Apple unveils OS X 10.10 'Yosemite' with flatter design, new features and more

At its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco today, Apple unveiled the latest version of OS X, the operating system that runs on its Mac computers. Named 'Yosemite,' the new operating system features a flatter design than previous versions and introduces more features found in iOS to the desktop. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the two operating systems have been made to work "seamlessly together." 

Mac OS X is now installed on 80 million computers, according to Cook, with over 50% of those running OS X Mavericks. Compared to Windows, this adoption is impressive when viewed as a percentage. On stage, Cook showed a slide comparing adoption of Windows 8 to OS X Mavericks. Windows 8 is installed on just 14% of PCs. However, it seems somewhat less impressive when you consider that 14% of Windows PCs is still larger than the entire OS X user base. 

The name comes from "beautiful places in California" and is a departure from big cats which Apple used for some time when naming OS X versions. This update is about "Interface, Apps and Continuity" according to Apple, focusing on a new interface and enhancements to Apple's own apps. The continuity part comes from Apple's desire to combine as many aspects of iOS and OS X into one, seen here in the design. 

The operating system refresh includes tweaks to the dock and elsewhere. Icons now appear on a flat background rather than slanted 'dock'. Apple have updated the look of many of their own dock icons, right down the trash can. Safari, Finder and System Preferences to name a few have no taken on flatter and sleeker designs to blend with the visual refresh. Apple has also introduced a new 'launcher' which replaces Spotlight. It can index apps, documents, contacts, mail and so on to find information and perform tasks in a style similar to Alfred for Mac.

Notification Centre has also received an update, inspired by iOS 7. Whereas previously only notifications were shown, Apple now includes a "Today" view (with appointments and so on) as well as widgets for things like Stocks and the weather. 

The design is heavily inspired by iOS 7 with translucent panels, a lack of gradients and textures. App edges are now sharper and can change color based on the background chosen by the user. A new "dark mode" has also been introduced which, as the name suggests, dims the background to enable a better focus on one thing.

Apple also introduced iCloud Drive which can sync files across Macs and is natively available in a way that Dropbox or Google Drive aren't. The functionality appears to be same with files syncing to other Macs (and Windows PCs) just as Dropbox would. 

Apple has updated its own apps, too, including Mail which now has a much sleeker look akin to an iOS application.

Safari has also received an update with a new stripped down design removing much of the Chrome effect used in the previous versions. Safari has also been updated to the latest Web standards with a "multi-tab browsing efficiency" exactly 9.7 times better than the competition. According to Apple, a MacBook Air can get an extra 2 hours of Netflix playback in the new Safari. Tab viewing has also been updated grouping tabs together in a overall view mode. Apple have also introduced an image editor to Safari, called Markup, which can editor and send photos right from within the app. 

Apple also introduced a new feature called "Hand-off" which allows a user to carry on work that was started on a Mac on an iPad and vice versa. Using proximity awareness, a user can continue writing a mail message on their Mac that they started on their iPhone. WiFi hotspots can now be started from the Mac, too, when it detects that the iPhone is in range.

The iPhone can also be used as a pass through device with Apple announcing the ability to take a call or reply to a text on your Mac via your iPhone, separate from iMessage. This a feature unlike anything on Windows or Android and could prove useful for working on your Mac; simply have your iPhone close by and be able to send texts and make calls without looking away from your Mac. Apple demoed this feature by calling Dr Dre - now an Apple employee - live on stage. 

Apple also teased a new way of organizing photos within OS X which looks very similar to the Photos app on iOS but is on a Mac and is called, unsurprisingly, Photos. Apple updated iCloud and Photo Stream at WWDC 2014 to include all of your photos, not just the most recent 1,000 as before. Beyond just storing photos, the app can also edit them in a similar fashion to iPhoto. The app, according to Apple, is coming soon. 

OS X Yosemite is available to developers today - and to everyone else in the fall - and will be free. 

Images via MacRumors

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Of course flat design and transparencies look good only when Apple does it.

Anyway, it looks good, but seriously, the transparencies are excessive.

"A new "dark mode" has also been introduced which, as the name suggests, dims the background to enable a better focus on one thing."

