with most Mac OS versions of years past, is made up of hundreds of graphic elements which form the tool bars, the window frames, the corners, the scroll bars, and everything else we see on screen.
Apple can’t seem to make up its collective Cupertino mind about which way to go—brushed aluminum, platinum plastic, or whatever—so UNO gives you control without hacking OS X in the process.
Installation gives you choices of UNO ‘vanilla’, shaded UNO (a little darker), and default Aqua for specific looks. As I said, I don’t like modifying OS X, and UNO is a modification. But it works.
The first thing I noticed was the Finder and Safari. Both are the aging brushed aluminum look which contrasts sharply with iTunes’ new platinum plastic look. Now they look the same.
The interface of other applications took on a unified look, initially a bit disconcerting, but that quickly faded into, well, nothing. I forgot about it. The contrasting look of the Tiger’s various elements disappeared.
My working focus became what the application did, not what it looked like. Or didn’t look like. This kind of unified look is what many of us expect to see available in OS X Leopard, but haven’t seen in developer releases. Yet.
To be fair, I tried UNO on a cloned hard drive of my main Mac at home. Installation took only a minute and I did a re-boot just to be sure everything would stick. It did. UNO unifies how OS X Tiger looks on screen.
And it looks great. And it’s not a ‘hack’ to the system, so there’s no odd little process running in the background to trip Tiger later. UNO appears to swap out the right graphic elements to give your Mac a classy, streamlined look.
Even the Dashboard dock gets a unified treatment. The installer gives you sufficient options and examples of which appearance to choose for which Tiger interface. I chose standard UNO, but found I prefer UNO shaded instead.
Check the UNO screenshots before installing. I like iTunes’ new look. I don’t care for brushed aluminum. I prefer a unified interface throughout the OS.
That’s what I get with UNO, and so far, no problems, and no price tag. My Mac looks like a Mac again, and not a modern OS version of a FrankenGUI.