OS X is Apple’s premiere desktop operating system, and it’s getting a big update with OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”. The “flat” user interface that was first introduced with iOS 7 has been deftly transferred to OS X. So for people that weren’t too keen on Apple’s design direction with iOS 7 likely won’t be too impressed with the vibrant colors, flat icons, and translucency of Yosemite.
A lot of this translucency and use of bold colors has been seen on past and present desktop operating systems from Microsoft. However, for those that don’t want all the colorful bits in Yosemite, Apple is also providing a “Dark Mode” which gives user a more familiar, traditional OS X look.
The Notification Center in Yosemite has added a “Today View” which is similar in concept to what’s available on iOS 7. Users can download widgets from the App Store to further customize the Today View in OS X.
iCloud Drive is an extension of the existing iCloud service, and allows you to have functionality similar to Drop Box or Google Drive. This means that you can easily share and access documents from within Finder across Macs (and even iOS devices). Apple will also provide an iCloud Drive app for Windows users, which is a pleasant surprise.
The biggest chance to the Mail app is a new MailDrop feature. Many of us have run into a situation where we send an email with an attachment that is too large for the recipient. This means that the message gets bounced back to us, and never reaches the recipient. With MailDrop, large attachments (up to 5GB in size) will be automatically routed through iCloud, and then rejoined with the original message on when the receiver opens the message (that’s if both users are in the Apple ecosystem). If the recipient isn’t an Apple user, the attachment will be made available via downloadable link — automatically.
In building on the idea of "Continuity" between iOS and OS X, Airdrop finally works between iOS devices and Macs. Continuing on with that, you can continue work started on your Mac to your iPad/iPhone and vice versa. For example, you could be typing an email message on your iPhone, walk up to your Mac, and then pickup up right where you left off. Likewise, you could be working on an iWorks documents on your Mac, then move over to your iPad and pickup right where you left off.
Your iPhone will now act as relay to send SMS messages to all of your devices (instead of just iCloud messages). It will also allow your Mac to accept calls from your iPhone, even showing you caller ID information on your screen. Your Mac then works as a speakerphone allowing you to talk with the incoming caller. This works even if your phone is in another room in your house (or office).
Apple is opening up a OS X Yosemite public beta this summer, so anyone that wants to test the operating system will have the chance to do so.