RUMOR: Aqua to be replaced with Illuminous

osx-box.jpgApple Gazette has received a tip from an apple insider that the Mac OS Aqua User Interface will be replaced with a new UI named Illuminous.

The source goes on to say that we will see a demonstration of Illuminous at Macworld 2007.

The gensis for this rumor started earlier this year when Apple posted a position on seeking a senior visual interface designer “to conceive, design and develop future enhancements to Aqua, the dynamic user interface for Mac OS X”.

This is the first time a name for the supposed Aqua replacement has been given.

What will Illuminous look like?

That’s anybody’s guess at this point, but we might be seeing some hints of what Illuminous holds in the recent release of iTunes.

We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Interesting bit from MacShrine. They state that a new build of Leopard was seeded to employees on Friday. What’s interesting, as it relates to this rumor, is the following bit of text:

“Apple continues to gloss over the interface, refining it even more and there is an overly presence of black gloss.”

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  1. says

    Me too. But the new Unified theme from iCal in the developer builds gives me also the impression of a more white overall look. I wuold think that themes are coming back to school.
    BTW: the moment i read the headline, i crap all over me… :)

  2. agfrg says

    In my opinion, we are seeing the Illuminous since 12th September 2006 in a program that, i think, we all use daily.
    Probably, the iTunes UI is the Illuminous. It has a mature UI, more sober look compared to Aqua, more imponent, Apple Style.

  3. MD says

    agfrg: The current iTunes UI is even grayer and more boring than Windows 95 was. I hope they’ll make something better instead.

  4. JK says

    What if the UI is configurable… White gloss for white MacBooks and Black for Black MacBooks? Would go with your iPod as well 😉

    And, yes I know thre’s more Macs than the laptops. This was just a thought…


  5. Mark says

    Since this is unconfirmed, detail-weak, and coming from a single source, my money is on Steve (or his appointed leak-detector) seeding this to ferret out an internal loose-lipped source at Apple.

  6. Gryphon MacTHoy says

    It shouldn’t be hard to make the UI have a selectable colour palette. Black, white, grey? Boring. I want COLORS! Application specific, at that!
    Goes for the hardware, too. You’d think black and white were the only shades plastic comes in. Retarded.

  7. says

    With the release of Microsoft Vista I think Apple might have something up their sleeves. As with all Apple rumors, we will have to wait and see.

  8. Required says

    I’m all for applying the new iTunes UI systemwide. Finally put the kibosh on brushed metal and give the entire system a 100% consistent, truly unified (not to mention very attractive) look. Sure, it could use some tweaking, but overall it’s very pleasing to my old eyes.

    You young’uns can have your flashy colours if you want ’em. I’ll take easy-on-the-eyes shades of grey any day of the week.

  9. Vincent says

    It may be something like the Dashboard Web Clip button in Leopard’s Safari, seeing as, in the current state of affairs, the button sticks out like a sore thumb. Seeing as people have hinted a black gloss style, this seems like an interesting place to start looking from.

  10. Here's what it'll look like says

    It will be a mix between Platinum and Gold. Very shiny, sexy and sleek. Imagine lemonade, quicksilver and golden pearls. That’s what it will be like. Aero looks like DOS compared to that.

  11. DeFacto says

    Black glossy body; glossy anti glare screens, almost vinyl black shine. There were post a year ago saying MAC will go ‘shiney’. You wouldn’t believe the leaks that Apple has.

  12. Dev Singh says

    I wouldt mind osmething like this if it looked like iTunes 7 / Xtorrent .
    BTW ; anyone who has a pointer to screenshots of the new iCal ?

  13. some guy says

    if they redo the interface to match Aperture and other pro apps, it would be amazing. designers prefer to have the interface fade into the background as much as possible so that the work comes to the foreground. Aperture does a great job of that, while the rest of Aqua is so distracting that it actually interferes with my aesthetic judgment.

  14. says

    “OH! Darn, and just when Vista was just catching up to 2001 Mac OSX Aqua…
    Been there, done that, moving on…”
    my thoght exactly. Apple will always be at least one step ahead.

  15. Thomas Davies says

    I would like a Prosumer styled interface across the board for Leopard, but I kind of think it would be quite difficult to market that to any one but Mac lovers. I think the style would put off new Mac users, seeing as Apple stats say 50% of all Mac purchases are from new customers.

    And finally, am I the only one who freaking loves the brushed metal!?

  16. Paul says

    I doubt they’d replace everything, in one go – (aside from when they release OS 11)

    Perhaps they’re going to create a standard Full Screen Interface and the widgets (not dashboard, but things like buttons) that are required for that are shiny & black like Coverflow’s scrollbar & Front Row’s various things?