Nope, that's not what the name suggest at all...

Love all of the butthurt MS fanboys, "They are copying windows!" lol yeah right, Mac OS has always been minimalist in design since day one, its their design principle, even in their hardware. Its Windows that copied Mac, not the other way around...like always MS follows Apple when it comes to UI

DBrandUSA said,
The UI looks great on the updated OS, very nicely integrated. Can not say the same for any Android device.

I like how we're talking about a desktop os and you bring a mobile os you dont like in to it. Stock Android is pretty nicely integrated, plus you can actually set default apps on Android e.g. a Maps app, allowing you to transition between apps easily.

I do however agree the updated OSX looks pretty nice, even better that it will be free again.

InsaneNutter said,
I like how we're talking about a desktop os and you bring a mobile os you dont like in to it. Stock Android is pretty nicely integrated, plus you can actually set default apps on Android e.g. a Maps app, allowing you to transition between apps easily.

He's mentioning the deeper integration between OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, which is a very valid topic.

Master of Earth said,
I hope they won't take away the option of choosing 3D dock.

Can't tell if sarcasm.

Apple added a hidden 2D dock option called glass (it was blackish) but removed it in 10.9, which ###### me off. Looks like it is back, finally!

Edit: wtf? "######" is a censored word?

myxomatosis said,
Who cares about touch support on a DESKTOP OS except Microsoft zealots? ;)

That Microsoft desktop OS runs on more than just desktops and laptops. Been like that for over a decade.

myxomatosis said,

Touch support for OS X?

Who cares about touch support on a DESKTOP OS except Microsoft zealots? ;)

I took a screenshot of your post for reference. I will compare this post to your new post when Apple finally releases a touch friendly update to their OS.

*Grabs popcorn*

DBrandUSA said,
I will compare this post to your new post when Apple finally releases a touch friendly update to their OS.

*Grabs popcorn*


Apple already did, it's called iOS. Released all the back in 2007.

.Neo said,

Apple already did, it's called iOS. Released all the back in 2007.
Well, clearly we are referring to the OS and not Mobile OS here in this thread. Nice try though.

neonspark said,
no touch support huh?
Most don't give a rats behind about touch support on the desktop. In fact, most Windows 8 users don't even own a touchscreen or probably even think about it.

JHBrown said,
Most don't give a rats behind about touch support on the desktop. In fact, most Windows 8 users don't even own a touchscreen or probably even think about it.

That's a rather narrow minded view when 1) it runs on more than just desktops, and 2) there are other uses for a PC than home users sitting on their butt surfing the web.. there's Windows systems all over the place that are doing more than just showing a start menu. Don't try to sell a lack of a feature as a feature ;) Not sure why you're singling out Windows 8 either.. touch has been supported for over a decade.

Max Norris said,

That's a rather narrow minded view when 1) it runs on more than just desktops, and 2) there are other uses for a PC than home users sitting on their butt surfing the web.. there's Windows systems all over the place that are doing more than just showing a start menu. Don't try to sell a lack of a feature as a feature ;) Not sure why you're singling out Windows 8 either.. touch has been supported for over a decade.
Fair enough.

DBrandUSA said,
Well, clearly we are referring to the OS and not Mobile OS here in this thread. Nice try though.

OS X already works brilliantly with multi-touch trackpads. It's clear most desktop users aren't interested in touch screens.

They are so blockheaded that they have actually convinced themselves that no one would want to use touchscreen on a laptop or desktop. I for one love using a touchscreen on my desktop computer and often pull it forward and play games on it like a bar top arcade machine. I'm a little incredulous that this hasn't become a common feature on iMac's. I think Apple is stuck just like they were before OSX.

cigamrorrim said,
They are so blockheaded that they have actually convinced themselves that no one would want to use touchscreen on a laptop or desktop. I for one love using a touchscreen on my desktop computer and often pull it forward and play games on it like a bar top arcade machine. I'm a little incredulous that this hasn't become a common feature on iMac's. I think Apple is stuck just like they were before OSX.
There is simply no demand for touch on the desktop. Microsoft would love for us to believe that, but there just isn't. One day? Maybe. If the ergonomics work.

