Concept imagines a much needed redesign of Apple’s Messages app for OS X


It’s no secret that Messages on OS X, Apple’s IM app that’s integrated with its iMessage service on iOS devices, has long been a frustration for users. The app has received a name change and slightly new look since the iChat days, but it hasn’t improved much in terms of functionality or reliability– some would say it’s gotten worse. While many of you would probably settle for a Messages app that simply works reliably, app developer Denis Pakhaliuk just sent over his concept of a completely revamped Messaging app for OS X.

On top of a redesigned UI that implements “Smart Colors” and some iOS 7-style translucency, the concept imagines a Messages app with much needed filter and sync features, truly instant sync between devices, new indicators for statuses, media uploads, and more.

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  1. that looks great I would love to see apple design the app like that, like you said a redesign is needed!

  2. bbodayle - 9 years ago

    Looks great, except the transparency is way too similar to Windows 7.

    I love the chat bubbles connected to the contact image.

  3. I just barfed a little everywhere

    • Jeremy Posluszny - 9 years ago

      I absolutely agree. Looks nothing like OS X Mavericks. More like Ubuntu mixed with star wars.

      • lexxkoto - 9 years ago

        “Looks like Ubuntu mixed with star wars” is my new favourite way of insulting user interfaces.

        Thank you. I’m going to use it a lot.

  4. nmpomes - 9 years ago

    It doesn’t really match any of Apple’s design language.

    • matches iOS 7

      • markroder - 9 years ago

        It does, with added transparency. The contacts panel is, I fear, a bit too inspired by the FaceTime app (which, let’s face it, is not the prettiest app on iOS – way too much transparency obscuring the content.)

      • tallestskil - 9 years ago

        Right response, wrong punctuation.

        “Matches iOS 7? No!”

  5. Dave Clements - 9 years ago

    That is NOT a good design for so many reasons.

  6. The biggest annoyance about Mavericks for me is the half-arsed attempt at getting rid of skeuomorphic design. They’ve re-designed the Notes app yet left a skeuomorphicly designed Dock icon. The same goes for Calendar and Address Book.

    I really expected more of an iOS influenced OS X with Mavericks.

    Let me know your thoughts @jpfpreston

  7. Eduardo Cedillo - 9 years ago

    Reminds me a lot of windows vista..

  8. Apple needs to sync iMessages to iCloud so users can get to iMessages without being on OS X or iOS devices.

  9. Wow. That’s ugly. Apple already experimented with transparency in earlier versions of Mac OS X. Images look like it is Windows Vista or 7. If you look at “Smart Colors” You will see that it’s almost impossible to read text on that new design. Even Microsoft disabled transparency for windows in Windows 8 because it has no purpose at all.
    And gray color of OS X looks neutral and familiar.

  10. Avenged110 - 9 years ago

    That is horrifying. Reminds me of Windows -__-

  11. Carlos Romero - 9 years ago

    looks nice! change is always good

  12. jaydisc - 9 years ago

    Holy Vista!

  13. Scott - 9 years ago

    Somebody make this!

  14. Sulayman (@SulaymanF) - 9 years ago

    “Much needed?” No. Transparent makes it less readable. I already hate that Apple tried it with the Menubar, the one thing that badly depends on readability (thank God I can turn transparency off).

  15. tallestskil - 9 years ago

    On the contrary, this design is absolutely hideous and Messages has never been more functional. Instead of disgusting Aero knockoffs, how about keeping the same design, integrating FaceTime into one application (ZERO excuse for this), and making Messages actually SHOW ME A LIST OF MY CONTACTS THAT I CAN IMESSAGE, SINCE THAT’S BASICALLY THE POINT OF THE APPLICATION.

    Those are my two complaints: FaceTime directly integrated, show me a list of the people I can message. Anything else needs to be as conservative as possible.

  16. Gabriel Denis - 9 years ago

    now thats awesome

  17. Adam (@dirt_bag) - 9 years ago

    It looks ok to me, i’d prefer to see an update of Mail though. It’s essentially been the same since FOREVER

    • tallestskil - 9 years ago

      And why would they change the best design on the market? What reason does the design have to change? How could a different design serve you up your e-mail better than this?

      These are questions you haven’t asked. You have to ask them before thinking a design should be changed.

  18. frippz - 9 years ago

    We’re not making Windows 7 here… Next!

  19. Matt (@matt3224) - 9 years ago

    Quick someone get a cloth my eyes are bleeding!

  20. Joachim Barrum - 9 years ago

    Its not ugly per se, but its a wild mix of current OSX, iOS 7, Vista Aqua etc…Apple would never design it this way, it would be a lot cleaner design. And, if/when apple redesigns imessage I´m pretty sure it will either be in the looks of the current OSX design or together with the rest of the OS in a cleaner iOS7 kind of look…as a revamp of the entire OS (which I suspect will happen sooner or later).

  21. too much Windows 7

  22. markroder - 9 years ago

    Too much UI transparency, the contacts section on the left will be hard to read in many situations.

    Love the plain flat Close, Minimize, Maximize buttons! Many well observed details.

    Also, all your female contacts are models?…

  23. thepinkcat (@thepinkcat) - 9 years ago

    regardless of what people think about the design, apple needs to work towards integrating iOS and OSX design and feel. If you’re sending messages from ipad and iphone during the day – going back to messages on the mac just feels “old”…

  24. Chris Cooper (@clcooper) - 9 years ago

    I would like to be friend with this guy, so I can meet the models in his chat bubbles! LOL.

  25. ellzworth - 9 years ago

    A+ for the effort, but holy geez. Bastard child of something Microsoft would make along with Yahoo!

  26. Ernie A Oporto - 9 years ago

    I like the idea of favorites and smart color, but why not just unify communications with the mail app? The accounts are probably all there anyway, and IMs could just appear in a threaded view like they are now. And the smart colors are just another description of Mail app tagging and smartfolders. Changing the rest of the colors around is just distraction and change for the sake of change; it doesn’t do anything to improve the app.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.