Apple confirms Mac OS X Yosemite – with brand new UI design

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At its WWDC press conference, Apple has lifted the lid off the next version of OS X. Following the new naming scheme of locations in California, the new version is called OS X 10.10 Yosemite and it will introduce an overhauled “fresh [and] modern” user interface that features the flat design elements introduced in iOS.

According to Apple, the new redesigned user interface makes it more “clearer, smarter and easier to understand” with the streamlined toolbars allowing you to focus on content without compromising on functionality. Other changes include redesigned app icons, sharper corners on the dock and windows, and a new ‘dark mode’ skin.

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Safari gets a massive redesign, with the user interface matching its counterpart on iOS. It also incorporates more privacy controls – such as a separate Private Browsing window and support for DuckDuckGo. Search has been improved to provide suggestions from Spotlight and the user’s preferred search engine; and the ‘Share’ button now incorporates people you recently messaged. Apple also notes that its Nitro JavaScript Engine is faster than its competitors.

Mail introduces two new features – Markup and MailDrop. Markup lets you quickly fill out and sign forms, and annotate images from within the Mail app. MailDrop lets you send large video files (up to 5GB) to any email address. These files are uploaded to the user’s iCloud account.

Notification Centre and Spotlight also get some major changes in Yosemite. Notification Centre will now add a ‘Today’ view that allows you to quickly glance at your calendar, stocks, weather and social networks. Apple says it will open it up for third-parties to add new ‘widgets’ to see more information. Spotlight gets a brand new user interface similar to another third-party app Alfred, and includes instant web search results from Wikipedia, Bing, and the App, iTunes and iBooks stores.

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Apple is also pushing closer integration between Mac OS X and iOS devices. AirDrop sharing will now work between the two operating systems, while a new feature called ‘Handoff’ will let you start an activity on device and finish it on another. Users will also be able to tether your phone automatically and create an instant hotspot.

Mac OS X users will also be able to view text messages sent from the phone and compose new text messages in the Messages app. They will be able to make and receive calls using their Mac acting as a speakerphone.

Developers will be getting access to a developer preview today, with a public beta launching later in this quarter. Apple is planning for a spring release for Yosemite, and it will be free for all existing customers.