JHBrown said,
There is simply no demand for touch on the desktop. Microsoft would love for us to believe that, but there just isn't. One day? Maybe. If the ergonomics work.

And for the third time, it's not just for the home desktop, touch has been part of the OS since XP and has well established uses for years. It's only getting so much attention now due to touch oriented devices becoming so prevalent.

DBrandUSA said,

I took a screenshot of your post for reference. I will compare this post to your new post when Apple finally releases a touch friendly update to their OS.

*Grabs popcorn*

Touchscreen PCs = a gimmick. There's not demand for this, deal with it.

The iOS - Mac integration is amazing. Love the fact all text messages and phone calls are being transferred to the desktop as well.

The new desktop is great too, looking really clean. Note how Apple is able to introduce a new icon set actually matching the new desktop. In sharp contrast how Microsoft still clings on to Windows Vista-7 era artwork even though it clashes horribly with their flat window look.

while OSX is the same old tire OS and a few new tricks with iOS won't save it, I have to agree that when they talk about UI changes, they go end to end. MSFT takes several iterations. However, let's be fair, MSFT is also adding support for touch and tablets while they do this so in many ways, apple just doing icons seems rather pointless.

Apple has iOS for tablets and OS X works brilliantly with multi-touch trackpads too. The fact not a single third party company is bothering with Windows RT anymore shows how the public feels about Microsoft's desktop/mobile crossbreed design.

If you actually think icons is the only thing new maybe you should watch the keynote again.

Just about what i was expecting and can't complain...

I'm most excited about iOS and OSX integrated, it looked great.

suprNOVA said,
Like All Apple fans: ZOMG AMAZING.
Not all! I don't speak "basement teen". So "ZOMG" is something I can't relate to.

JHBrown said,
Not all! I don't speak "basement teen". So "ZOMG" is something I can't relate to.

But you have a 7 year old daughter, surely you've had to translate at some point? ;)

Really loving the proximity based Mac-iPhone integration.

It's this sort of stuff that keeps me in the Apple ecosystem.

"Mac OS X in now installed on 80 million computers, according to Cook, with over 50% of those running OS X Mavericks. Compared to Windows, this adoption is impressive. On stage, Cook showed a slide comparing adoption of Windows 8 to OS X Mavericks. Windows 8 is installed on just 14% of PCs."

Yeah and that 14% is still more than 200 million PC's, over double that of the ENTIRE Mac OS X install base.

From the live blog.

Macrumors said,
Also made privacy settings better, adding something similar to Chrome's Incognito mode.

Try exact copy.

ians18 said,
From the live blog.


Try exact copy.

Private browsing has been in Safari since the Lion release. They've just tweaked it

DomZ said,

Private browsing has been in Safari since the Lion release. They've just tweaked it

Yea, I was going to say... I used Private Browsing years ago on Safari. I think it was even before Lion; actually, I'm sure it was at least Leopard or Tiger.

Dot Matrix said,
Apple forgot to read the memo that glass died out years ago.

Apparently so did Microsoft... as the taskbar is still transparent

Dot Matrix said,
Apple forgot to read the memo that glass died out years ago.

Good. Not everything needs to conform to your limited, tunnel vision view of UI (*cough* modern).

CJEric said,

on Windows it did.

Not sure whether I'm a fan of seeing it in OS X though...

Seems to be a better implementation than 10.2 Jaguar, but I don't think it's necessary.

Dot Matrix said,
Apple forgot to read the memo that glass died out years ago.

Didnt know that MS dictates what's in or out in GUI design...

Seriously man, you used to be more rational, years ago.

Cosmocronos said,

It is a Park in the US.

Or it's that ornery fella with the thick moustache in the cartons. Varment!!!
OK I gotta vamoose.

iAgree. The whole iThis eThat is lingo from the early years of the internet, and it got lame fast. I always said they should have gone with a name like another apple type or something when they released the iphone.

.Neo said,
You'd rather not have this functionality build into the system?

No, I was just saying they could have came up with a better name.

iCloud Drive just reminds me of Google Drive and OneDrive.

I'm sure they could have just announced that they expanded iCloud and left the name that way.

