inessential by Brent Simmons

Tiger Mail screenshot and user interface

I find the screenshot of Mail for OS X 10.4 fascinating.

The first thing I notice is that the mailboxes aren’t in a drawer anymore, which I think is a good thing.

A few other things:

1. The toolbar background appears to be some sort of gradient. As in a metal window, there is no line between the top of the window and the toolbar buttons. But it’s not metal. It looks new. (The screenshot of system preferences has the same look.)

2. The toolbar icons appear to be embedded in some kind of new button. Whether it’s a new button style or just a look for the Mail toolbar icons I can’t tell from the screenshot.

3. The mailbox list has a background color. This may or may not be customizable—you can’t tell from the screenshot. It’s a good guess that, if customizable, the color shown is the default color. This is interesting because I can’t think of any other source lists from Apple that have colored backgrounds by default.

4. The vertical splitview dividing the mailboxes from the rest of the window is not a standard splitview. (Unless it’s new in OS X 10.4.) (Actually, I’m just assuming it’s a splitview.) Note how the apparent thickness of the divider is zero. The horizontal splitview looks more like a standard splitview—though I’ve squinted at it a bit and started to wonder if that’s true.

5. I don’t see a status bar. (It could be that, like Safari, the status bar is hidden by default. Or it could be that it was added after this screenshot was taken. Or maybe there just isn’t one. I don’t know.)

So... what do you think?

(Note: remember to respect any and all non-disclosure agreements. We’re just looking at public screenshots. And these screenshots may or may not resemble the final, shipping versions.)