Apple has officially debuted OS X 10.10 for the Mac. The redesigned, and improved operating system is dubbed “Yosemite,” and brings much of the look and feel of iOS to the Mac, while also adding new “Continuity” features that bring improved integration between iOS and OS X.
Yosemite, named for the National Park in California, is available to developers immediately, and will be released to the public this fall. End users will be allowed to sign up for a public beta in the summer. When Yosemite is released this fall, it will be available for the low, low price of “FREE.” Just like OS X Mavericks is currently.
Yosemite will feature a new translucent look, similar to iOS 7’s, and will feature brighter colors and new icons. Apple software chief Craig Federighi demonstrated the new translucent feature with a demo showing how an app’s title bar and sidebar reacted to a background image.
Apple has also strived for font consistency throughout the new OS, with a new sans-serif typeface that sports a clean look.
Notification Center also sports a new “Today View” similar to the iOS Notification Center, which can be extended with widgets and apps written for Yosemite.
Spotlight now takes the form of a translucent search box that appears in the middle of the screen. It can be used to search your Mac, open apps, or quickly access documents, and also includes news feeds, Wikipedia entries, Maps, Yelp, and more. The information is displayed within Spotlight itself.
Mail gets a nice new feature called “Mail Drop,” which allows users to send large file attachments to users whose mail services normally would not allow them to receive large attachments. Large files will be stored in Apple’s new iCloud Drive, and a link will be sent to the recipient to allow direct file downloading. iCloud users will receive the file directly. Mail Drop handles files up to 5GB in size.
“Markup” is another new feature for Mail, which gives users the ability to draw and make other annotations on email attachments. Markup will recognize if you’re trying to draw an arrow, or word balloon, and will create a better-looking, vectorized version of the shape.
Safari gains HTML5 premium video, to support services such as Netflix, without the need for third-party plugins. The new feature is said to add up to 2 hours of additional battery life when viewing a Netflix video. Users can also create new private browsing windows, while already open windows remain non-private. A new smooth-scrolling tabs feature is also available.
The new Continuity feature was an exciting unveiling, as it adds greater integration between OS X and iOS, allowing Macs to automatic configure a connected iPhone as a hotspot, and allowing users to automatically continue working across devices in first-party apps such as Pages or Mail.
Macs will be able to send and receive standard SMS messages to non-Apple devices via the Messages app, and users can now make and receive phone calls from the Mac, dialing a manually entered number, or a number from a contact, webpage, or message.
WHEW! That was a lot to cover, and if we missed something we’ll let you know later. The new features of OS X 10.10 Yosemite is just one of the many reasons this year’s WWDC Keynote was perhaps the most exciting one I’ve ever viewed.