Apple has announced that OS X Yosemite, the latest major release of the desktop operating system used by Macs, is available as a free upgrade for from the Mac App Store. Yosemite delivers a new look and introduces Continuity features that make it easy to hand off activities between Mac and iOS devices and even make and receive iPhone calls from your Mac.
Yosemite also includes a new Today view, a redesigned Spotlight system-wide search feature, and updated versions of the Safari browser, Mail, Messages and iTunes.
“OS X Yosemite is the most advanced version of OS X we’ve ever built, with a brand new design, amazing Continuity features and powerful versions of the apps you use every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering. “OS X Yosemite ushers in the future of computing, where your Apple devices all work together seamlessly and magically. It’s something only Apple can do, and it’s available today.”
App icons have a consistent design, and a new system font improves readability on every Mac. and looks stunning on a Retina display.
Yosemite includes Continuity features that allow the Mac and iOS devices work more closely together.* Handoff automatically passes what you’re doing from one device to another, like writing an email or surfing the web. Instant Hotspot makes using your iPhone’s hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network.** AirDrop now works between Mac and iOS, so you can quickly and easily share content across devices. All the SMS messages that previously only appeared on your iPhone now can automatically appear in Messages on your Mac and all your iOS devices. You can even make and receive iPhone calls on your Mac.***
Yosemite introduces innovative new features, including:
§ The Today view in Notification Center, giving you quick access to informative widgets for Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Reminders, World Clock and social networks. You can also add widgets like Yahoo! Sports from the Mac App Store to customize the Today view;
§ a new Spotlight, delivering rich information right to your desktop from Wikipedia, Maps, Bing, App Store℠, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, top websites, news and movie showtimes;
§ iCloud Drive, so you can store files of any type in iCloud, organize them any way you like, and access them from your Mac, iPhone, iPad or even a Windows PC;
§ a streamlined new Safari that delivers the fastest performance, as well as the longest battery life for web browsing and Netflix HD video streaming on the Mac;
§ an updated version of Mail, which includes Markup for quickly filling out and signing forms and PDFs right within Mail, plus Mail Drop, which makes it easy to send large attachments up to 5GB for free;
§ enhanced Messages, so now you can add participants to your ongoing group conversations, see their locations on a map, quickly access attachments and even mute notifications;
§ iTunes 12, which has a new look, and makes it easier to switch between browsing your music library and discovering new music on the iTunes Store. A new Recents view makes it easy to access the media you just purchased or recently played.
Yosemite also delivers platform technologies that make it easier for developers to create new Mac apps. Swift is a powerful, next-generation programming language for iOS and OS X that’s fast, modern, interactive and helps developers write safer and more reliable code. SpriteKit makes it easier for developers to incorporate realistic motion, lighting and physics in games and when integrated with SceneKit, makes it simple to create games with animated 3D scenes and effects.
Yosemite supports all Macs introduced in 2009 or later, and some models introduced in 2007 and 2008. For a complete list of system requirements and compatible systems, please visit apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade. Continuity features require iOS 8.1, which is available as a free upgrade starting October 20. OS X Server 4.0 requires Yosemite and is available from the Mac App Store for US$19.99****.
*Some Continuity features require advanced Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi features available only in more recent Macs.
**Check with your carrier for hotspot availability.
***Cellular data charges may apply.
****Pricing refers to the US, and may vary in other countries.