I can't help but seeing the number 10.9 > 10.10

Though, I was hoping the next version was going to be OS 11

Did you read the article? Specifically this bit

"OS X Yosemite is available to developers today - and to everyone else in the fall - and will be free. "

Pluto is a Planet said,
Not free for everyone: free as an update.

Mavericks was free to everyone going as far back as Snow Leopard users - which was 3 revisions before it

DomZ said,

Mavericks was free to everyone going as far back as Snow Leopard users - which was 3 revisions before it

Exactly, so only people who have older software (3 versions of OS X) can get it for free and everyone else would have to pay to get it.

Actually, the last two OS X releases were free for anyone running Snow Leopard or later; however, less of Apple's hardware base (in terms of percentages AND in terms of hard numbers) has been compatible with each newer OS release; surprisingly, there are a greater number of non-Apple-branded desktops and portables (whether they support touch or not!) that are cross-compatible with either Mavericks or Yosemite than is the case with Apple's own hardware - and that is across a mere two OEMs - Dell and Acer Group. (Yes - my choosing the two OEMs with the WORST reputations on Neowin was done on purpose.)

Nobody had to pay to get Mavericks. Since they only provide their OS on their own hardware, anybody who bought their hardware and ergo had a legit copy of OS X could get it.

Everybody got it for free. They do not sell it separately - there is no paid version.

I don't know how this is so difficult to understand.

Pluto is a Planet said,
Exactly, so only people who have older software (3 versions of OS X) can get it for free and everyone else would have to pay to get it.

Who's "everyone else?" OS X can only be installed on supported Intel Apple machines... and those had those older OSes! And those machines that couldnt qualify for the update did not have to pay for anything either!

God! can you be more dense?

sanctified said,

Who's "everyone else?" OS X can only be installed on supported Intel Apple machines... and those had those older OSes! And those machines that couldnt qualify for the update did not have to pay for anything either!
That's exactly my point, that you have to pay quite a sum of money in order to get OS X in the first place because you have to buy computers from Apple. Talk about free updates? You paid for that up-front, so it's essentially a downfall.

That's not correct at all. You used to pay for your Mac and then the new versions of OS X were over $100. Then they dropped it to $20 or whatever it was. And now it is free.

The comparision to Windows 8 market share is kind of unfair. I mean, the 10.9 update was available for almost the whole user base of Mac OS, as long as they where running 10.6 or higher on a non PowerPC device. While Windows 8.1 was only available for all Windows 8 users and Windows 8 was a paid upgrade. And still it managed to get a larger userbase then OS X 10.9 and even OS X on its whole.

Studio384 said,
I mean, the 10.9 update was available for almost the whole user base of Mac OS, as long as they where running 10.6 or higher on a non PowerPC device.

That's what they want you to believe. My unsupported early 2008 Intel MacBook running 10.7 says otherwise. It was only supported for 4 years.

rfirth said,

That's what they want you to believe. My unsupported early 2008 Intel MacBook running 10.7 says otherwise. It was only supported for 4 years.

That's odd as my mid 2007 iMac got 10.9 as did my 2007 Macbook Pro so I can only imagine you are a very unselect few.

Depicus said,

That's odd as my mid 2007 iMac got 10.9 as did my 2007 Macbook Pro so I can only imagine you are a very unselect few.

mid-2007 or newer iMac
aluminum MacBook, 2009 or newer polycarbonate MacBook
2007 or newer MacBook Pro
late-2008 or newer MacBook Air
2009 or newer Mac Mini
2008 or newer Mac Pro
2009 Xserve

And that same MacBook would make for a dangerous Windows 8.1 portable, despite it NOT being able to run Mavericks OR Yosemite - which my (far older) traditional desktop is perfectly capable of doing. By the way, the desktop dates back to 2006.

Way to sabotage your own hardware base, Apple.

A lot more than I thought - although to be fair to all OS makers none of them owe us an update. It's great to see Windows 8.1 running just fine on a 2011 Air but when it doesn't get any more updates not sure I can be bitter.

JHBrown said,
Looking good Apple.

