Apple’s new operating system for Macs, called OS X Yosemite, is now available for the public to test-drive.
Yosemite represents a bold visual redesign, but one that still feels rooted in the familiar simplicity that Mac users have grown to love.
The result is a cleaner, more vibrant operating system that takes a few design cues from Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS.
When you boot up Yosemite for the first time, you're greeted by the Feedback Assistant, which is how you can report any bugs to Apple.
The redesigned dock and icons are bold and colourful. Apple's taken some design cues from iOS here, and the icons do appear slightly flatter, with fewer shadows.
Spotlight is Apple's search tool for easily opening or finding things in Yosemite, and it now shows up right in the center of your screen.
Spotlight is a great way to navigate Yosemite quickly, and Apple's made it more intelligent than ever. Since it plugs into the internet, you can search by keyword and immediately see a tidy summary, or open up an app just by typing the name and pressing the 'Return' key.
Apple has also updated its Notification Center, which now pops up on the right-most side of your screen. You can insert widgets, like Stock or Weather, or click on 'Notifications' to see a running tally of individual app notifications.
Safari has also been streamlined; it's even more minimal than before. The toolbar is thinner than ever, and you can now scroll through tabs.
Clicking on the address bar brings up a tidy collection of your favourites and most frequented websites.
Besides some visual tweaks to Mail, the app also features a new tool called 'Markup,' which lets you annotate photos and PDFs.
With Markup, you can scribble on an image. If you try to make a circle or arrow, the tool will recognise your attempts and help you out. You can also sign PDFs by using your Mac's trackpad.
Translucency is a big design emphasis of Yosemite, so your desktop background will bleed through to the user interface toolbars. Here, you can see that the dock takes on a lighter colour as a result of the new background image.
One of the coolest features of Yosemite is the option to turn on grayscale mode, which turns everything into shades of black and white, helping to reduce eye strain.
Unfortunately, the best new feature of Yosemite, called 'Continuity,' isn't available until iOS 8 comes out in the fall. Continuity will allow your iPhone and iPad to integrate seamlessly with your Mac, letting you send what you're working on on your device easily to your computer. The new feature will also let you send regular SMS messages from your Mac, and you'll be able to easily transfer photos and documents between your devices using AirDrop.
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