Apple introduces OS X 10.10 Yosemite with new design elements and improved applications
Apple today kicked off WWDC in San Francisco by announcing a new version of their Mac operating system, OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Named after the national park in California, the OS features redesigned icons and windows as well as improved Spotlight and Notification Center.
For starters, Yosemite now features a redesigned icon pack that closely mimics those introduced for the iPhone with iOS 7, including the same oven-grill inspired Settings icon. Apple has also added a translucent touch to the dock and Finder, with both elements now reflecting whatever underlies them. In addition, a new dark mode is now available, changing the usual white OS X toolbars to a darker color.
The Yosemite update isn't all about design though, as there is a heavy emphasis on Notification Center and Spotlight. Notification Center now resembles iOS 7, with a "Today View" showing the same stocks, weather and calendar as the iPhone. The Center also supports various widgets and users can customize the order however they see fit.
As for Spotlight, it is now called up directly in the middle of the screen and searches can turn up information from sources such as Wikipedia and Maps. Furthermore, recently opened files are displayed when searching for an application, which makes it easier to navigate and access files. Conversion of various units also joins the calculator function of Spotlight and Apple demoed it by showing a quick switch of miles into kilometers.
A big part of OS X Yosemite that Apple is touting is its seamless transition across devices and that is made possible due to their new "Continuity" technology. Airdrop now supports moving files from OS X to iOS, while a Mac can turn on a hotspot from a nearby iPhone without any additional input on the smartphone. Continuity also affects the receiving of messages and phone calls, as SMS messages are now displayed in the Messages app on OS X and phone calls can be made and received directly via any Mac device.
Apple also improved on a couple of their key applications, namely Safari and the Mail app. Safari now features a more streamlined design, with the favorites bar embedded directly into the address bar and private mode opening a new window. HTML5 video rendering has also been updated, supposedly allowing more efficient playback of streaming content such as Netflix. As for the Mail app, large attachments can now be uploaded and sent immediately through iCloud, and a new "Markup" feature allows annotation on PDFs and images without leaving Mail.
The company is also sticking with their usual blueprint for availability, as OS X Yosemite will be available immediately to developers and later this year for everybody else. Apple won't be charging anything for the update either and they've introduced a new beta program that allows non-developers to sign up for access to early releases.