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OS X Yosemite available for free, we review all its news

The wait is over. Apple has announced that it will launch OS X Yosemite today for free for all its users . The new version of the Mac operating system is a great update with interesting new features that blur even further the border with the apple’s mobile devices. And the word to use here is continuity, the idea that OS X and iOS should offer us a smooth transition while working with both, making the most of their own virtues. Converge without giving up your identity.

Announced last June, OS X Yosemite presents a new, cleaner and more modern design that bids farewell once and for all to textures and volumes to embrace the transparencies and blurs of iOS, and where content is king. The changes are more than evident from minute one and range from translucent windows that come alive with our wallpaper to simplified toolbars that add more features while taking up less space.

OS X Yosemite available for free, we review all its news
OS X Yosemite available for free, we review all its news

Fonts, icons… everything has been polished and updated for this version. Even the traditional traffic light with the close, minimize and maximize buttons has been washed in function and shape (now close, minimize and full screen). And of course applications such as Safari, Mail or Calendar have not missed the party to wear their best clothes either.

The new Notification Center view today

If you are an iOS 8 user, you already know what the movie is about. Find in a common place easily accessible small pieces of information and tools for everyday use: the weather, our calendar and reminders, shortcuts to update our status on social networks or the calculator to do some operation without going through the Dashboard.

And my reference to Dashboard is no accident. The new Notification Center and its support for widgets that we install directly from the Mac App Store are the final blow to a long-dormant corner of our Mac.

Spotlight takes centre stage

In the absence of Siri, Spotlight has taken on a more important role by appearing in the centre of the screen when we need your help to search our archives, the Wikipedia , the articles from Apple stores or the premieres of the billboard among others. The preview makes things much faster and adapts quickly to the context to offer us currency and unit conversion , location maps, or even the latest news.

Finder + iCloud Drive = Yeah!

With the release of OS X Yosemite, iCloud Drive is no longer a pretty word to add to the list of new features in iOS 8, but the solution to one of the most persistent criticisms of mobile devices on the block and their file management. Integrated into Finder, iCloud Drive is not only a clone of DropBox (also with web version on iCloud.com) for practical purposes, but it also displays the contents of supported iOS apps in the form of folders.

I also can’t help but mention AirDrop, which now supports its mobile version to allow us to send files from iOS to Mac or vice versa quickly, wirelessly, and without any third-party apps. Select, share, choose your recipient, and you’re done.

Safari, fast, comfortable and with a focus on your privacy

The redesign of Safari has not only streamlined it, it has also improved its functionality by unifying all the tabs we have open on our computer and on other devices into a single view, or by making our Bookmarks more accessible. And if you like the new features of Spotlight, they also apply to the unified search and address bar of the browser, with suggestions from Wikipedia among other sources.

On the privacy front, Safari now supports separate Private Browser windows and supports DuckDuckGo, an alternative to the Google search engine that doesn’t track user information.

Finally, at a deeper level, Safari integrates the latest WebKit enhancements such as support for the SPDY and WebGL web standards, support for HTML5 Premium Video Extensions, and the latest version of Apple’s Nitro JavaScript engine up to six times faster than Firefox or Chrome when running the JavaScript code of popular websites.

Mail gets in shape

The two main new features of Apple’s email client are Mail Drop and the Dial feature. The first allows you to send videos, images and files of up to 5 GB from Mail to any email address without having to go through any Wetransfer or similar services. You attach the file to the mail, send it and you don’t have to worry; Mail takes care of the rest.

As for Tagging, it consists of a new toolbar to add notes to images and PDF documents without leaving Mail. Freehand drawing, geometric shapes, text… Easy, easy.

Mac and iOS, together but not scrambled

As I said at the beginning, OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 are taking the integration of all computers and devices on the block, large and small, portable and desktop. If they’re close, we can now make and receive iPhone calls on the Mac, send or read SMS messages, or share the iPhone’s Internet connection with just a couple of clicks on the Mac.

Handoff for his part invites us to start doing something on one device and take it up on another as if it were nothing. An example: If we start writing an email in Mail for Mac and we take the iPhone we’ll see a shortcut in the blocking screen that will lead us directly to that draft. Another: You arrive home looking at a website on your iPhone and sit down in front of your iMac. Click the Safari icon to the left of the Dock to open that exact page in your glorious 27 inches.

That’s not all: Calendar adds a new Day view with a handy summary of the day; Messages allows us to title message threads, add new contacts to existing conversations, drop the ones you’re not interested in, create and send audio snippets or share our screen with another computer; QuickTime has become a tool for capturing video on our iOS 8 devices; sharing content via Apple TV even if we’re not connected to the same Wi-Fi network; and much more that we’ll be discovering with you over the next few days.

News also for developers

OS X Yosemite

From the Notification Center widgets to the extensions to add new destinations to the Share menu to the new APIs to integrate Handoff into your apps. In addition, the launch of Swift , Apple’s new programming language, technologies such as SpriteKit or SceneKit, or the extensive list of improvements to Xcode 6 open up very interesting opportunities for everyone.

We’ll update this article as soon as you can download OS X Yosemite from the Mac App Store, but if you’re one of those who likes to hit the F5 key, here’s the link where you’ll find it. You won’t regret it.

Update : Yosemite now available for download. Take a look at our installation tips.

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