I really like the stripy background on the folders or on the various apps like pages and ibooks. It is subtle and it has a kinda warm feeling. But now that they tried to use it as the main background of the notification system, I think it looks completely tacky. They have overlaid with photoshop a white gradient on top to make it look less homogenous but at the same time, this difference of light (bright on top and dark on bottom) along with the little lines and the increased contrast makes it look utterly dirty. And the fact that the notifications are displayed with tiny white text and without their own background in front of this messy thing makes the whole design concept completely un-Apple and amateurish. And ok, lets say that they are using this specific background because they try to provide a more organic feeling to the overall UI. Why all these semi transparent bits (especially at the title of each app) and the COMPLETELY transparent background in each notification..! I really question the skills of the graphics designer that took the decision to display text with thin fonts in front of a high contrast and varied in light background. Where did the taste of the Apple GUI designers go? What are they thinking? In the end it looks like a cheap immitation of the great design from Teehanlax I am sorry for the tone of the post, but till now the taste of Apple GUI designers, reflected on their GUIs was a guideline for my designs. I personally spent more than a month trying to find the most appropriate size and contrast for the elements of the list of my app, constantly redesigning it so that it looks nice even with the brushed metal as background (I am not mentioning the name of the app cause I don't want some people here to think I am trying to promote it). And yet again, I am still not fully satisfied with it and I need to further improve it. I really can say if someone really spent a lot of time on a GUI or if they just did a quick and dirty job (I have a Masters in HCI). And notifications are the most important new feature of iOS5. They should provide a landmark design for it. I remember Steve Jobs trademarked the exact shade of grey of the Apple II computer back in the days. Where did that passion go? I would appreciate any other opinions on it, which style do you prefer more? Which one do you think looks cleaner and more professional?