While sometimes it can be hard to see from single release to single release, Apple has steadily been refining the Aqua user interface since first introducing it.
Of course, there have been highs and lows. Pin stripes and Brushed Metal and Linen and Rich Corinthian Leather. Transparency and Vibrancy. At times, Apple had led the way into new design trends, and at other times, they have fallen behind the rest of the industry.
Aqua started life on CRTs and small notebook screens. Today, it spans from 12-inch MacBooks to the 27-inch iMac. It has undergone system font changes and the Retina transition. It has had to adapt, hosting the addition of dozens and dozens of features over the years.
To explore how each major version of macOS has looked, select from the list of releases below:
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Check out OS X’s default wallpapers, updated for 5K Retina displays.