Apple reveals iOS-inspired OS X Yosemite – unified comms across all devices

2 Jun 2014

Pictured: Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi at WWDC today

There were no hardware reveals but certainly plenty to ponder for the future at today’s Worldwide Developer Conference where Apple revealed its new Mac operating system OS X Yosemite which set the tone for Apple’s continuity vision of working seamlessly across all its devices.

Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that while the personal computing industry declined by 5pc across the board, Macs grew by 12pc in the past year.

He said that there are now 80m Macs in the world and with 40m copies of OS X Mavericks on Macs today Mavericks is on 50pc of the installed base of Macs.

At first glance the new OS X Yosemite, which goes on beta for developers today but launches to the public for free in the Autumn, borrows heavily from the design of the current iPad in terms of its initial appearance. Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said that in a new step Apple will be making Yosemite available for public beta during the summer.

The new OS is visually arresting with beautifully crafted new icons and a new look sidebar for apps like Messages, Facetime, Contacts and Reminders.

In a move that isn’t going to enchant Google, Apple has revamped Spotlight to bring a new search bar to the centre of the Mac screen that allows users to access apps, conduct searches through the web, calendars and apps as well as draw in content from the iTunes store by just typing a few keys.

The revamped Notification Center brings everything you need to know into one place with widgets for Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Reminders, World Clock and social networks as well as view rich suggestions from Wikipedia, Maps, Bing, App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, top websites, news and movie showtimes.

The new iCloud Drive which is located in the Finder synchronises content across of any type all your Mac and iOS devices as well as Windows.

Mail is getting a major revamp on Yosemite to allow users to receive attachments up to 5GB in size as well as scribble their signature using the trackpad on their Macs.

Apple looks like ticking off both Google and Dropbox simultaneously with the new features that emphasises the ability to share and store data across all devices.

Safari has been streamlined to give quick access to favourite websites, manage tabs in one window and new privacy controls create separate Private Browsing windows and built-in support for DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track users.

Innovation only Apple can deliver

mac os x yosemite

Emphasising a new doctrine at Apple called “Continuity” Federighi revealed how Apple is setting itself up to be a big force in unified messaging.

A new proximity awareness feature allows users to instantly use their nearby iOS device to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. But not only that iMessage can now take messages from other operating system devices as well as make and accept iPhone calls directly via their Mac using the Mac as a speaker phone.

SMS and MMS messages that previously only appeared on your iPhone appear in Messages on all your devices.

“Yosemite is the future of OS X with its incredible new design and amazing new apps, all engineered to work beautifully with iOS,” Federighi said.

“We engineer our platforms, services and devices together, so we are able to create a seamless experience for our users across all our products that is unparalleled in the industry. It’s something only Apple can deliver.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years