De-uglifying Mac OSX Lion’s iCal and Address Book

Apple's iCal skin, as shipped with Mac OSC Lion

Apple has a history, going back to, well, not its first computer the Apple 1, but the Apple 2, of making its computers better looking than the competition. That goes to how they are packaged, how the products look and are designed, the type and variety of fonts used and supplied, and so on. Say what you will about Apple in your contribution to the never-ending and mostly idiotic Mac versus PC “debate”, but I think even the most hardened Windows fanboi would acknowledge the care and attention to detail in Apple’s devices and software.

All of which makes me ask, Apple, what the hell were you doing when you unleashed the way the iCal app, and to a lesser extent the Address Book, look on your new Mac OSX Lion software? It’s like being on one of the pristine spacecraft from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and you look over in the kitchen and there’s a spice rack as designed by Homer Simpson. Is this really that important? Well no, as long as the apps work that’s really the main thing.

But, if you like to customise the look and feel of your interface, and you like things to look good, then at the very least Apple could provide some skin options for the apps. Plus it would, you know, continue Apple’s excellence in design heritage. The iCal as it ships with Lion, looks like the image above. You might like it. In isolation, perhaps it’s not that bad. But it sticks out like a sore thumb from the other software.

Luckily, a site called MacNix has published an alternative. In its article entitled Change Mac OS X 10.7 Lion iCal and Address Book Skins from Leather to Aluminium – Easy Method, they have the instruction to change, and the files to download, to attend to this design hiccup, and your your iCal app, or your Address Book, or both, looking like the image below. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s satisfying… in a #firstworldproblem way.

September 2012 – Update for Mountain Lion OS X 10.8

If you’re a trusting, solid digital citizen, and have updated to Mountain Lion OS X 10.8, and you had previously removed the ugly wooden-look iCal and Address book for the slick metal look, well, it’s like your attempt to re-introduce some style has been removed.

And it is no use running the fix mentioned above again, as it’s only good for version 10.7 of OS X. Instead you will need to visit Change Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion Calendar & Contacts Skins from Leather to Aluminium for the latest version of the software fix.

The download is free, but the author will gratefully accept any donations for the software.

Apple Mac OSX Lion iCal app, improved
Run this fix, and this is your new look iCal