Apple Unveils OS X Yosemite With New Continuity Features and More

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Apple Unveils OS X Yosemite With New Continuity Features and More
Apple on Monday at its WWDC Keynote announced OS X Yosemite, the latest iteration of OS X which the company says has been redesigned and refined with a "fresh, modern look, powerful new apps and amazing new continuity features." Apple also unveiled iOS 8.

"Yosemite is the future of OS X with its incredible new design and amazing new apps, all engineered to work beautifully with iOS," said Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. "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."

According to Apple, OS X Yosemite has been redesigned and refined with a fresh modern look where controls are clearer, smarter and easier to understand, and streamlined toolbars put the focus content without compromising functionality. Translucent elements reveal additional content in the app window, providing a hint at what's hidden behind and taking on the look of the desktop. App icons have a clean, consistent design and an updated system font improves readability.

The new Today view in Notification Center gives users a quick look at everything they need to know with widgets for Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Reminders, World Clock and social networks. Users can even download additional widgets from the Mac App Store to customize their Today view. Spotlight now appears front and centre on the desktop, and adds new categories of results, so they can view rich suggestions from Wikipedia, Maps, Bing, App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, top websites, news and movie showtimes.

Built right into the Finder, iCloud Drive stores files of any type in iCloud. iCloud Drive works like any other folder on Mac, so users can drag documents into it, organise them with folders and Tags and search for them using Spotlight. With iCloud Drive, users can access all files in iCloud from Mac, iPhone, iPad or even a Windows PC.

Safari has a new streamlined design that puts the most important controls at users' fingertips. A new Favorites view gives quick access to your favourite websites, and a powerful new Tabs view displays thumbnails of all open web pages in one window.

mac_os_x_yosemite_new_ui_apple.jpgSafari also gives users more control over their privacy, with separate Private Browsing windows and built-in support for DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn't track users. When users search for popular or common terms, new Spotlight Suggestions appear along with the suggestions from their search provider. Safari supports the latest web standards, including WebGL and SPDY, and support for HTML5 Premium Video Extensions. Apple says with its Nitro JavaScript engine, Safari is over six times faster than Firefox and over five times faster than Chrome when executing JavaScript found in typical websites.

The new Mail app on OS X makes editing and sending attachments easier than ever. With Markup, users can quickly fill out and sign forms and even annotate images and PDFs from within Mail. Mail Drop allows you to easily send large videos, images or files up to 5GB from the Mail app to any email address. Messages has a new look and delivers even more options for communicating with friends and family. Now users can add titles to ongoing message threads so they are easy to find, add new contacts to ongoing conversations, or leave those conversations users no longer want to follow. With Soundbites users can create, send and listen to audio clips right in Messages.

mac_os_x_yosemite_continuity_apple.jpgApple says the new continuity features in Yosemite make Mac and iOS device perfect companions. When a user's iOS device is near their Mac, Handoff allows the user to start an activity on one device and pass it to the other. Instant Hotspot quickens the process of using the iPhone's hotspot. SMS and MMS messages that previously only appeared on the user's iPhone now appear in Messages on all devices. Users can even send SMS or MMS messages directly from their Mac and make or receive iPhone calls using their Mac as a speakerphone.

Yosemite also delivers platform technologies that make it easier for developers to create OS X apps. SpriteKit makes it easier to incorporate realistic motion, physics and lighting in games, and integrates with SceneKit reportedly bringing 3D casual gaming within reach of any developer. Storyboards for Yosemite and Xcode 6 take advantage of the new View Controller APIs in AppKit to make it easier to build apps that navigate between multiple views of data. New APIs allow developers to integrate Handoff into their own apps and create Today view widgets for distribution through the Mac App Store. Share Menu extensions add new destinations to the Share Menu, and new APIs let developers create custom Share Sheets.

The developer preview of Yosemite is available to Mac Developer Program members starting Monday. Apple is also introducing the OS X Beta Program, which gives customers early access to Yosemite and invites them to try out the release and submit their feedback. Mac users can participate in the OS X Beta Program for Yosemite this summer and download the final version for free from the Mac App Store this fall. Customers interested in signing up can visit www.apple.com/osx/preview for more details.
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