  17. sethtv says

    I hear Illuminous and I think of those new iPod Nano commercials… I’m imagining something pearlescent, that almost looks like its glowing… can’t wait to see the next GUI!

  18. Trev says

    Right now the “light” in os X doesn’t come from any particular direction. All the the windows have shadows. When I picture this new interface in my head I see windows illuminated from behind, and light, instead of shadow, bordering the windows. The light would come from behind the windows (although not nearly all of it (the contents of windows have to be evenly lit (and brightly)for readability) and maybe a slight color tint to the light coming from the back of the windows. And I expect a glossy, chromey, dark–not translucent–title-bars and the buttons would be glassy not chromey, and slightly translucent-sitting flush on the window, not floating as in jaguar, or sunken like panther/tiger). When a window is not selected it falls into a subtle shadow, with the window in front of it illuminating it slightly. While aqua put the yum in operating systems, Illuminous will put the sexiness into them. Anyway, that how I imagine it.

  19. Matthew Treder says

    Well said, Trev. I can already see it in my mind’s eye.

    Lighting is every interior decorator’s best friend and (probably) worst-kept secret. It only makes sense that it will play a vital role in our favorite interfaces.

  20. says

    Illuminous? That sounds very enlightened.

    It’s not like huge clues about the new UI weren’t left all over the website (before the updated look post DC07).

    A black UI is creeping in through iTunes coverflow, FrontRow, TimeMachine and the new “get info” type windows. But expect to see the same desktop when you start your leopard based mac as is shown on the apple website. Customisation options are still going to be available anyway.

  21. spittips101 says has a version of it. u need shapeshifter to use it. i dont know if this is a fake one but its looks nice either way.

  22. Illuminous says

    Illuminous is not a word. Luminous is, illuminous is not. Look it up in the dictionary if you don’t believe me. So this whole thing is silly.

    • says

      I hear Illuminous and I think of those new iPod Nano commercials… I’m imagining something pearlescent, that almost looks like its glowing… can’t wait to see the next GUI!

  23. says

    Me too. But the new Unified theme from iCal in the developer builds gives me also the impression of a more white overall look. I wuold think that themes are coming back to school.

    • says

      Why does the header not show on internet explorer 9 but does show on mozilla firefox and explorer 8. EX9 also drops the headings with H1 tags they do not show. THIS IS a great theme but I cannot use it on my newer sites because of this problem. Is it the theme or its compatability with explorer9.thanks col ferguson.

  24. says

    I do not believe.
    Serious problem in the HP screen appears, the Apple has become the world’s best quality laptops. Because China’s Lenovo Thinkpad has been destroyed.
    Aqua why classical random changes take place? Both brand awareness and technical content, which are reflected from the customer’s usage of a powerful advantage. I can not think of any reason to replace Aqua.


  1. […] Φήμες που αναπαράγει το AppleGazette, σημειÏŽνουν πως η Apple ετοιμάζεται να "χτυπήσει" ξανά (ÏŒπως μας έχει συνηθίσει τελευταία) με ενα νέο User Interface για το επερχÏŒμενο Mac OS X Leopard. Εγκαταλείποντας το AQUA θα μεταβεί στο Illuminous, για του οποίου τις δυνατÏŒτητες δεν γνωρίζουμε τίποτα. Ούτε ενα screenshot. […]

  2. […] I do not usually like Apple rumors, some of them annoy me and maybe one or two really get my attention. The most recent really got my attention though. The rumor that Apple will be replacing Aqua with a new UI. The UI is rumored to be named “Illuminous”. Some are saying that this is a move by Jobs because he is afraid of Aero. Aero is the new Windows UI, it is the glass-like look that is supposed to knock Apple off of the top of the mountain as far as aesthetics go. You can read the article at the Apple Gazette. Filed under Apple, Windows Vista and Rumors.  | var blogTool = “WordPress”; var blogURL = “”; var blogTitle = “”; var postURL = “”; var postTitle = “Illuminous Rumor”; var commentAuthorFieldName = “author”; var commentAuthorLoggedIn = false; var commentFormID = “commentform”; var commentTextFieldName = “comment”; var commentButtonName = “submit”; […]

