Does This Brushed Metal Stuff Really Even Matter?

Saturday, October 23rd, 2004 @ 4:55 pm | Mac

John Gruber:

This is not to say it can’t be discerned when a metal window is in the background. The title text is lighter, and the close/minimize/zoom buttons are dimmed (as is the scroll bar, if there is one). The point is simply that it’s much harder to tell at a glance whether an unobscured brushed metal window is active or not.

This in turn makes it easy to mistakenly invoke the wrong keyboard shortcut. Here’s one I’ve run into personally. Let’s say I have a Safari window and an iChat window open side-by-side, with no overlap. I think the Safari window is active, but it’s actually the iChat window. I type Cmd-T to open a new tab in Safari, but instead, I get the Font Panel in iChat.

This is definitely one of my pet peaves about metal windows, especially with regards to iChat and Safari. Personally, I think there’s a better example than Cmd-T to exhibit the problem of not quickly determining the frontmost application: Cmd-L.

In Safari, Cmd-L is the shortcut for the Open Location… command (it selects the address bar and highlights the text in the bar. In iChat, Cmd-L is the shortcut for the Log Out of AIM command. Slight difference.

I’ve received more email this week from brushed metal aficionados than I have from gloating Red Sox fans.

If I’d known you were collecting emails from gloating Red Sox fans…


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