A popular hidden user interface tweak for Mac OS X will no longer work in the upcoming OS X Mavericks. “Flat” may be the driving design principle behind iOS 7, but desktop Mac users will be stuck with a 3D Dock for at least the next year.
When Apple introduced a 3D effect for the OS X Dock in 2007’s OS X 10.5 Leopard, users quickly found a Terminal command to restore the traditional 2D look. Although the exact appearance of the Dock’s 3D and 2D modes has varied since then, the same command has always worked, up to and including OS X Mountain Lion.
But when Apple unveiled OS X Mavericks at WWDC in June, developers reported that the command surprisingly didn’t work, leaving the Dock stuck in 3D mode when configured to display at the bottom of the screen. It wasn’t clear if the change was permanent, or if it was merely the result of Mavericks’s early “beta” status. With the release of the operating system’s Golden Master build to developers last week, however, it became clear that the inefficacy of the venerable 2D Terminal command was here to stay.
The 2D Dock was never an official user interface option post-OS X Tiger, but many users, including the TekRevue staff, preferred the look as more structured and defined compared to the 3D version. Users in Mavericks can still have a 2D Dock, but they’ll need to pin it to the left or right side of the screen. It’s unclear why Apple decided to disable the option in its upcoming operating system, but with rumors swirling of a very iOS 7-like redesign for Mavericks’s successor, users may yet again see a 2D Dock at some point in the future.