Updated: Watch the full event below.
Apple ditched lions, tigers, pumas, ocelots and other big kitties with last year's OS X update: Mavericks. Contrary to popular legend, it wasn't named after the Tom Cruise character from Top Gun. Mavericks is actually the name of a popular surfing destination in northern California known for big waves. Now, Apple has followed it up with another California landmark: Yosemite.
That's the name of OS X 10.10, the latest major update to Apple's Mac operating system. And it is a MAJOR update.
Yosemite features the biggest redesign to the look and feel of the interface in a long, long time. Here's a rundown of what's new:
- Apple has adopted the flat look popularized in new Windows and Android OS's. It's also lifted an aesthetic from good old Windows Vista: translucent "materials" similar to the Aero style.
- There's a new, streamlined notification center. The calendar, weather and updates are all in one place now. It's very similar to the notifications in iOS.
- Spotlight has been completely revamped. Now the search window is right in the center, plus it combs through the App Store, iTunes, iBooks, Maps, Wikipedia, and Bing in addition to your files and calendar. It's a full-on app launcher now.
- iCloud Drive is a new app that lets you browse the contents of your iCloud from the desktop. It looks and works a lot like Dropbox.
- Mail has a brand new look with a simplified, streamlined interface. There's less clutter now. A new feature called MailDrop solves the problems of recipients being unable to open files that are too large in their email client. MailDrop automatically replaces attachments that are too big with a securely hosted download link.
- Also in Mail, there's a built-in image editor that lets you annotate and sketch on pictures. It's called Markup.
- Handoff is the coolest feature new in Yosemite. It basically lets your Mac and your iPhone work together like never before. You can swipe your work from your iPhone to your Mac desktop with one gesture - immediately. The email you're writing on your phone can be seamlessly and instantly picked up on your computer. Your Mac knows when your iPhone is nearby. It can even automatically use it as a wireless hotspot based on proximity. Plus, now you can use your Mac as a speakerphone. If you're browsing on your computer, you can instantly place a call without touching your phone.
Yosemite is available to Apple developers as of right now. It will be widely released this fall, and like Mavericks, it will be completely free. Unlike Mavericks, Yosemite will be in public beta testing over the summer. Click here to find out about and sign up for Apple's public beta testing program.
In the same presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a brand new update for iPhones and iPads: iOS 8. Click here to find out what's changed in Apple's mobile operating system.