Apple’s latest Macintosh operating system, Yosemite, also known as Mac OS X 10.10, is the most comprehensive update in the software since its inception in 2001.
It is also a major advance in bringing desktop and mobile devices seamlessly and automatically into one environment. Neither Google nor Microsoft can do that because Apple alone, so far, makes both software and hardware and controls and curates the cyberspace it inhabits.
It is the single most important differentiator between Apple and Android and a problem for Apple’s major handset competitor, Samsung, which depends on the software of others and recently forecast a profit downturn.
Here’s a short list of some of the most important innovations in Yosemite:
1. Continuity and Handoff
These are the cross-platform functionality between Mac OSX and the mobile oeprating system iOS 8. Start a document or an email on one device (Apple now considers Macs and MacBooks devices, like iPhone and iPads) and continue, from where you left off, on another. That’s Handoff.
Continuity allows taking and making phone calls on the Mac or iPad provided you have an iCloud account and your iPhone is in reasonably close proximity to the other device(s).
The Notification Centre has a new Today feature that produces a summary of the day’s events, reminders and a summary of the next day. It also connects with widgets such as Weather, Calculator, Weather and so on. Access to widgets can be customised according to your needs and tastes. Notifications come up on the screen automatically and are accessed on iPhones and iPads via a swipe.
In Yosemite the Safari web browser has been enhanced with a smart search field giving access to favorite sites and a tab view button that calls up all tabs open on all the devices you have connected via iCloud – another way to ensure continuity.
4. Mail gets Markup
This is a really useful feature that enables drawing shapes on a Mail message, an attached image or for signing documents. On a Mac use a Touchpad to draw shapes, arrows and so forth, or sign a document such as a PDF. You can also use the Mac’s iSight camera to copy a signature and add it to a document in a text box. On an iPhone or iPad, well there’s the touch screen; go for it.
5. Mail Drop
New feature added to Mail in Yosemite. No longer do you have to worry about sending oversize attachments. Mail Drop will automatically upload large attachments to iCloud. If your recipient used Apple Mail the download of the large file is all but automatic. If they use Windows or don’t have a Mac they will get a download link much like Dropbox or Hightail, available for a month as a starter.