Of course it's looking good. They took the flat concept of Win 8, flat icons, flat everything. The same flat concept that almost every Apple fan ridiculed. So what does Apple do? Copy!!! Now all of a sudden it's "looking good Apple".

I'm not interested in a war here. It's my opinion and I am voicing it. Lets debate this like two rational people with differing opinions. I am always up for a good debate. What say you JHBrown?

Gergel7077 said,

Of course it's looking good. They took the flat concept of Win 8, flat icons, flat everything. The same flat concept that almost every Apple fan ridiculed. So what does Apple do? Copy!!! Now all of a sudden it's "looking good Apple".

I'm not interested in a war here. It's my opinion and I am voicing it. Lets debate this like two rational people with differing opinions. I am always up for a good debate. What say you JHBrown?

I respect your opinion.

Gergel7077 said,

Of course it's looking good. They took the flat concept of Win 8, flat icons, flat everything. The same flat concept that almost every Apple fan ridiculed. So what does Apple do? Copy!!! Now all of a sudden it's "looking good Apple".

I'm not interested in a war here. It's my opinion and I am voicing it. Lets debate this like two rational people with differing opinions. I am always up for a good debate. What say you JHBrown?

I'm not an Apple lover, but what You say makes no sense to anyone but You. Apple's design has no touching points with Metro design, and from these screenshots we are seeing nothing is flat in new Mac OSX, gradients are everywhere.

Yogurth said,

I'm not an Apple lover, but what You say makes no sense to anyone but You. Apple's design has no touching points with Metro design, and from these screenshots we are seeing nothing is flat in new Mac OSX, gradients are everywhere.


I never said anything about the design. I specifically referred to the flat icons and overall flat look. It was completely trashed when iOS and Mac OSX had the 3D look. Now that Apple has gone the flat route, well all of a sudden all's right with the flat 2D world. Read the headline "flatter design".

Gergel7077 said,

Of course it's looking good. They took the flat concept of Win 8, flat icons, flat everything. The same flat concept that almost every Apple fan ridiculed. So what does Apple do? Copy!!! Now all of a sudden it's "looking good Apple".

Apple are hardly copying Windows 8 here. Flat styled interface design has been around long before Windows 8 was anything. It's not like the "flat" interface was some radical design initiative by MS. I mean, there were themes designed & built by hobbyists back in the XP, that were flat.

This new Apple UI might be "flat" but it does not look like anything MS has done.

Maybe flat styling has "been around long before..." and maybe it is not some "radical design initiative by MS" but it is MS who recently decided to break with the gradients and gloss to embrace this aesthetic BEFORE Apple is it not? The design itself is not new, but the reintroduction of it sure is...
To deny MS choice (made almost a couple years ago by this time) did not influence Apple's design choice is ludicrous. Why, it's just coincidental then isn't it?!?

Lamp0 said,

Apple are hardly copying Windows 8 here. Flat styled interface design has been around long before Windows 8 was anything. It's not like the "flat" interface was some radical design initiative by MS. I mean, there were themes designed & built by hobbyists back in the XP, that were flat.

This new Apple UI might be "flat" but it does not look like anything MS has done.

It's true that Microsoft did not "invent" flat design, but they certainly did popularize it, especially because of the scale and breadth of their technology. Their Xboxes, phones, and computers all had flat design back when Apple fanboys thought it was "ugly" and looking like "Fisher Price" toys. Now what's changed? Only Apple's direction, and suddenly all their fans think flat is great.

Also I hate their naming scheme. Don't they realize that, for most all of the computer science world, 10.10 is a lower version number than 10.2? In fact, 10.10 is simply 10.1 with a redundant 0. They should have just jumped over to OS 11.

One more thing: please no long shadows. That is a tacky trend that should die sooner rather than later.

mzta cody said,
Maybe flat styling has "been around long before..." and maybe it is not some "radical design initiative by MS" but it is MS who recently decided to break with the gradients and gloss to embrace this aesthetic BEFORE Apple is it not? The design itself is not new, but the reintroduction of it sure is...
To deny MS choice (made almost a couple years ago by this time) did not influence Apple's design choice is ludicrous. Why, it's just coincidental then isn't it?!?

