OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review

8 November 2014Apple

John Siracusa wrote over 26,000 words across 25 pages detailing OS X Yosemite for Ars Technica. Here are a few of the new features that impress me:

Spotlight:

Following in the footsteps of venerable quick-access launchers like LaunchBar and Quicksilver as well as (relative) youngsters like Alfred, the Spotlight search field now appears front and center when activated. This may seem like a trivial change, but it transforms the user experience. What was once an awkward, non-standard text field sprouting from a tiny icon in the corner of the screen is now a wide, inviting window with very large text.

[…]

In addition to the simple mathematical calculations it already handles, Spotlight in Yosemite now does unit conversions faster than you can type the same query into a Google search box.

Handoff:

Handoff takes aim at the difficulty of transitioning between devices while continuing to work on the same task. Imagine you’re composing an e-mail on your iPhone as you ride to work on the train. You arrive at the office, but the e-mail isn’t complete. You’d like to sit down at your Mac and finish the e-mail on your big, comfortable keyboard.

[…]

Upon arriving at your desk in the office, the Apple Mail icon appears in a single-item mini-dock to the left of the real Dock (or on top, if your Dock is on the side of the screen).

A similar icon also appears in the command-tab application switcher. Clicking the icon in the mini-dock or selecting it from the application switcher launches Mail (if it’s not already running) and displays a message composition window containing the exact e-mail message you were just composing on your phone, with the insertion point in the message area at the end of the text you’ve written so far.

SMS in Messages:

If you long to see the green message bubbles on your Mac that denote the shameful use of a legacy SMS/MMS service, then Yosemite is the release for you.

The Mac will use your iPhone as a proxy for SMS communication, sending and receiving non-iMessage text messages through it. Both devices must be signed in to the same iCloud account, and there is a one-time verification process to allow a Mac to use a specific iPhone.