First off, if you were hesitant of iOS 7, you might want to take a double look at Yosemite.
Released by Craig Federighi, Yosemite is the latest iteration of Mac OS X.
The naming itself was going to be confusing, Federighi joked about several possible names on stage; including “OS X Weed” and “OS X Oxnard”. It seems that Apple has got strongly behind the location themes (goodbye big cats). There were modest UI changes, but also a few big ‘wow’ updates that harness the power of the Apple ecosystem.
Tim Cook and Craig Federighi made it a big deal over the compatibility of iOS/OSX – “engineered to work seamlessly together”; Yosemite is a redefined version of iOS 7. Federighi explained that continuity and clarity was a principle of the new launch; in essence, this basically meant we’re going to give you iOS 7 on a computer.
Apple’s tarnished Yosemite with translucent menu bars, new (colourful) icons and a notification centre from iOS. It is flat. Federighi made it clear that he was proud of the new Trash can icon, to the grumbles of many onlookers. However, I have to be fair to Apple. It is “fundamentally still Mac.”, as said on stage. We’ve not regressed into an unusable OS, in fact, some of the changes are really useful.
Safari received a tweak, performance increased and it’s tab management refreshed. We’ve got a visual method of organising tabs and now we can also group tabs too. My only qualms with Safari is that its interface has been drastically reduced. This is great for de-cluttering; but on a full desktop OS – you might want more.
Mail comes with annotations for attachments, which was made a big deal of on stage. Ironically, you can already achieve this through Preview; seems Apple might have forgotten this.
We can’t forget iCloud. It has been Apple’s staple means of connecting us to the online world. Getting a boost, iCloud has now got online storage facilities with iCloud Drive. Allowing you to store files, photos across your devices to be accessed anywhere. Doesn’t even have to be through an Apple app.
Spotlight has now been given its own window for search results. And Notifications centre is a lot cleaner. Giving full day views of schedules now.
The biggest, best changes…
The best improvements come in the form of communication. First of all, you can now send SMS messages from iMessage on Mac. Your iPhone is used as a throughput to your carrier. We’ve got video messages in iMessage and audio too. These can be replied to by the swipe of the notifications bar.
Wait for it… We can also make and accept real phone calls from our Macs. Your Mac can act as a loudspeaker for a voice call on your iPhone, even if its in another room on charge. Federighi demonstrated this by calling Apple’s latest A-listed employee, Dr. Dre. Talk about showing off! I know…
Apple also added Air Drop support between iOS and Mac OS X, activated by proximity. We’ve also gained new feature called Hand-offs. No, not a dirty joke, but a useful feature to allow you to complete a task on one device and continue exactly where you left off on the other. Neat.
Apple’s Yosemite launch was clearly about “continuity”. They’ve kept their ecosystem thriving, with improvements to messaging and calls. It’s all within the ‘Apple bubble’. Developers will get better software performance with graphic-software tweaks.
Mac OS X Yosemite will be available to developers from today, as a beta. From the Fall, all users will be able to get their hands on it.
Stay tuned for an upcoming review of Mac OS X Yosemite.