I do not think Apple chose a flatter styled UI because MS did it. Possibly they were influenced by MS. Though I don't think the flat styles of Windows 8 inspires much.

I think it's more likely Apple were inspired by web & print media.

But I don't work as a designer at Apple, so I don't know.

Edited by Lamp0, Jun 2 2014, 9:43pm :

Ozood said,

Like they are reading your posts.

And what else does anyone expect you to post?

Got you to read my post and state nothing relevant to the topic.

Lamp0 said,

I do not think Apple chose a flatter styled UI because MS did it. Possibly they were influenced by MS...........

read that back and tell me that's not self defeating?

If apple were influenced by MS's design then that by definition means they chose their new design because of MS's - the meaning of influence..

JHBrown said,
Guys, everyone is influenced by their competitors in some way or the other.

I agree with that. But if Apple ever does a live tile thing on iOS, that will be straight up copying. Even Samsung has started doing that which was something exclusive to MS.

Gergel7077 said,

I agree with that. But if Apple ever does a live tile thing on iOS, that will be straight up copying. Even Samsung has started doing that which was something exclusive to MS.
I've had live tiles since Windows XP from third party companies.

mzta cody said,
Maybe flat styling has "been around long before..." and maybe it is not some "radical design initiative by MS" but it is MS who recently decided to break with the gradients and gloss to embrace this aesthetic BEFORE Apple is it not? The design itself is not new, but the reintroduction of it sure is...
To deny MS choice (made almost a couple years ago by this time) did not influence Apple's design choice is ludicrous. Why, it's just coincidental then isn't it?!?

It is not because Apple is no where near the same vicinity of what Microsoft is doing with Modern. The trend to tone down UI elements started before Microsoft introduced what was originally known as Metro. If you look at OS X over the years, you will see that. Sure Forstall and Jobs tried to shoe horn in skeumorphic elements, but those were met with harsh criticism, so they were reversed. OS X started out with a candy like pinstriped interface with transparencies that were dropped in favor of brushed metal and glass, which were dropped for a darker gradient of grey, to now a softer gradient with transparencies.

I agree that Microsoft was the first company to fully embrace the flat concept, but they're still the only company to fully embrace it. Look at the new icons for OS X. I'm still trying to figure out how those are a copy of whats in Windows 8. There are few flat elements in OS X, yes, but they're drowned out by the gradients, shadows, and transparencies, which are used to simulate layers not flatness.

JHBrown said,
I've had live tiles since Windows XP from third party companies.

You have me curious. What 3rd party programs have you used?

benthebear said,

It is not because Apple is no where near the same vicinity of what Microsoft is doing with Modern. The trend to tone down UI elements started before Microsoft introduced what was originally known as Metro. If you look at OS X over the years, you will see that. Sure Forstall and Jobs tried to shoe horn in skeumorphic elements, but those were met with harsh criticism, so they were reversed. OS X started out with a candy like pinstriped interface with transparencies that were dropped in favor of brushed metal and glass, which were dropped for a darker gradient of grey, to now a softer gradient with transparencies.

I agree that Microsoft was the first company to fully embrace the flat concept, but they're still the only company to fully embrace it. Look at the new icons for OS X. I'm still trying to figure out how those are a copy of whats in Windows 8. There are few flat elements in OS X, yes, but they're drowned out by the gradients, shadows, and transparencies, which are used to simulate layers not flatness.


The new OSX icons are a mishmash of like 10 different styles. From metro to nearly old 3d icons with slightly less shading, it's very schizophrenic.

duddit2 said,

read that back and tell me that's not self defeating?

If apple were influenced by MS's design then that by definition means they chose their new design because of MS's - the meaning of influence..

hmm perhaps I phrased what I meant incorrectly. My point was that I don't think Apple's design team, upon seeing MS go with the flat style, say, "oh flat, let's do that with our next system.".

At the same time I'd imagine their designers are very much looking at what MS is doing, as well as other competitors are doing.... and everything graphics design especially interface wise, & ms probably does the same. Influence goes back & fourth & all around.

It's not like Apple lifted actual theme here, they just used a similar ideal, but in a different way.