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OS X Yosemite continues to provide the seamless experience and transition between OS X and iOS. Yosemite will be available this Fall

With OS X Mavericks, Apple showed that it would take a new approach to the operating system’s nomenclature: instead of going with cats (snow leopard, lion, mountain lion) for OS names, Apple would now stick with landmarks. The company unveiled OS X Mavericks at WWDC 2013, and it was an instant hit. OS naming doesn’t indicate anything about the OS update itself (whether good or bad), but providing an excellent name for it gives customers something to look forward to –in the same way that Google names its mobile OS (Doughnut, Eclaire, Froyo, Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and now KitKat).

While the Apple Mac team deliberated about naming the new update OS X Oxnard, OS X Rancho Cucamonga, and OS X Weed, It was clear from the moment Apple started hanging banners in the Moscone Center that Apple had already handpicked its new name for the 2014 OS update: OS X Yosemite. Now that Yosemite’s been announced and Mac users await the update, we can provide some insight into the new features that were announced at WWDC 2014. If you thought your Mac experience was awesome last year, it’s about to get even more interesting now.

Design

Apple’s improved its maps, calendar, and iMessage apps in OS X Yosemite, along with some app redesigns to give a fresh look to the user interface with which OS X users have become so familiar.

One new feature that has been integrated into the sidebar experience is widgets. You can now add widgets such as weather, sports, calendar, social media sites, and others into the sidebar so that all your notifications can now appear on your Mac – in the same way that they do on your iPhone or iPad. Your sidebar on the right in Mac OS Yosemite will now be expandable, thanks to the new Mac update.

Spotlight

Spotlight was one app that it seems we weren’t expecting an update to in OS X Yosemite, but Apple used this as a surprise element. Spotlight has always been used to wade through your iMessages, documents, apps, and other data on your Mac, but OS X Yosemite has refined Spotlight even more. Now, instead of seeing the search bar at the top right of your screen, you will now see the search bar sit in the middle of the desktop screen so that you’ve it right in front of your eyes when you need it.

As for the Spotlight experience, you can now use it to search for not only documents and contacts, but also places (like Yosemite National Park) as well as events and reminders, spreadsheets, news, mail, and even iMessages. If you want to search for the movie “Spiderman,” for example, OS X Yosemite will now let you pull up Rotten Tomatoes information on the movie without going on the Web to find it. While searching for movies, OS X Yosemite will allow you to see whether or not the movie is available for purchase on iTunes. Finding movies on iTunes that you want provides the perfect Christmas Wish List for your family and friends who’ve run out of ideas about what to buy you.

Spotlight now has Wikipedia integration so that you can find things without having to go on the internet to read the information. It prevents time and energy in trying to find internet sources that should be at your fingertips. Student research time will now be cut in half, thanks to the new Wikipedia integration in OS X Yosemite.

See Also: Apple iPhone 6 rumor roundup: specs, price and release date

iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive is a new app for Mac OS X Yosemite that allows you to save your content in iCloud that can then be accessed by all your devices – whether Mac, iMac, iPhone, or iPad. It allows you to view documents no matter what device you’ve and prevents you from having to send so many emails to retrieve documents on one device that is not with you at the moment.

iCloud Drive is similar to what Microsoft has done with its OneDrive and Google with its Google Drive: allow you to view and send content, no matter on what device it is originally located. It works by way of your iCloud storage.

Mail Drop

Where there’s AirDrop file share, there’s Mail Drop! Mail Drop operates similar to cloud storage services such as Box and Dropbox, for example. If you’re having trouble sending a message because of either someone else’s server or your own server is causing trouble, Mail Drop allows you to save a file in iCloud, and then send the file via iCloud and bypass the server completely. If you need to or want to, you can save any document as a link with the new Mail Drop app and then send the URL or weblink to the person in question – no matter what email server they use.

Markup

Markup is a feature that allows you to draw and write on your emails before sending them, a capability that hasn’t been allowed until now. Apple’s long allowed Mac users to write and draw on their screenshots, but drawing and writing on photos before sending them via email? Not at all. Not only can you draw and write messages in Mac OS X Yosemite using Markup, parents can even sign permission slips by hand writing or typing their signature before sending the document to the teacher, for example.

