A bit of nerdiness this afternoon: before Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) arrived, I predicted that it would feature one radical change to its interface: a change from the Lucida Grande system font (used for menus and interface elements) to Helvetica. I based this on two things: first, the beautiful iPhone interface; second, on the strange inclusion of Helvetica as the interface font for some disparate pieces of the beta version of Leopard.
Well, the release version arrived, and Lucida Grande is still with us — but so is Helvetica in the odd spot here and there, looking for all the world as if a change was supposed to have been made but was omitted for some reason.
Today, using the freeware Tinker Tool app, I changed all occurrences of Lucida Grande in my system to Helvetica. Surprise! It looks right. Like it was meant to be. I still say that the interface is going to change to Helvetica, but I can’t imagine now that it will happen in a point release. Perhaps in 10.6, two years from now? I also still say that they meant to change it this time around. The use of Helvetica in the new features (Stacks, iCal, Time Machine, etc.) obviously points to a plan to change the system font.
Take a look at these screen shots and tell me: doesn’t it just look right?