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Apple Announces OS X Yosemite with Improved Cross-Device Connectivity and New User Interface

Apple today announced the latest version of its Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. The sequel to last year's OS X Mavericks, Yosemite includes a user interface redesign, as well as major new features focusing on seamless integration between Mac and iOS devices, a new cloud storage system called iCloud Drive, as well as the ability to make phone calls and send text messages through an iPhone.

Yosemitescreenshot
Continuity
Continuity is the biggest new feature of OS X Yosemite, improving the connection between Macs and iOS devices. With Continuity, it's possible to share files between Mac and iOS devices and it's also possible to make phone calls on a Mac via an iPhone.

AirDrop finally allows users to share files, photos, and more between iOS devices and Macs. Previously, this feature only allowed files to be shared from Mac to Mac or from iPhone to iPhone, which means sharing files from an iOS device to a Mac will now be far easier. Apple also debuted Handoff, which is a feature that allows iOS devices and Macs to recognize one another, letting users seamlessly transition from one device to another. For example, if a webpage is opened on Safari on a Mac, a user can pick up an iPhone and continue browsing that same site on his iOS device. In a demo on stage, the function was used to show an email started on the Mac continued on an iPhone.

Through Continuity, iPhone communications integration allows users to make and answer phone calls sent to their iPhones right on their Macs. "Green bubble" SMS messages from Android also now show up on Macs, and it's easier than ever for a Mac to connect to an iPhone hotspot.

Design and Notification Center
The new UI is very similar to the flat look of iOS 7 with translucent windows, a new dock and app icons and an all-new notification center with a Today pane and both first- and third-party widgets like Weather and SportsCenter. There's also a new dark mode, which lets users turn the overall interface into the more darkened tone of Notification Center.

Notificationcenter
Spotlight
Spotlight has a brand new interface which looks somewhat like third-party Mac apps like Alfred and Quicksilver and pops up in the center of the desktop. The new Spotlight allows users to not only search through their computer, but online through sources like Wikipedia, Yelp and for live movie times. In addition, Spotlight can do unit conversions, like converting miles to kilometers.

iCloud Drive
Another significant new feature is iCloud Drive, a Dropbox-like service that syncs documents across Macs, iOS devices and Windows. It offers an iCloud storage folder directly within Finder so users can see exactly which files they have in iCloud and it is accessible from both Macs and iOS devices. 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.

Clouddrive
Mail
Improvements to the Mail app in Yosemite include Mail Drop and Markup. Mail Drop's intention is to solve the problem of sending attachments that are far too large and result in failed sendings. iCloud now encrypts the attachments and sends the recipient a link to the attachment if it's too large. Attachments are limited to 5 GB. Markup allows users to sketch and doodle on emails, much like Evernote's Skitch.

Safari
Safari has also seen improvements with a new "bird's eye" tab view, improved Privacy windows, and support for advanced HTML5 video, allowing for a 2 hour increase in battery life when streaming Netflix. The new tab view, essentially designed to replace the existing bookmarks bar, allows users to see a bird's eye view of all open tabs and lets users to bunch tabs together. Smart suggestions, which display favorite sites directly under the search bar, also help to replace the bookmarks bar.

As far as Privacy goes, users are now able to open a separate private window that does not affect existing windows or tabs, whereas previously, turning on privacy affected all open content. Safari includes 6.5x faster Javascript, with WebGL, SPDY, IndexedDB, Javascript Promises, CSS Shapes and more.

OS X Yosemite is available today to registered developers and will be launched to the public this fall. There will also be an public open beta program launched later this summer. OS X Yosemite will be a free upgrade for all users.

MacRumors readers can discuss the upcoming OS X version in our new OS X Yosemite forum.

Related roundup: OS X Yosemite

Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago
I love the new design. The Continuity feature sounds amazzzinggg.
Rating: 36 Votes
13 weeks ago
Continuity is a new direction for the unification of all the Apple devices. Allowing each device to do more of what the other does while also being itself. It's unification done right.

Well done Apple, well done. :)
Rating: 31 Votes
13 weeks ago
The continuity stuff looks fantastic.

New look is good too.

Minium Specs:

" "•"iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)"
"•"MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)"
"•"MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)"
"•"MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)" "•"Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)" "•"Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)" "•"Xserve (Early 2009)"


"•"At least 2 GB of RAM "
"•"At least 10 GB of available disk space (50 GB if you wish to use Caching Server)" "
Rating: 27 Votes
13 weeks ago
Great stuff.

I just don't think that the mentioning Microsoft and Android was necessary. I prefer it better when Apple just ignores the competition on their live events.
Rating: 26 Votes
13 weeks ago
So happy it is fantastic and most importantly, it will be free.
Rating: 12 Votes
13 weeks ago
It looks pretty good (except for the dock). Can't wait to try it out.
Rating: 11 Votes
13 weeks ago
I don't really like the new UI look that much, but it's not quite as bad as I feared it might be. It's all been downhill since Leopard anyway IMHO, the skeuomorphic design was certainly getting ridiculous, but they've gone to the other extreme now, hopefully (for my tastes) it will all balance out eventually. YMMV of course.
Rating: 11 Votes
13 weeks ago
The 3D dock is gone 😡
Rating: 11 Votes
13 weeks ago
Ok, I did try it out. I love the new features and I mean love, they were really carefully thought after, but the UI... Holy cows... It looks like it was drawn by a kid. By a kid of the kid that did the iOS 7. Dumb icons, dubious animations, search fields appearing as regular buttons, new font, Finder icon looking like an autist, transparency that's gets distracting on the first minute of use... Notification center widgets looking a lot like Windows widgets (the clock one is totally tasteless and useless)... A lot of doubtful decisions and changes for the sake of changes. Overall feeling is like you're using Linux with a bad OS X/Windows 7 mix theme. Where's the quality control?... Anyone left with a good taste at Apple?..

If you didn't like the iOS 7 design, then fear, fear the Yosemite. FEAR.

Aqua is dead and gone. Everything is flat, except the Game Center bubbles. I don't know how someone can ruin the interface so much. And it's not just a beta issues, it needs a total redesign in order to become usable again.

Disclaimer: this is my opinion, you're free to have and express your own. Just try to stay away from personal insults.
Rating: 9 Votes
13 weeks ago
Suddenly, pre-10.10 design looks outdated. :p
Rating: 9 Votes

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