Webpage Sharing Options

Normally, when one wants to share a webpage, he or she must click on “file” then “share,” while choosing the source with which to share something after the fact. OS X Yosemite reduces time lost and looking for how to share something by providing your share options at the top right of your main user interface. From now on, you’ll see a “share” symbol by the multitasking icon. When you want to share, click on it, and you’ll be able to use email, AirDrop File Share, or the usual social media, or through iMessages. If you like the magazine, you’re reading at the time and want to subscribe to that magazine, you don’t need push notifications anymore – just click Apple’s new @subscribe in Shared Links section and prepare to receive a notification each time an article is published at the site.

See Also: Apple announces iOS 8 at WWDC 2014

Continuity

Apple has gone on record as saying that the company won’t merge iOS and OS X into one hybrid OS, but that hasn’t stopped the company from continuing its efforts to make the transition between both OSes smooth as butter.

At WWDC 2014, Apple sought to emphasize continuity between both Mac and iPhone and iPad, for the purpose of making life easier for consumers. Apple announced that AirDrop, a popular feature announced last year for iOS, is now a part of OS X Yosemite, along with a new feature called Handoff. The name fits the circumstance in question: think of runners in a race. When one Olympic runner gets to a certain stopping point in the race, he “hands off” or passes the torch to the next runner, who then continues the journey until he reaches the next runner, and so on. Passing the torch is seen as an easy, seamless way to help one team win over the others. In Handoff, Apple’s goal is to create a seamless experience where iOS and OS X are so integrated that you don’t have to stop what you’re doing or work on one device alone; now, you can integrate all your Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, iMac) into your daily work routine and increase your business productivity.

OS-X-Yosemite-Continuity

How does Handoff work? Well, if you’re viewing a message on your iMac, and you want to continue viewing the same message on the iPad, you will now receive a prompt at the bottom of your screen regarding the document or message you’re receiving. To access the same message on the alternative device, simply swipe up – and the chart, document, or message you were viewing will appear on an alternative device. This can also be done if you’re using an iPhone and start viewing an email on your iPhone. If you want to switch to your Mac, just go over to your Mac, and you’ll see an email prompt at the bottom of your screen. Click on it and it’ll take you right into that email you were viewing on your iPhone.

Text Messages/SMS

Text messages can now be viewed across all your devices, no matter the Apple device you own. This has been a part of iMessage for a while but only for Apple device users. Android and Windows users who text us are given a green bubble – and they’re information isn’t sent to other devices so that you could pick up your iPhone and continue the conversation from your iPad.

Now, you can. Apple will transfer all messages whether sent or received from you or an Android or Windows recipient over to all devices. When you pick up iMessage in two devices, it’ll be as though you never left either of them for a time. Life may not be as simple as “picking up where you left off,” but Apple’s devices will make this possible.

Mac Telephony

Ever wanted to place a call from your Mac because your iPhone and iPad batteries have died – and they need some serious recharging? Well, no need to worry. Now, while working on your Mac or iMac, you don’t even need to reach for your phone. Now, your Mac will provide call notifications on-screen when someone’s calling you. All you need to do is click “answer” on the new user interface of OS X Yosemite in order to answer the call. You can also call other individuals from your Mac and talk to them from the Mac if you so choose. Apple’s Craig Federighi enjoyed doing this during the WWDC 2014 presentation, since he called new Apple employee Dr. Dre to talk to him about how the 6,000 developers present at the announcement wanted to welcome him to Apple.

OS X Yosemite Release Date

OS X Yosemite will be released this Fall and will be for free as a download from the Mac App Store. If you’ve a Mac that’s current, you’ll likely receive a prompt from Apple to go to the new update and install it, which is what happened with Macs that were still running OS X Snow Leopard last Fall when Apple provided the OS X Mavericks update for free – the first time Apple ever released a free update to Mac users. The new OS X Yosemite update will continue in the new Apple tradition whereby Mac users receive free updates annually. There was once a time when owning the latest Mac update cost you $25 annually.

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