Apple travels to 'Yosemite' with next release of OS X 10.10

Apple travels to 'Yosemite' with next release of OS X 10.10

Summary: One year after Apple rebranded its desktop operating system from fearsome felines to California landmarks, Mac OS X is getting a much-needed refresh.

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Credit: James Martin, CNET

One year after Apple rebranded its desktop operating system from fearsome felines to California landmarks, Mac OS X is getting a much-needed refresh.

Without waiting a moment, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the latest iteration, dubbed "Yosemite," at the opening keynote of the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday morning.

Cook commenced by praising Mavericks as a great success in its first year with more than 40 million copies installed since last June -- a record not only for Apple but also the "fastest adoption of any PC operating system in history."

"You may wonder how that compares to Windows. I knew someone would ask so I made a chart," Cook quipped to much laughter from the audience.

Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, outlined the alterations, down to nitty-gritty changes ranging from the new "Dark Mode" to reimagined icons on the main navigational toolbar.

"You wouldn't believe how much time we spent crafting a trash can," Federighi joked.

Here's an overview of some of the changes coming with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite:

  • iCloud Drive: Not a Dropbox-killer but a significant addition; makes content and folders "of any sort" accessible and synced automatically across all Apple devices
  • Continuity: An all-new feature finally setting up the Airdrop bridge between iOS and Mac devices. That is in tangent to a handy new feature, conveniently named "Hand Off," in which Mac and iOS devices in proximity of each other will actually recognize each other so that users can pick up what they are working on nearly immediately from device to device.
  • SMS and Phone Calls: The Mac has become "all phone savvy," Federighi remarked. When users receive either SMS text messages or phone calls, Yosemite not only provides Caller ID on the computer, but phone calls can actually go through (or be ignored) directly on the OS X machine.
  • Mail: Redesigned for Yosemite with more reliable syncing and email push collection; Now includes "Mail Drop" for sending encrypted messages via iCloud. Supports attachments up to 5GB
  • Mark-Up: Reminiscent of Evernote-owned Skitch; users can actually zoom in and out to actually mark-up files, including PDFs, while collaborating on projects
  • Safari: "Packs all the power" of Safari (i.e. the Favorites menu) into a single smart search field to maximize space for web content -- items like Subscribe to RSS and sharing abilities pushed off into a smaller, centralized menu; A lot of effort has been placed into improving tab-based browsing to offer a bird's eye view of all open windows with horizontal tab scrolling and a thumbnail tab view.
  • Notifications Center: Borrowing more and more from iOS, the menu now includes a "today" view for at-a-glance information from apps and widgets
  • Spotlight: Search beefed up with more Internet news sources for results
  • Calendar: Revamped aesthetic for week-long and day views
  • Other odds and ends: New typography, color and shading touches on toolbars, and app icons
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Ahead of WWDC, the tech press and analysts have been predicting Apple would center the spotlight on software this week rather than hardware, with more attention directed toward the unveiling of iOS 8.

"You may wonder how that compares to Windows. I knew someone ask so I made a chart," Cook quipped to much laughter from the audience.

Jefferies, for example, published a forecast at the end of May predicting news around iOS 8, OS X, and "Home Automation" was already a done deal while decrying the iPhone 6 had "zero probability" of being shown on stage at Moscone West.

Nevertheless, an upgrade for Mac OS X has been in the cards for some time now -- even if the platform is inching more and more toward a convergence with its mobile counterpart.

Cook even posited that developers could look forward to how the two have been "engineered to work seamlessly together."

Brian J. White, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, suggested last week that the creative mind behind some of Apple's most iconic hardware products would be wielding his influence on the software side as well.

White wrote:

As Jony Ive (SVP, Design) has become more involved in software and helped give iOS 7 a facelift last year, we would not be surprised if he wields his talents on the newest version of OS X 10.10 for the Mac. This year's OS X will again be named after a place in California that "inspires" Apple.

Yosemite OS X 10.10 will become available to developers on Monday followed by a public launch scheduled for this fall. Once again, the upgrade will be free of charge.

Apple is also launching a public beta program for non-developers, doling out passes to eager beavers for beta access throughout the summer.

Screenshot via Apple

Topics: Software, Apple, Operating Systems, Software Development, PCs

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43 comments
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  • Hmmm....

    Who cares about Mail and Calendar and a couple of other apps. Have they fixed the bugs in the OS yet? I'm sure he skipped over that. :\ My Folder Actions still get killed every time there's a patch for OS X, and the fix is always different. ugh Plus of course the crap like permissions that need to be fixed, etc...

