Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Origin of macOS Poof Animation

Chris Hynes:

It used to be that when you dragged an item off the Dock and dropped it, the icon would disappear in a puff of smoke and make a satisfying noise. The animation was strangely primitive against the backdrop of the slick user interface of what used to called Mac OS X.


The intention of the designer was that these drawings would stoke further discussion. That it would get cleaned up and refined later.

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What's silly is they kept the sound effect, but removed the animation so the icon just disappeared instantly. It wasn't until the next major OS version they even added a visual fade. But it still isn't right because, it fades back IN, then fades out. Huh?

The true origin of the animation and accompanying sound is Newton MessagePad.

You could even use it in your own apps. At the time I assumed they’d be adding more animations in future releases. Haven’t tried it lately, I should see what happens now.


I know it's been going away for a while, but is it finally gone completely in Big Sur? It's still present in parts of Catalina.

@Sam, nope, the poof animation is actually still present in Big Sur when you drag an icon out of a window toolbar to remove it, like in Finder or Safari. I think that’s the only place where it’s still hanging around, though.

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