Apple revealed OS X Yosemite (got that right) and a lighter, friendly OS X interface which loves integration with iOS devices (got that right). But, no new hardware of any kind (I’ll keep trying). My speedy San Francisco-based overnight analysis revealed the top 10 most lovable new features in OS X Yosemite.
Why Only 10?
10 is something like a perfect number (though 12 is better; I ran out of time). Apple stuffed many dozens of new features into OS X Yosemite, including an iOS-inspired pastel-like look and feel (it’s not really a feature). Here we go!
Safari – Faster, easier to search, easier to share, horizontally scrolling tabs, and a tab view not unlike that in iOS. What’s not to like?
iCloud Drive – Apple decided to get all Dropboxish on us with a new way to store and manage files and folders in iCloud but do it from the Mac’s Finder. Bravo! But about time.
AirDrop – About time, too. AirDrop was the easy way to drag and drop files from Mac to Mac, or from iPhone to iPad but not from iOS device to Mac. Say what? True. The new AirDrop fixes that and drops files everywhere there’s an Apple logo.
SMS & Phone Calls – Whoa! Cool! The Mac does iMessage Messages already, but now it does SMS text messages, too. And… wait for it… with a nearby iPhone, your Mac can now initiate and receive phone calls.
Instant Hotspot – This has long been a favorite and has kept me from forking over money to Apple for a cellular data-equipped iPad, and monthly money to AT&T for my iPad, but it’s humbug to always go to the iPhone to turn on the Hotspot.
In OS X Yosemite, the Mac knows your iPhone is nearby and gives you a one-click option to create the iPhone’s Hotspot and connect your Mac right to it. Sweet.
Handoff – Yosemite and iOS 8 now let you sync documents you’re working on from one device to the other, seamlessly, simply, and fast. It may not be used all that often for the casual Mac, iPhone, iPad user, but what’s not to like?
Mail Art – OK, this really isn’t art. But Mail documents now get the option to annotate, and the annotation– arrows, text bubbles, etc.– are smart and vector-like. Draw all over an email message and send it back. Art, right?
Notification Center – Apple has gone overboard to do something positive with Notification Center, so OS X Yosemite’s notices have guts, graphics, and Widgets. If you think your notices are cumbersome to view now, just wait.
Spotlight – I don’t like Spotlight. It’s always been too spartan and sterile for me. The new Spotlight, circa 2014 promises to have more visual juice, pre-selected options as you search, including Wikipedia, Bing (What? No Google?), and Maps.
The Glitter and Glam Bucket – A new version of OS X wouldn’t be complete without some features that don’t do much of substance but are highly visual, and might be useful.
So it is with the app window controls– the red, yellow, green buttons in the upper left corner of each window. Or, put another way, close, minimize, and maximize. Except in OS X Yosemite where Maximize is now the Fullscreen button (no more separate button).
Gone is the 3D look, too. Dock icons are flat-like like in iOS 7 but with a bit more volume. Fonts are new, too (looks like Helvetica Neue to me). Visual depth seems to have disappeared and replaced with a flat gray look (which is better than the all white look in iOS).
Apple says OS X Yosemite will be free when it arrives in the fall of 2014, but there’s a beta program I attached myself to just to make sure I can check it out as Apple builds it.
Yes, there’s lots more going on under the hood, but Apple marches forward in their quest to craft OS X in iOS’s image. After all, the great unwashed masses are using iPhones (500-million) and iPads (200-million) and not Macs (a mere 80-million), so the Mac stays attractive to new customers by looking like something the customers already know and presumably love. iPhones and iPads.