New User Interface Pack for Mac-apps

Having learned some details about the process of updating Mountain Lion and its components to be loaded only through the Mac App Store, I remembered an interesting concept designer Lennart Ziburskogo (Lennart Ziburski), who wished to improve the interface update desktop applications. I have very long ago wanted to tell about him to our wonderful readers, and there is also an occasion presented itself :)

At the moment there are several common approaches to renewal applications for OS X. The first of these appeared after running the Mac App Store, corresponds to a similar process in iOS and involves visits to a special application in which you can see all the available updates, see the list of new features and install them in one click. Undoubtedly, such a concept has many advantages and one big disadvantage: you will not know about the update as long as do not run Mac App Store (for example, I do it only on very great occasions :) .)

The second common approach is to use a free framework Sparkle, which tells about the availability of new versions of some of the program almost immediately after its launch. But he is far from ideal, as pop-up window (often modal) interferes and distracts from the application itself. This is especially annoying when you want to do something quickly.

It is these problems Lennart Ziburski and tried to solve in its concept, selecting the best features of two implementations: information about the apdeyte in the application (like Sparkle) and unobtrusive installation (as in the Mac App Store). This concept involves mapping a tiny notice in the title bar next to the fullscreen button.

After clicking on the notification will be shown semi PopOver, familiar to us from Safari or Spotlight, a list of major changes and a few buttons, allowing to install the update, or learn more about it some more details. For example, to visit the developer’s site, find c FAQ’om or a history of versions.

If you do decide to install this update, the pop-up panel PopOver can be hidden or inform about the currently executing transactions. The user does not lose the opportunity to work in the application. Then you can either immediately restart the updated program, or wait for the right moment.

What I liked about the concept:

    This is quite useful and unobtrusive way to communicate the availability of new versions of the program. In addition, this part of the title is still not being used. The panel is informative, and changes its state depending on the stage of the process. The user does not miss a notification, but can simply be ignored, without interrupting your workflow. Even if you close the pop-up panel, you can still follow the installation process with progress bar.

What I dislike about this update: As before, each application will have to upgrade separately, which is much worse than using a Mac App Store approach to the “batch” install updates for all applications in a row.

Nevertheless, the concept is attractive, so Lennart began to search for a developer who would help him to realize that vision, and provides contact him via e-mail or Twitter.

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