Product Watch: Apple Legal Drains The The Water Out Of AquaMatic

Aquamatic 1.0 and Button Builder 1.5
We first heard of AquaMatic several weeks ago. AquaMatic was a tool for creating Aqua style buttons in a variety of colors and sizes with the text of your choice. While AquaMatic 1.0 had a few shortcomings (such as the inability to automatically center text or anti-alias text) it was an amazingly easy way to generate beautiful looking Aqua buttons. The current version is 1.5 and has been renamed Button Builder. Button Builder 1.5 sports feature improvements, such as the ability to align text, but the end result looks more like a Jelly Belly than an Aqua button. Compare the images below and you will see what I mean.

Why the change? Apparently Apple legal caught wind of the original AquaMatic and landed on the developer like the proverbial pile of masonry. The following quote from the Button Builder tells all.

Q: Why has "Aquamatic" changed it's name to "Button Builder"?

A: Because Apple Computer said we had to stop distributing Aqquamatic in it's curent form, below is a short clip from the letter they sent us...

"It has recently come to our attention that RealMac is selling and distributing shareware known as Aquamatic on your web site at that may infringe Apple's intellectual property rights. As we understand it, Aquamatic is intended to create aqua buttons for web sites and multimedia projects. We believe, however, that the Aquamatic program improperly uses Apple¨s trademarks, imitates the look and feel of Apple¨s graphical user interface known as Aqua"

While it is possible to make Aqua style buttons within Photoshop and other applications (see 1 & 2), it is a shame that such a handy and inexpensive ($10 shareware) tool has been de fanged by Apple. We welcome your thoughts on our discussion board below.