6 Yosemite features you will love

There's a lot to love about OS X Yosemite, coming later this year, but these our our favourite new features.

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  • The new icons
  • Mail big files
  • Safari Tabs view
  • AirDrop
  • iCloud Drive
  • Call from your Mac
  • More stories
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The new icons

We know that we should be most excited about the powerful new features in Yosemite, but it's the new icons that have really caught our eye. Some of the current icons look so tired and old fashioned right now. The Finder icon looks depressed, the kid on the Preview icon looks plastic, Game Centre is hideous.

The new icons look modern, with their bold colours and definition. Some of the older icons are over complicated, with detail you can't even see at icon level, such as Notes, which loses the text in the new version. These new icons are easy to understand at a glance and at any size. It looks like someone has actually thought to design them to be legible in the dock. Someone has also taken the view that OS X apps should share the icons of their iOS counterparts, which makes so much sense you end up wondering why it's taken so long. Good work Jony Ive.

We compare all the new Yosemite icons with Mavericks icons here.

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We know that we should be most excited about the powerful new features in Yosemite, but it's the new icons that have really caught our eye. Some of the current icons look so tired and old fashioned right now. The Finder icon looks depressed, the kid on the Preview icon looks plastic, Game Centre is hideous.

The new icons look modern, with their bold colours and definition. Some of the older icons are over complicated, with detail you can't even see at icon level, such as Notes, which loses the text in the new version. These new icons are easy to understand at a glance and at any size. It looks like someone has actually thought to design them to be legible in the dock. Someone has also taken the view that OS X apps should share the icons of their iOS counterparts, which makes so much sense you end up wondering why it's taken so long. Good work Jony Ive.

We compare all the new Yosemite icons with Mavericks icons here.

 

Mail big files

If like us you frequently need to send big files to friends and business associates you will probably be familiar with the various services available to you that enable you to upload that file and then send your friend a link to download it. We find DropBox to be the simplest solution for this. But however simple using a service like DropBox might be, it's still a number of time consuming steps that you need to go through before sending the big file.

Imagine how much better it would be if you could just attach the file to the email to your friend, click send, and then in the background Apple would upload the attachment to iCloud, and when your friend received the email it would automatically download the attachment from iCloud – with neither you or your friend having to upload, download, or click any links.

If your recipient isn't on Yosemite they will get a link to download from, but you still won't need to do anything. Think of the time you will save.

Check out our iCloud verses DropBox comparison review here.

 

Safari Tabs view

If you are familiar with Safari on the iPhone you may have noticed that there is one excellent feature that isn't available on the Mac (or on the iPad for that matter). It's the bird's eye view of tabs - the pages you have open in the background. You can see enough of the pages you have open on the iPhone to make it easy to scroll through and find the one you want. Try and do the same on the Mac or iPad and you are confronted with (if you have a load of tabs open) tiny grey boxes with room for about 10 characters. That's not going to tell you much about the tab you have open.

The new version of Safari on the Mac will introduce a birds eye view of tabs that will go one better than the iPhone – it will group the tabs by website, making it even easier to find the one you are after. Hooray!

 

AirDrop

We were kind of embarrassed for Apple when they introduced AirDrop on the iPad and iPhone but couldn't make it work with AirDrop on the Mac. We understand that there were reasons why it couldn't work, but for a company that prides itself on making things simple two tools with the same name that wouldn't work across devices did seem a bit of a serious omission.

We're glad that Apple is addressing this in Yosemite (although couldn't it have been an update to Mavericks).

Once you have Yosemite and iOS 8 installed you will be able to push files from one Apple device to the other really simply, never again will you need to pull out your lightning cable to transfer an image from your iPhone to your Mac.

 

iCloud Drive

AirDrop sounds like a time saver, but it might not even be necessary. Apple is finally opening iCloud up to be used as a cross platform file storage system. You may be thinking you can already use iCloud to store documents, but the annoyance is that your docs tend to be locked away in application files. You can't save a number of documents and images created in various apps in a folder marked Holiday for example. Sure you can tag them Holiday, but in Apple's haste to make a fool proof filing system that would take the admin out of our hands, it's made it impossible to file things at all.

iCloud Drive is more like DropBox, any file, document, image or PDF, can be dragged into the iCloud Drive from the Finder on your Mac. You can then access all your files on any of your devices (including a Windows PC).

You'll get 5GB of storage for free, and various upgrade choices, from the affordable $1 a month for 20GB. Apple says it will have tiers all the way up to 1TB of storage. That should solve my storage problems on my MacBook Air.

(And our favourite feature of iCloud Drive – depending on the amount of storage we pay for, all of our images on all of our devices, will be available on all of our devices. We will be limited no longer to the last 1,000 images in your Photo Stream. We can't wait.)

 

Call from your Mac

You've heard the rumours about the big screen iPhone yes? Turns out it's the Mac. Yes, you will be able to make and receive phone calls from your Mac using your build in mic.

When you receive a call on your iPhone your Mac will know all about it and will show you the caller ID and allow you to answer the call from notification centre. Perfect for those times you leave your phone at home, or even more often, leave the phone in your bag with the sound off.

Of course it does mean you won't be able to pretend you missed a call anymore.

Perhaps the most useful aspect of being able to make a call from your Mac is the fact that if you find a phone number on the web, or in an email, all you will need to do is click on that number to place the call.

There are other phone related features coming to your Mac too, right now you can conduct entire iMessage conversations in Mavericks. In Yosemite, you'll also be able to converse with your non-iPhone touting friends. All your text messages will appear in Messages, not just iMessages. That should make things easier.

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