Show & Tell: Apple Leaks New Scroll Bar UI for Mac OS X Lion 10.7

Mac OS X Lion 10.7 scrollbars
(Image courtesy of AppleInsider)

Apple is used to the tech media revealing new features of its forthcoming products, but on Wednesday, the company inadvertently provided a leak of their own during their “Back to the Mac” event — a new scroll bar user interface for next year’s Mac OS X Lion 10.7.

AppleInsider is reporting that while Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave us a peek at a few Mac OS X Lion 10.7 features at Wednesday’s “Back to the Mac” event, including LaunchBar and Mission Control, they also slipped a new user interface element — as rumored, the new OS X appears to be gaining iOS-style scroll bars.

Not only does Mac OS X Lion 10.7 appear to have a new style of scroll bars, but the user interface element also appears to vanish whenever it’s not being actively used, much as it does on the iPad.

AppleInsider notes that during Apple’s vice president of Mac OS X engineering Craig Federighi’s brief demo of the forthcoming Mac App Store, the app first opened with no scroll bar, as seen on the left side of the image above. This is noteworthy because the screen appears to feature more content than it can hold, but after scrolling down into the app listings, only then did the dark grey iOS-style menu bar appear, as shown on the right side of the image. After a moment of inactivity, the scroll bar again vanished.

Also noteworthy is that the Mac App Store window appears to completely eschew the familiar Mac OS X title bar which has historically displayed the name of whatever app was open. AppleInsider’s assumption is that Cupertino is doing away with that part of the user interface, since it’s unnecessary if you already know what app is open in the first place.

Check out AppleInsider’s extremely thorough breakdown of the scroll bars presented on Wednesday, which may give us a further peek into what using the next version of Mac OS X will be like when it arrives in sunny summer 2011.

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