  3. […] Mac OS X’s Aqua has matured very slowly over the last few years. It seems like many OS X users are tired of Aqua and ready for a new revolutionary GUI to compliment and enhance the experience of using a Mac. An increasingly popular theme for Apple’s latest applications have been smooth unified metal and dark glass. With each major update to one of Apple’s applications, its seems like the days with blue gel scroll-bars and candy bar progress bars are ending. Its no question that Leopard will feature a new GUI, but no one really knows what it will look like. Its no doubt that Leopard will feature resolution-independent graphics support that will allow for greater resolution displays with the same and windows sizes. However, the details of the interface have not yet been revealed, but many are hoping that we will see the final announcement of Leopard features at Macworld 2007, where chances of a GUI announcement are high. Apple Gazette has featured a new rumor from a supposed insider that has claimed that the new GUI that will replace Aqua will be nicknamed ‘Illuminous’. Apple’s latest trend in its software GUI is a darker, flatter, translucent, reflective, “illuminating” glass appearance. The genesis for this rumor started earlier this year when Apple posted a position on seeking a senior visual interface designer “to conceive, design and develop future enhancements to Aqua, the dynamic user interface for Mac OS X”. * RUMOR: Aqua to be replaced with Illuminous *by*Apple Gazette Next OS X rumored to feature new GUI” ); var ch_selected=Math.floor((Math.random()*ch_queries.length)); if ( ch_selected < ch_queries.length ) ch_query = ch_queries[ch_selected]; //–> ————————- Advertisement ————————- […]

  4. […] I’m just now surfacing after 7 days of the flu, trying to catch up on the feed-reader. Being interested in interface design, one thing sprung out; if you’re a mac fan, you might have already read it: rumor has it that the next mac operating system, OSX, will get a new interface. The rumor elaborates that this new interface will feature black gloss, lights, and be codenamed “Illuminous”. […]

  5. […] Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard As in my experience I have noticed that Apple tend to under promise and over deliver when it comes to the public, I am 99.8% confident that Leopard will be available at MacWorld. At the last Apple Developer’s Conference, Steve was up on stage making jabs at Microsoft and criticising them for how long it was taking to release Vista. Steve said that Apple will be releasing Leopard in the first quarter of 2007. Now that Windows Vista is available for business users and will be publicly available on January 30, I think Steve would have had the Leopard development done and ready to release, just so he can brag that Leopard is out before Vista. As far as features go, we already know about Time Machine, Spaces, Spotlight update, etc however Steve said this was only the tip of the iceberg. I predict we will see major updates to the Mac OS interface and we may also see some big improvements to the Finder. Rumours have been floating around about a new graphical interface called Illuminous which will replace the current Aqua in order to compete with Windows Vista’s Aero glass. Other rumours say that Leopard is going to push the hardware pretty hard so you probably won’t want to install it on anything other than an Intel Mac. The likelyhood of a new gra[hical interface I think will be the biggest improvement to Leopard. One that I will welcome with open arms. […]

  6. […] Je reprends la liste des possibilités d’annonce pour MacWorld SF demain, selon John Siracusa pour voir lesquelles sont probables ou pas : – un Mac Pro doté de huit coeurs : Intel ayant annoncé ses puces quad-cores, pourquoi pas ; – L’annonce de la date exacte de lancement de Leopard : non. Lors des sorties précédentes, la date exacte de lancement a été tenue secrète jusqu’à quelques semaines avant la sortie (cf les annonces de lancement de Jaguar, Pantherou encore Tiger pour s’en convaincre. Donc, demain, présentation des fameuses Top Secret Features, mais pas d’annonce exacte de date de lancement. Peut-être le mois, et encore, pas sûr. – La virtualisation dans Leopard […]

  7. […] Edles Schwarz Ich denke, die Benutzeroberfläche des iPhones, gibt einen kleinen Hinweis, was wir auch für Leopard erwarten können: schwarze Bedienelemente. Eine überarbeitete Benutzeroberfläche wurde für 10.5 schon mehrmals prognostiziert. Zuletzt sprachen die Gerüchteseiten von einer in schwarz gehaltenen Oberfläche namens Illuminous. Insofern kann die Benutzeroberfläche des iPhones als Hinweis darauf gewertet werden. […]

  8. […] 10) Mais efeitos Gráficos + Perfumaria; Efeitos no Gerenciador de Janelas são a marca registrada da Apple e que faz grande parte da fama do seu Sistema, mas que tem perdido terreno para os efeitos causado por Servidores Graficos do Linux como AIGLX e XGL e o Looking Glass da Sun. Espero que o novo ambiente que irá substituir o atual Aqua seja uma passo além destes sistemas e recoloque a Apple na vanguarda dos efeitos mirabolantes no Desktop. Parece que o novo Gerenciador de janelas irá se chamar Illuminous … não tenho certeza, mas é um belo nome. O da Microsoft se chama Aero … alguém falou em plágio aí?? […]

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