Related: Apple OS X Yosemite review
Today at WWDC 14, Apple revealed OS X Yosemite, which will be the next version of Cupertino’s desktop operating system. The company detailed numerous changes that will be coming to the OS once it arrives, including brand-new features, tweaks to the user interface (UI), visual changes, and more.
OS X Yosemite appearance
Apple talked about evolving the look of OS X with Yosemite, which will feature plenty of translucence, permitting your desktop wallpaper to bleed through certain parts of the OS. OS X Yosemite will also include a “Dark Mode,” which Apple says will be a better fit for users who aren’t exactly crazy about bright images and menus.
The Notification Center will get a new “Today” view, which will include day-specific reminders and updates tailor made for you. They’ll include calendar, weather, stock tips, and data from other sources as well. As we suspected when leaked images suggested the imminent release of Notification Center, this will be a customizable feature that will allow you to swap different widgets in and out of the bar.
Spotlight also gets a revamp in Yosemite, and will consist of a search bar that will be based in the center of your screen. Simply by typing in something you want to find, it will scan your computer, and the Internet, for relevant documents and data. To get it working, simply just start typing when at the desktop. Spotlight will pop up automatically and start working immediately, matching you with whatever you type in real-time, while also providing you a preview look at the search results. This also extends to specifics apps. For instance, if you search for the Numbers app, Spotlight will pull up all of the recent documents you used with Numbers in the preview menu.
Calendar will have new week and day views, and will be divided into two columns. The left portion of Calender will contain details about your appointments, while the right will sport customization options, and more.
iCloud Drive will allow you to access documents from your OS X machine, iOS devices, and Windows gear as well. You’ll be able to use these documents within the OS X Finder. All the documents in iCloud Drive sync automatically as well.
With a new feature dubbed Maildrop, you’ll be able to send files that are up to 5GB in size via integration with iCloud. Not only does this permit you to send huge files to friends via email without fear of your message getting bounced back to you because of attachment size restrictions, the data will also be encrypted via iCloud. You’ll be able to draw signatures in documents using your track pad as well.
With Mark up, which is also new to OS X Yosemite, you can use your track-pad to draw on images. This makes it easy to add notes and comments to photos. This feature is enabled via the Mail app in OS X Yosemite.
In Yosemite’s version of Safari, Smart Search will make site-specific suggestions in the search bar, driven by Spotlight. The browser will allow you to easily share Web pages with other people by listing the folks you’ve most recently messaged with under a drop-down menu, a feature dubbed “Recent Recipients.” Clicking “New Tab” will give you a bird’s eye view of all the browser tabs you already have open, making it easy to switch between them. You’ll also be able to stack saved browser tabs on top of each other to quickly open pages again. Safari in OS X Yosemite allows you to scroll through all the tabs you have open.
The new Safari will also feature WebGL and HTML5 Premium Video, which allegedly boost battery life when streaming 1080p HD Netflix video.
Continuity and Handoff
In Yosemite, AirDrop will work together in both OS X and iOS. However, perhaps most impressive of all, OS X Yosemite will include a brand new feature called HandOff, which tightly integrates your OS X and iOS devices more so than ever before.
Here’s how it works: if you’re writing an email on your Mac, for instance, and you pick up your iOS device, a notification on your iOS device will tell you that your mail message is unfinished, and allows you to continue working on crafting your email message even if you choose to switch from your Mac to your iPad or iPhone.
This is a two-way street, allowing you to seamlessly continue this, and other tasks, should you opt to go from your iOS to Mac gear as well. SMS messages and phone calls can also be wirelessly routed from your iPhone to your Mac in OS X Yosemite as well. When your phone gets a call, your Mac will also ring. Since a microphone is built into Macs, you can use the computer to take the call like you would with your iPhone, and make outbound calls as well.
Using Spotlight, Apple showed off a demo of calls with a Mac by calling Dr. Dre straight from the show. When using your Mac for phone calls, you can also choose to mute the call, pull up a video feed via the computer’s Web cam, or hang up.
OS X Yosemite price and release date
Though OS X Yosemite will be made available to developers starting today, it won’t be revealed to the public until this fall. However, starting this summer, Apple will be making beta versions of OS X Yosemite available to anyone. To sign up for the OS X Yosemite program, head over to this official Apple page. When OS X Yosemite does get released, it will be free, just like OS X Mavericks was when it hit back in October.