Apple prepares Mac App Store makeover with Yosemite-style interface

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Mac App Store users browsing the software shop tonight are starting to notice a few aesthetic changes, as seen in the screenshots above and below. Like the recent iTunes Store facelift, the Mac App Store redesign features lighter fonts, a sparse white background, and thin gray separators.

The updated design is currently showing up every few minutes on the throughout the store, though it still shows the old design on many pages just as much as the new. The iTunes Store had a similar issue when it was updated last month, and once the rollout is complete the new design will be available to everyone. A few elements such as the “Update” button are also still using the old style.

More screenshots are below:

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Modernizing the home screen: How iOS could take cues from the design of the Apple Watch

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At Apple’s special press event this past September, we witnessed the introduction of several new user interface paradigms, in the form of Apple Watch. Perhaps one of the most interesting was Apple Watch’s entirely new home screen. This is the first departure from the same basic concept of the home screen that Apple demoed in January of 2007 when it debuted the iPhone OS.

Apple clearly thinks that Apple Watch is the future of the company, but is the Apple Watch home screen the future of the iOS home screen? Let’s take a look at how we arrived at where we are today.

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Apple begins rollout of redesigned iTunes Store ahead of OS X Yosemite launch

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Apple has started rolling out a redesigned version of the iTunes Store for users running iTunes 12 less than a week ahead of what’s expected to be the launch of OS X Yosemite. The new storefront takes design cues from the iTunes and App Store home pages on iOS devices, featuring a flattened, side-scrolling carousel at the top of the page in place of the old “card”-style header. This new header can be scrolled horizontally using two fingers or even dragged around with a mouse.

Individual pages for albums, TV shows, and iOS apps have also been redesigned and now feature more iOS-like controls throughout. Download buttons have been reduced to simple outlines. Shadows and textures have been removed throughout the store, putting the content directly on a stark white or dark gray background.

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Skype launches redesigned Mac app ahead of OS X Yosemite

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Skype today has begun rolling out a redesigned version of its Mac client, bringing an enhanced look that better fits the upcoming design aesthetic of OS X Yosemite. The new design also brings the Mac app more in line with the recently redesigned iPhone and iPod touch version of Skype. The new look’s most significant new feature fixes a common #FirstWorldProblem: having to figure out how to send someone an instant message during a voice or video call. Now, the new Skype 7.0 update brings the split-screen view shown above. Improved multi-person video calls, easier sharing, and chat syncing across devices rounds out the update. Skype 7.0 for Mac is a free download from the Skype website. Some more screenshots are below:

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Paper by FiftyThree app gets complete redesign for iOS 7 w/ new features

Paper by FiftyThree, the popular iPad app for creating illustrations, is today finally getting its iOS 7 overhaul with version 1.6 introducing a complete redesign of the app. The company tells us the newly updated Paper app hitting the App Store today is “a blend of metaphor and flat aesthetics that required the team to update every visual asset in the app.”

While the app maintains much of the look and feel of the previous version, you will notice that everything has been given a fresh coat of paint. That includes “faster menus, simplified icons, lighter colors, journal covers that pop, custom typefaces, and overall improved readability.”

There are also new features including a new and improved zoom tool as well as improvements to the dot size for the Draw and Erase tools. Here’s a run down on the new features from FiftyThree: Read more

New iWork & iLife apps go for simplicity, upset power users all over again

Following the introduction of Apple’s new iWork apps at its iPad Air event earlier this week, an increasing number of users have taken to Apple’s support forums to voice concerns over the removal of features as the apps receive new simplified user interfaces that bring them more in line with the iOS versions. Several pages of complaints from users in Apple’s forums point out that many features, those mostly used by power users, have been removed from Apple’s new redesigned version of Pages:

Why does Apple get rid of so many useful features in new pages? iWork 13 has been a huge disappointment and nothing more than a downgrade to match the capabilities of the iOS iWork apps.  If Apple simply made performance upgrades to iWork 09 I would have been happy.  I hope there is a way to get back to the most up to date version of iWork 09.

It comes down to this. Apple has discontinued Pages in its entirety. You can no longer download it or purchase it, and Apple won’t support it. Apple has simultaneously introduced a completely new and different product, also called Pages, that is designed for different users and different use cases. Despite the name, it is not a successor to Pages (old), except in the licensing terms, it is completely a completely different species of animal. Those of us who depended on Pages (old) cannot use Pages (new). We have to save all our Pages files in a widely used format and import them into a new word processor that supports the formatting.

Pages isn’t the only app, users are also hitting Apple’s forums to list features that have been removed from the redesigned versions of Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie: Read more

Gmail for iOS updated with new inbox grouped by category & improvements to notifications

Gmail-inbox-iOS-categoriesAs expected, Google just started rolling out its brand new inbox to iOS users after first introducing us to the new category-based design last week. While its not a tabbed design like on the desktop, much like the Android app that just started rolling out iOS users can now access the new feature that groups emails into separate inboxes by selecting categories from the app’s side navigation bar.

 Meet the new inbox: If you’ve enabled the new inbox, your mail is now grouped into categories so that you can see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when. Primary mail is shown first and it’s easy to access and keep track of email in other categories by opening the menu. Configure this feature by going to Gmail.com on your computer.

Today’s Gmail update also brings improved notifications allowing you to customize what emails you receive notifications for: Read more

Google rolls out brand new Gmail inbox on desktop and mobile with Categories for easier organization

As expected from a previous leak earlier this month, Google just announced on its official Gmail blog that it’s rolling out a brand new UI for Gmail on both the web and mobile that brings a new Categories based UI for easier organization of emails. The Gmail-App-Categories-01screenshots below line up with the images that we posted last week showing new customizable Categories that users can assign to manage emails according to content. For example: ‘Social’ for emails related to social networks, ‘Promotions’ for promotional material, ‘Notifications’ for reservations, bills, etc, and ‘Forums’ for mailing lists and forums.

On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà! Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when.. You can easily customize the new inbox – select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.

The update is not only rolling out to desktop users, but also to iPhone and iPad and mobile devices running Android 4.0 and up. On the mobile apps, users will first see their “Primary” inbox and can switch to other categories using the side navigation bar. Google says the new inbox is rolling out in the next few weeks but users will be able to try it sooner with a new “Configure inbox” option in Settings. Read more

New iOS 7 concepts imagine Jony Ive’s ‘very flat’ iOS redesign [video]

Since we’ve posted our exclusive details on what Apple and Jony Ive has in store for iOS 7, there have been a ton of great concepts popping up that take into account the company’s new “very flat” approach to redesigning the OS. The first concept, above, comes to us from Simplyzesty.com’s  art director Philip Joyce who has imagined a flat iOS including a new look for Siri and the lock screen, a customizable home screen, and redesigned icons that all take the “flat” approach to heart.

Another new concept for iOS 7 was posted today by apfelpage.de, below, that shows off a flat look for shortcuts, a new multitasking experience, widgets, and much more: Read more