Welcome to the new OS X Yosemite. Available for free in the fall, the updated Mac operating system has some quality new features that look to make the Mac and Apple device user experience more seamlessly integrated and an overall better user experience. The new design may take a while to grow on some people, and there isn’t a lot of really new stuff, but snazzy additions like email markup and multi platform sharing, or ‘continuity’, is enough to make us want to ride the OS X Yosemite train.
Here’s what we can look forward to.
The new ‘Today’ feature in Notification Center gives you a concise and summarized look at everything you need to know — upcoming events, reminders, stocks, weather, and more. You will also have the opportunity to add widgets from the Mac App Store to customize whatever else you might like to see.
The updated user interface design is aiming for bolder and cleaner, with more white and brighter, poppier colors. Rounded icons and button shapes, a new font, streamlined toolbars and window translucency make up the new look.
If you’re not a fan of all things bright, you will also have the option to use your Mac in ‘dark mode’ .
The close, minimize, and maximize window buttons are now close, minimize, and full screen, eliminating the extra full-screen control which we know a lot of people will be happy about.
Even though some people are complaining about it looking cartoonish, we especially like the extra smiley finder icon – we think he might be our new best friend. Craig Federighi himself was most impressed with the Trash can icon. And it’s pretty cool, for a trash can.
A nice new feature of Mail is Mail Drop, which lets you send super large attachments through the cloud without worrying about your service provider’s limitations or the recipients’ email service.
One of our favorite features of all from Yosemite, mainly because we like doodling so much, (but also because it looks insanely useful) is the new Markup feature. With this you can quickly annotate an attachment you receive and send it back — without leaving Mail. You can fill out forms, add shapes or text, and add your signature by signing with your finger or capturing it with the camera on your Mac. You also have the option to zoom. And everyone loves a good zoom, are we right?
Cross Platform interactivity or Continuity
If you have an iPhone with iOS 8, Apple has introduced a way to seamlessly integrate it with your Mac – something they call Continuity. With it you will be able to make and receive phone calls, iMessages, and SMS messages on both your Mac and your iDevices. We’re excited, because we’re lazy. And just like in iOS 8, messages in Yosemite will now include audio and video capabilities. We’re excited, because we love Karaoke.
Another sweet deal is that with Yosemite (and iOS 8) you will be able to use your iPhone as a personal hotspot for your Mac and connect to the internet that way if WiFi is unavailable. Something that wasn’t shown at WWDC but is expected to be an active feature of Yosemite when it’s released is a screen sharing feature in iMessages so whomever you’re messaging can see exactly what you see.
As a part of Continuity, the new iCloud Drive feature will give you the ability to to store any type of file in iCloud and access it on any device. A Dropbox-like service that syncs documents across Macs, iOS devices AND Windows ( WHAT!), it offers an iCloud storage folder directly within Finder.
Apple has introduced new pricing for iCloud with the debut of iCloud Drive. The first 5GB of iCloud storage is free, while 20GB costs $0.99 per month and 200GB costs $3.99 per month. Tiers of up to 1TB are also available.
The best part of Continuity is Handoff. A super nifty new feature, it will let you seamlessly switch from your Mac to your iOS device and vice versa no matter what you’re doing. For instance if you’re on a web page, writing an email or finishing a document on your Mac, you will be able to pick up your iOS device and continue without missing a beat. It’s almost like they don’t want us to stop using their products or something…
With a new search window and scrollable previews of your results, Spotlight now finds information from Wikipedia, Bing, Maps, movies, sports, and heaps of other sources. It pops up in the center of your desktop and will give you more a stack more options for what you want to do with the results, such as read a document,make an appointment, save a phone number, send an email, or make a phone call.
Safari will have new ways to view what you do. For favorites, click the smart search field and a grid drops down, revealing the icons of your favorite websites. Click an icon and off you go. For your Tabs (on all your devices, because CONTINUITY) you can click ‘Tab View’ to see all your tabs in a nicely organized view.
When you search for something, Safari provides Spotlight Suggestions from sources like Wikipedia, Bing, Maps, news, and iTunes, along with suggestions from your search engine.
There are also more privacy options in Safari. A little late to the party, but you will be able to open one Safari window in Private Browsing mode — which doesn’t save your browsing history — while keeping others in regular browsing mode. AND you can also now search the web using DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track you. Kudos to the naming team on that one, by the way.
So there you have it folks, OS X Yosemite. The future of your Mac and integration with all your Apple devices, and changing the way we communicate and all that good and weird stuff.
OS X Yosemite is available today to registered developers and will be launched to the public this fall as a free upgrade for all users. There will also be an public open beta program launched later this summer.
You can sign up for the OS X Yosemite beta program here: https://appleseed.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/
If you guys have any questions about OS X Yosemite, please let us know and we’ll endeavor to find answers for you!