Apple's new Mac operating system, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, arrived in October and is believed to be running on one in five Macs. Here's everything you need to know about Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite's features, system requirements, bugs and updates, as well as its features and how to upgrade your Mac to OS X Yosemite and more.
After unveiling OS X Yosemite during WWDC 2014 in June and releasing it in beta form for developers and one million members of the public to test, the final version of the operating system has been released for all Mac users to download and install.
Apple recapped some of the new features in Yosemite, including its new design, new continuity features and app updates, during its 16 October keynote before revealing that it would be available to download when the keynote ended (though it actually didn't arrive until a few hours later, much to many Mac users' frustration). Also during the keynote, Apple unveiled a Retina iMac, a new Mac mini, the iPad Air 2 and an iPad mini 3.
So, after some initial issues Yosemite has finally arrived in the Mac App Store and is also accessible by clicking the Upgrade Now button on Apple's site.
In this article we look at some of the issues with WiFi in Yosemite and updates to Yosemite, as well as how to get it and new features.
Read next: Yosemite pros and cons
and: Read: Yosemite tips for beginners
OS X 10.10 Yosemite: WiFi issues fixed with 10.10.1 update?
The latest update to Yosemite, version 10.10.1 is supposed to cure WiFi problems. Apple even says: “Improves WiFi reliability” in the notes accompanying the release. Does it?
It wasn’t easy to find out. We have a MacBook Air and no means to plug it into network using ethernet (there is no ethernet port on the MacBook Air, you would need to have an adapter). With no WiFi connection downloading the Yosemite update was going to be a challenge, and then we didn’t know for sure that it would do the trick - according to some forum posts, the update doesn’t cure everyone’s Yosemite induced WiFi problems.
Like many others, we have experienced Wi-Fi connection failures and slow speeds since updating to Yosemite. Initially blaming the router, but that made no sense as my iPhone and iPad had no problems with the WiFi network. We eventually became aware that a number of people were experiencing difficulties, and it was quickly recognised that Yosemite was to blame.
Back to the challenge of installing the update. We're lucky that we are able to create a hotspot from our mobile, plus we don’t have major limits on data on my contract, so we were able to create a WiFi network from the phone and use that to download the Yosemite update over 4G.
It’s 329MB of data, so if you don’t have data to spare this may not be the best option for you. The download took less than 5 minutes, and we were able to install the software update and boot up our Mac again pretty quickly. Here’s how to create a WiFi hotspot from your iPhone.
The good news is that since installing the update the WiFi seems to be ok… Although we have reset the router once today already. Fingers crossed.
If you are still having WiFi problems, 9to5 Mac points to an Apple Forum that suggests going to System Preferences > Network > Advanced and removing old entries from the preferred network list, as well as performing an SMC reset.
The update was supposed to fix the WiFi issues. Apple told developers that the first update to OS X Yosemite would include changes to WiFi, a hopeful sign for customers who have reported that the new OS crippled their internet connections.
Yosemite 10.10.1, which was seeded to registered developers on 4 November, was also include changes to the Notification Centre.
The discussion forums on Apple's support site continue to accumulate large numbers of messages from users who say that their WiFi connections haven't worked reliably since they upgraded to OS X Yosemite.
Reports of connectivity issues cropped up within hours of Apple releasing Yosemite on 16 October, and have continued to pour in since.
Some users have had success implementing one or more of the seemingly endless suggestions that have piled up on the thread, others on Apple's support site and on third-party blogs. Turning Bluetooth off on nearby Macs and iOS devices has worked for some, for example, but not all. Others reported having WiFi connectivity problems with OS X Mavericks as well, but that conditions sharply deteriorated once Yosemite had been installed.
iMore has published an article detailing what it calls a "possible fix" for the WiFi issues in Yosemite, suggesting that modifying the Network system preferences to prevent them from slipping onto another WiFi network.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite: How to get OS X Yosemite right now
As we mention above, Yosemite has officially launched to the public, and any owner of a sufficiently powerful Mac can upgrade for free. Now that someone in the Apple engine rooms has finally hit GO, here's how to upgrade your to OS X Yosemite.
Go to Apple's site, and find the Yosemite page. Here's a direct link. Scroll down a touch and click the blue Upgrade Now button. Follow the instructions in the Mac App Store.
Your Mac will need 2GB of RAM to run Yosemite, and 8GB of available storage. You'll also need to be currently running OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or later, because you'll need the Mac App Store to download the update.
Yosemite will run on the following Macs:
- iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
- MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
The system requirements for Yosemite are the same as those for OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the current operating system for Mac.
As of 3 November, Yosemite was powering about one in five Macs, an update rate that surpassed last year's Mavericks in first-month adoption speed, analytics company Net Applications has said, so accounts of Yosemite problems do not seem to have had a major impact on the OS's update.
Mac OS X Yosemite UK price: How much does Yosemite cost?
Apple surprised us last year by making OS X 10.9 Mavericks available for free. This year we were prepared for the news - and sure enough, OS X Yosemite is also free.
(If you're interested, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the OS before Mavericks, was just £13.99, so Apple isn't leaving all that much money on the table.)
Mac OS X Yosemite: Design & new features
Apple's senior vice president of design Jonathan Ive and senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi have been working together on the redesign of Mac OS X in the run up to the launch of OS Yosemite. See: 22 Yosemite icons compared with their Mavericks counterparts
With Jony Ive's expanded design leadership reaching the software side of Apple, we expected to see his influence prominently in the next Mac OS X, and it looks like this is the case. The new operating system certainly has a new look. See also: 10 new features in Photos for Mac OS X Yosemite
One of the biggest rumours was that OS X 10.10 would take a lot of cues from iOS for a more similar interface. During the lauch event Apple made various references to Continuity, with new features for integration with the iPhone. In many ways the Mac can become an extension of your iPhone - you will even be able to take calls on it. See: Complete guide to Continuity
And yes, AirDrop finally works between Mac and iOS!
iOS does appear to have adopted some of the more minimalist design language that arrived on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch last year. Apple is still treating the two operating systems as completely separate entities, but endeavouring to make the two work better together.
There are also various improvements for Notification Centre, including a Today view, which gives you a quick look at everything you need to know. Notification Centre also gains Widgets, which it seems are no longer relegated to Dashboard. See also: Make OS X Notification Centre useful
iCloud Drive lives in the new look Finder and means that the documents you create on your Mac and iOS devices will be available on all your devices and in all your apps. It's Apple's answer to DropBox. See also: What's new in Calendar in iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite.
Safari has a new streamlined design and a cleaner interface.The Tab View gives you an birds eye of your open tabs so it's easy to find what you are looking for. It's possible to set up a window for Private browsing, and when you search the results are no longer just limited to Google. See also: 12 great new Safari 8 features you might have missed
Mail has improvements for editing PDFs and images, and sending large attachments. See also: 10 new Messages features in Yosemite
Find out more in our OS X 10.10 Yosemite review.
And find out how Yosemite compares to Windows in our comparison review.
For more discussion of Yosemite's new features, here's a video where we poke around the beta:
New features in Yosemite
You can read all about the new features in Yosemite over in our Yosemite Topic Zone. Including the following:
- Photos for iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite
- New Messages features in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8
- Continuity in iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite
- Calendar features in iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite
- Spotlight in OS X and Yosemite
- Safari 8 features in Yosemite
- Guide to Apple’s Health and HealthKit
- Apple iCloud Drive
- New features in Mail for OS X Yosemite
- How to make Notification Centre in OS X useful
Head over to page two to read what we wrote ahead of the launch of OS X Yosemite, including rumours about features, design and more.