Preview: Apple OS X 10.10: first impressions of Yosemite

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This is not an evaluation. The first Yosemite beta has only simply arised, and so it’s clearly not ready for prime-time. However, although a few of the brand-new features demoed at WWDC 2014 are missing or broken, enough are baked to the point you can get a feel for how OS X is going to be later on this year.

Here are our impressions on a few of the highlights, after a day of exploring Yosemite.

The OS X Yosemite interface

OS X’s user interface is now an odd combination of stark minimalism, subtle color effects and cartoonish icons. The stripped-back interface generally works well, and openness results in sidebars and behind toolbars are (remarkably) subtle enough to supply a sense of place without being a distraction or interfering with clarity. Performance appears unaffected.

Spot the new icons - they are the ones where the colour is seared directly into your retinas.

The Helvetica variation made use of for the system typeface is normally understandable, if lacking in character, but the spindly menu bonus are less effective– it’s now hard to inform whether the network indication is showing a connection.

The simpler Dock is much smarter, but the icons are variable. They are more complicated than their iOS cozs, however simply as greatly colour-saturated, and the brand-new Finder icon’s leering grin looks a bit weird.

Mail and calendar in OS X Yosemite

Mail’s primary change is mark-up, enabling you to annotate images. The interface is wise and simple, offering tools to rapidly add shapes and text.

Yosemite mail

This is then burned into the image, indicating whatever you include can not be edited by someone else, however likewise that any text isn’t accessible. If your image is large, it deserves noting the default text size will appear like ant tracks.

Calendar is among the apps that makes use of Apple’s brand-new skinny toolbar with buttons, which decreases drag actions however offers more space for material. Otherwise, Calendar now echoes its iPad coz, meanings a very various day look at, created to concentrate on the day’s events.

Anyone who stayed in the Mavericks day look at that likewise noted approaching consultations will soon be scurrying in the direction of Fantastical. However for any individual who wishes to purely emphasise the existing day, it’s an useful modification.

Spotlight vs Alfred

Spotlight now affects Alfred and comparable launchers, in appearing at the center of the screen as opposed to streaming a results list from the menu bar. Even in this beta, Spotlight appears quick when browsing regional material, and it smoothly offers previews of numerous files, without you having to turn to pausing over an item for Quick Look to begin.

Yosemite spotlight

We couldn’t get many of the additional features to work in the beta– our copy stubbornly overlooked the web, however the capacity of the spruce up appeared in Spotlight promptly supplying currency conversions, together with a small variety of alternatives in the preview area.

It’s clear, though, that devoted Alfred users wedded to that app’s power and extensibility will not be swayed by Apple’s admittedly remarkable upgrade.

Safari in OS X Yosemite

Already, it appears like this new Safari’s going to be a big win for Apple. Like Calendar, the interface is created to optimize area for material, but the huge draw is in having the ability to find pages from within a sea of tabs.

Safari's very smart tabs view, with iCloud tabs sitting underneath

The new Program All Tabs button provides a grid-based preview of every tab within the present window, in addition to access to open iCloud tabs. Throughout testing, this was outstanding and extremely receptive, unlike the picky brand-new favorites drop-down from the address bar, which eventually made us restore the standalone toolbar Apple was so keen to conceal.

OS X Yosemite’s Notice Center

The OS X Mavericks Notification Center was a wild-goose chase beyond the initial notices themselves. Click the menu-bar button and your entire desktop was rudely pushed out of the method, only to display a bunch of old notices.

Notification center is now actually useful, and does not barge the desktop across the screen.

Yosemite’s upgrade obtains greatly from iOS (7 and 8), with a Today look at to which you can include custom-made widgets. In the default install, this includes a world clock, your calendar, stocks and weather condition, currently showcasing the potential of the system.

Unlike in Mavericks, the new Notice Center is an overlay, so it’s not as jarring when it appears, however, any attempt to interact with other on-screen material results in the panel closing, which is a pity. It’s also curious Dashboard still exists, given the clear overlap with Notification Center.

Check out the beta

Apple’s providing a million individuals the opportunity to access the open beta of Yosemite and provide feedback on features and bugs. This release is not yet in the wild, but will certainly be quickly.

Transparency on the Yosemite beta UI

If you do register, however, be extremely aware that specific functions will not work fully, and bugs could exist, on that basis, don’t install it on any essential work device unless you like living at the bleeding edge. Instead, if you’ve actually space on your Mac running Mavericks, you can utilize Disk Energy to non-destructively produce a new partition into which you can set up Yosemite.

We believe doing so’s beneficial for the curious (and to aid Apple through supplying feedback). Apple’s clearly reconsidering OS X, in a manner that improves productivity and updates the visual look, yet still preserves a familiar design language. We look forward to checking out the advanced elements of the system, not least iCloud Drive (which hadn’t been totally working during testing) and Handoff with iOS devices.