Apple had two exciting announcements at its annual WWDC conference: iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. We’ve already rounded up everything you need to know about the former; now here’s the lowdown on the latter, which is named after a beautiful place in California.
A new face
Mac OS X Yosemite brings with it a new look. While arguments rage on about whether it copies from Windows Vista, iOS 7 or both, we think it looks the bee’s knees. The new typography is arguably cleaner, while the use of translucency for features like the Calendar and Notification Bar helps emphasise what’s on screen. At the very least it will feel fresh.
Translucency is the key element inducted into the Yosemite. From the Docks, it is especially noticeable in the drop down menus and the finder. New toolbars and windows are giving it a fresh new look. The dark mode indeed looks enticing to start using right away.
The clean and consistent design throughout the OS gives a sense of, dare I say it again, continuity which will be really appreciated during extended uses.
The new Today view in Notification Center gives you a quick look at everything you need to know now — upcoming events, reminders, stocks, weather, and more. It is really handy and reminds you of the notification panel on the iOS 6 and 7. You can extend the panel to add widgets from the Mac App Store to customize according to your needs.
Spotlight is hardly new, but in OS X Yosemite brings its recommendations to an easy to find search bar. Typing something will now bring up contact details, calendar events, Wikipedia articles, nearby places of interest – all of which should help you find what you want with less hassle. Spotlight can also be found in the Safari browser URL bar.
Apple is keen on the term seamless, which is why iOS 8 and your Mac will get along better than ever. With OS X Yosemite, it will be possible to make or answer a call from your Mac, regardless of whether your iPhone is in the room or not. You can even send and receive messages from an Android and iOS device.
Jumping from a Mac to an iPhone or iPad normally means restarting the task you were doing. With Handoff, you can easily resume where you were by pressing the Handoff button on your iOS device and you will see the task appear on your Mac. You can also resume looking at, say, a website on your Mac on an iOS device.
A sidebar called Notification Centre works like it does on iOS 8, giving you notifications of what’s been going on with your Mac in one handy place. Vista users may notice the similarity between it and the rather handy Windows Sidebar.
SMS & Phone Access from MACs
This is definitely the future of interlinked digital devices. Apple definitely was to be the first company to benefit from this because of its enormous hardware ecosystem.
AirDrop benefits from improved sharing functionality in Mac OS X Yosemite. Now you can easily share files between a Mac and iOS 8 devices. All you have to do is locate the file or folder you want to share on your Mac and then use AirDrop to deliver it.
Mac OS X Yosemite has a few handy new email-specific features. Send a file up to 5GB in size and the recipient will get a download link if they are using a rival operating system (cough Windows) or an older version of Mac OS. Yosemite users will see Mail Drop separate, encrypt and upload the attachment to iCloud before doing the reverse on the other side so it all appears seamless. Email also has something called MarkUp for defacing and annotating images and PDFs.
Soft spot for Hotspot
When out and about OS X Yosemite will let you use your iPhone as a Hotspot without having to go through a painful pairing process. Just head into the WiFi menu on your Mac and connect. Connecting up this way lets you see the signal strength and battery level of your iPhone.
Safari has got a visual renovation with a sleeker look. The browser now has a slimmer address bar to maximize browsing area. The favorites links can be accessed by clicking on the search bar. Safari is now integrated with spotlight searches to give better results and undermine Google even in the browser where it has thrived since its inception.
OS X Yosemite gives you more freedom in the cloud. The iCloud Drive makes it easier to access and view your files stored on any iOS or OS X device. An iCloud Drive app will be coming to Windows, too, so no need to mess about trying to find what you need if you regularly use both operating systems.
When is it available?
Mac OS X Yosemite will be released in the autumn and will be a free download. Developers and willing guinea pigs can test out the beta now.
In the 25th installment of the WWDC, Apple made a good bet of focusing only on its two operating systems and interlinking them together. This was one of the most feature intensive update in a long while. This will be a revolutionary idea and we will probably see all the Apple competitors trying to provide better integration across multiple platforms on the lines of the Yosemite. It’s time that the Apple naysayers should take a break and introspect about what they are doing with their lives.