What’s New in OS X Yosemite

The WWDC in June is usually the first place new Apple hardware, software, and devices are shown. Sometimes they’re released at that point, and sometimes not until later in the fall, but it’s always a good measure of what Apple is planning. This week’s WWDC was no different and did not disappoint. Today we’ll discuss the changes to OS X Yosemite.

OS X Yosemite

Looks are everything, or at least that is usually what Apple’s motto seems to be. They always have beautiful interfaces and strive to have it be the first thing people notice. Each version seems to be even more so. For OS X Yosemite, Apple is streamlining toolbars and making windows translucent so that what you notice is your wallpaper and your project. They’ve changed to a fresh new typeface as well, a sans serif style.


The Notification Center now includes a Today feature making it look just like iOS, as it includes your Calendar, Reminders, Weather, etc. And Spotlight now has function similar to Siri. You can now look up information such as movies, Wikipedia, news, etc. Your results are also interactive.

Safari, with its streamlined toolbar, gives you more room than ever before. You can see more of the websites you’re viewing now. With its new engine, Apple is promising that it’s the fastest, most advanced way to browse the web. It has a new Favorites view. You only need to click the smart search field to access it. All your tabs can be seen at once, including the ones you have open on your devices. If privacy is important to you, you can open up one Private Browsing window while regularly browsing others. The default search engine is now DuckDuckGo, instead of Google.


In Mail, you can now send larger attachments, up to 5GB. Large attachments are automatically uploaded to iCloud. If your recipient is also using Mail, they’ll be able to download normally. If they don’t, they’ll receive a link to download it. Markup is now included as well. You can add shapes and text and annotation by drawing on a multi-touch trackpad. You can also fill out forms and PDFs.

No longer are iMessages just text. Now you can record a quick audio clip and send it along with your text message or instead of your text message. You can also name the conversations that you’re having to make it easier to refer back to later. Additionally, you’ll be able to add more people to the conversation without having to start a new message or can leave the conversation when you’re done with it.

iCloud will now be built right into the Finder. It will work like just another folder, allowing you to drag and drop files and folders there. Offline changes will sync up when you connect again to the Web. You can easily keep things organized with tags. iCloud Drive can be accessed on all your devices. And now to share files, you can share not just between iOS devices, but between two Macs or between Mac and iOS.


And that brings up the biggest, most exciting change. Mac and iOS will now be connected more so than they have been in the past. When a Mac running OS X Yosemite is near a device running iOS 8, they’ll recognize each other and work together.

You will now be able to answer your iPhone calls on your Mac. You’ll get a notification of your calls right on your Mac screen when the phone is ringing. It will show you the caller’s name, number, and profile picture. You can answer it speaking and listening through your Mac or decline it with the same options as your iPhone. You will also be able to make calls from your Mac.

When you send and receive text messages, you can now do it with SMS provided your iPhone is nearby. You’ll also be able to send text via your Mac by clicking on a phone number in Safari, Contacts, or even in Calendar.


While Pages has been doing this for awhile, several of the native apps will allow you to “handoff” from Mac to iOS and vice versa. You can be writing an email, working on a document, entering a Calendar note, or browsing in Safari. You can leave you Mac and pick up your iPad or iPhone to continue without missing a beat.

You don’t have to worry about not having WiFi for your laptop. Your Mac can use the personal hotspot of your iPhone, as long as they are within a certain range of each other. You don’t need to do any setup for this. Your iPhone will appear in the WiFi menu on your Mac. If your Mac isn’t using it, it disconnects to save battery life.

You can also now use the beta version of OS X Yosemite. Hurry, though, as only the first one million users will be allowed to use the beta. If you download and use it, let us know what you think.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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