At the sidelines of new iPads launch, Apple also announced the public availability of OS X Yosemite, the company’s latest update to its desktop operating system Mac OS. The Yosemite brings with it a slew of new features and improvements, and is available for free for current Mac OS X users. It is now available for download through the Mac App Store. In case you didn’t know the features you are getting from the new operating system, here’s a brief rundown of everything.
The Yosemite brings a complete overhaul for OS X. The skeuomorphic design of Mavericks and previous versions has been replaced by fresh and modern look – bringing cleaner lines, and translucent windows. “App icons have a clean, consistent design and an updated system font improves readability.”
Refreshed notification center
The notification centre of OS X has finally received the much awaited attention. Much like iOS 8, the new notification centre brings ‘Today view’ as well as the weather information. The new update also lets you add widgets right into the notification centre, helping you make the most out of it.
The much handy Spotlight now in addition to your hard drive and installed apps, pulls information from your mobile devices and the Internet – a feature that is very similar to a third party app called Alfred.
Apple is also improving its iCloud service by giving users the ability to manage content on their storage account. A shortcut to the iCloud now appears on the Finder, giving users an easy access to their files stored in cloud.
One of the headline features of Yosemite and iOS 8, Handoff aims to bolster user’s productivity across different Apple devices. It allows users to work on an app on one device, and continue where they left off on another. This feature supports several Apple applications like Mail, Safari, and Pages, and the company has now opened it to developers.
The other exciting feature that sits with Handoff is Continuity. This frees users from having to find their iPhone to take and receive calls, as they can do so right from their Yosemite-powered computer. In order to do so, users will be required to connect both the devices to the same Wi-Fi network. Once done, users will start seeing a notification for any incoming calls on their computer.
Apple is also increasing the parental control in Yosemite. It is now making it possible to create Apple IDs for your kids and give you the power to accept or decline their purchases remotely.
As part of the update, Apple is also adding several features and improvements to many of its applications. Let’s take a look at those new features.
The stock email client has snagged some improvements as well. Forget the woes regarding size of the attachments in emails, as Mail now allows you to attach up to 5GB of file in email. The integration to Mail Drop makes it easier and simple to add the large attachments, by allowing users to simply drag and drop the file to the email client.
Other neat handy features
Hotspots: Yosemite and iOS 8 now couple together to make the tethering process even easier. If you are not near a Wi-Fi connection, you can simply access your phone’s data network. The best part is that the integration helps you monitor your phone’s battery life, and network signal among other stats.
PDF Signature: No need for third party apps for signing PDF forms (for the record, Preview app allows you to scan your signature using front facing camera), as the Mac’s trackpad will let you do so with your bare fingers.
Record iOS device’s on-screen activity: With the new update, users can now also record a live screencast of apps or games running on their iOS devices. They will need to connect their iPhone or iPad to the computer with a Lightning cable, once done, they should see a video input source in QuickTime. There they will also find an option to save the recording as a video file.
Dashboard is off by default: If you didn’t find the Dashboard very useful, Apple is disabling this feature by default. Do note that it is still there, but those who want it will have to turn it back on from Control’s System Preference pane.
Apple also announced that it is making its productivity suite iWork free. It is also available for download through the Mac App Store.