As predicted at Tapscape and elsewhere, OS X 10.10 will also be marketed as OS X Yosemite. In addition to the promised Jony Ive inspired visual makeover, Apple is rolling out Continuity, iCloud Drive, new iMessages and more.
First up, OS X 10.10 is visually quite different than previous versions of Apple’s desktop operating system. While it’s easy to like the new Trash Can icon and “hate” the new Finder icon, beyond that, I’m going to reserve judgement on the specific visual changes Apple is bringing to the table.
“Yosemite is the future of OS X with its incredible new design and amazing new apps, all engineered to work beautifully with iOS,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president, Software Engineering. “We engineer our platforms, services and devices together, so we are able to create a seamless experience for our users across all our products that is unparalleled in the industry. It’s something only Apple can deliver.”
That said, OS X 10.10 beta is being seeded to developers today, so stay tuned for details.
OS X 10.10: New Features
That said, the new refreshed design brings a flatter design with translucent panels. There are fewer gradients and textures. Of course, users will recognize these are design elements also found iOS 7, which Apple senior design VP Jony Ive et al rewrote in 2013.
Notification Center continues to evolve. The big add in OS X 10.10 is the “Today” view, which integrates calendar, reminders, weather and more into a single snapshot view.
An interesting tie in/cross app integration here is the ability to answer and initiate phones on your Mac. Yes, you must have an iPhone to use this feature, but it’s other wise a fairly robust feature.
For example, even if you iPhone is on the other side of the office/home, you can answer the call on your Mac — you don’t need immediate access to the phone. Ditto that for making calls — cool.
iCloud Drive was perhaps one item that drew the largest applause from the 6,000 or so developers in attendance for the WWDC 2014 keynote, which was pretty much the Craig Federighi show. The nut of this service is that will integrate access to all files stored in a user’s iCloud account via the Finder and compatible apps.
That said, with iCloud Drive, you will be able to send large (ie multi-gigabyte) files via email even to users not using a Mac.
Another feature of iCloud Drive is device and location awareness. So, for example, if you start an email on your iPhone and then move to your Mac, OS X is aware of what you were doing and puts the partially edited email in the Dock.
Safari 8 is also coming, though much of what’s changed appears to be visual. The app will feature a smoother, more integrated user interface and stronger sharing functionality.
Apple has listed the required specs (release notes) for OS X 10.10 and, if your Mac can run OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 or OS X Mavericks 10.9, then your Mac can also run Yosemite.
Apple hasn’t yet announced a detailed list of compatible Macs, the company does mention that a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 MacBook Air with 4GB runs OS X 10.10 just fine.
OS X Yosemite will be released this Fall and will be available for free.