    Oh and OS X could look at Windows for some usability improvements.
    MikeR666
    • No thank you please

      I already have Windows; I don't feel any great need to have OS X ape it. When I want the Windows experience, I just run Windows.

      OS X is a relief in different ways... i.e. one single user interface, and not multiple different paradigms (I'm a tablet!! No, wait, I'm a desktop!!)
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • Apple is behind the times, and they'll be copying Windows with OS X,

        eventually.

        Notice, from the article above: "...the platform is inching more and more toward a convergence with its mobile counterpart".

        That right there tells everyone that, Apple sees the writing on the wall, which is prompting them to be more like Windows, with their "Windows everywhere" mantra. So, it will be either OSX everywhere, or iOS everywhere, or iOS-X everywhere.

        But, you and every other Apple fanatic will just eat it up when Apple ends up copying Windows, but, you'll just call it "Apple's innovation magic".
        adornoe@...
        • Actually

          iOS and OS X have been sharing elements between each other since before Windows 8 was even a thing. But don't let that stop a good rant. (Apple's first converging OS X was Lion, released in summer of 2011.)

          The difference is they've converged the ecosystem and the apps, not the way you use the computer. Apple doesn't force you to use an iPad like a Mac, or a Mac like an iPad. Each specializes in what it does, optimized for its form factor.
          Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • Eventually, there will be just "one" Macs/iPads/iPhones OS,

            and, even if their internals don't have the same exact code, the operation of the devices will be similar. Which is to say that, all of Apple's devices will be doing what Microsoft envisioned more than 4 years ago, when they decided to undertake the redesign of the Windows platforms.

            So, while Windows 8 is still fairly new, the idea for the "oneness" of the platforms was in Microsoft's minds for many years before.
            adornoe@...
          • No, not really

            I don't think they're going to go down that road, and there's no evidence to suggest that they will.
            Michael Alan Goff
        • Different convergence

          I'm wondering which one will be proven to be the "right way".
          Michael Alan Goff
        • OS X and iOS have been heading for a merging since the first

          iOS was and is always a touch-based interface and Apple has been very slowly and carefully crafting OS X into a merger, bringing true desktop capability into a touch-centric design. We're not seeing it yet, but given another year or three I expect we'll see an iMac with a touchscreen.
          Vulpinemac
          • One Apple OS, for all of their devices; just like I said.

            Apple is following. Again!
            adornoe@...
          • No

            It won't merge like that, it's not what they're going to do.
            Michael Alan Goff
        • convergence

          This is, indeed a brilliant move by Apple. Take one system, rebrand it as two systems, then tell people how you are converging them both to be "compatible".

          Simply brilliant.

          Meanwhile, Microsoft are *still* trying to figure out how to have the same API in two consecutive versions of the same product...
          danbi
          • Apple is still way behind Microsoft's design, and actually, what Microsoft

            has done is years ahead of where Apple is right now.

            So, like all MS haters, whatever Apple does that resembles what MS has already done, will be magically termed as "brilliant" by Apple's religious followers.
            adornoe@...
          • This isn't remotely the same thing

            Stop pretending it is
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Nope! It's not the same thing...

            Apple's convergence will bring all their devices together, just like the "one Windows everywhere" will bring all Windows devices together.

            The Apple "thing" wont be the same as the Microsoft thing, because, Microsoft has a lot more things to bring together than Apple does. So, Apple will create a simpler ecosystem, while Microsoft will bring together a much bigger and more complex/complicated ecosystem. Yet, Microsoft will still do it better.
            adornoe@...
          • No

            It won't be the same thing because they'll still be different operating systems with different use paradigms. You won't be using your iOS app on your MBBA, for example.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Of course Apple is "behind".

            I can see where Apple is "behind". Launchpad launches OS X desktop apps which operate the same way they always have been. Metro either is just another shortcut for a desktop app. Or is a Metro version of a Desktop app that simply doesn't work... Dropbox... I'm looking at YOU! Apple is way behind in producing a screwed up touch interface.
            lazarx
      • APPLE has a "Metro" like screen as well

        They have that "Rocket Launch" crap or whatever its called. People love to complain about Microsoft.. Watch Apple crumble as Jobs is missed.
        AllahShabazz
        • It's quite obvious you've never done more than see screenshots

          Launchpad is nothing like the Metro screen.
          Michael Alan Goff
  • Looks like we're getting the Tiger dock back?

    Whats up with that?
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • Everybody's copying everyone.

      Seems GUIs these days have gone with a plain and flat look. Probably why most people are staying with Windows 7(including me) and it will be the same with OS X.9 I'd bet. I'll be with Mavericks for a long time too.
      Arm A. Geddon