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Apple Announces New OS X Yosemite with a Major Design Update and Personalized Today View

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
June 2, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple announced a new desktop operating system, named OS X Yosemite, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference Monday morning. The new system, named after California’s famed national park, includes a more dynamic design, a personalized daily control panel, and new search options.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi introduced the new design, explaining that the company “focused always on clarity as well as utility.”

The new design features a frosted-glass look, including a translucent view for sidebars that, as Federighi says, “helps maintain a sense of depth and place as you move your windows over each other.” This new look is extended to apps like FaceTime, Contacts, and Reminders, and more closely resembles Apple’s iOS operating system for tablets and laptops.

OS X Yosemite also includes a completely redesigned Spotlight search, which you can use to search your computer and which now calls up a search screen in the center of your monitor every time you want to find something on your computer. (The look is similar to a popular app for OS X called Alfred.) As before, it draws from the information stored on your hard drive, but also search services on the Internet via Bing, Wikipedia, or Yelp. 

Additionally, people using the new OS 10.10 can switch to a “dark mode,” which allows for you to focus better on one main component on your screen, like Netflix or your work. The Mail app has also been updated, and now lets you send attachments up to 5GB in size and draw doodles and illustrations on photo attachments, too.

Apple’s OS X operating system is far smaller than Microsoft’s Windows, despite the struggles of the recent Windows 8. According to analytics at Net Applications, OS X accounts for under 8 percent of desktop computers, while Windows runs on over 90 percent of all computers. 

Apple also introduced iCloud Drive, a Dropbox competitor that lets you store, access, and update files on other devices.

You will be able to control your entire schedule from an updated Notifications Center, which provides a Google Now-esque look at your Calendar, Reminders, Weather, Stocks, and any other widgets you want to personalize it with.

There’s also a closer connection between the Mac and the iPhone, as my colleague Rafe Needleman notes here. A project called Continuity fuses many features of the iPhone and the Mac. You can now wirelessly connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, via Bluetooth, and begin a task on one device and complete it on the other. You can also view all of your text messages to your phone on your computer now (not just iMessages from other Apple devices) and make phone calls from your Mac, so long as your iPhone is within Bluetooth connection distance.

The operating system will be released in the fall and will be free. 

Follow Alyssa Bereznak on Twitter or email her here.