Sunday, June 08, 2014

Mac OSX Yosemite: First Impressions - 1

Having downloaded the first developer preview of the Mac OS X Yosemite, I'm currently putting it thru its paces. As had been widely expected, OS X has been given a full facial uplift with new colours, new transparency and new icons.

Note the new icons for everything from the Finder to the calculator and the Trash basket. Also the slightly new colours of the minimise, close, and full screen buttons.

On the whole it took me a day to adjust to the new colours, but now that I'm past that I'm liking the new look. Its not a dramatic departure so it is still familiar, but it does look nice and fresh.

The window close, minimise, and full screen buttons (red,, yellow, and green) look flat to go with the rest of the interface. Also the green button now always takes you to full screen mode - there is no dedicated full screen button on the right side of the window as before.

The other big visual change is in the notifications area, which now contains a Today tab. This contains widgets for things like calendar, weather etc and you can customise it by clicking on the edit button at the botton. Nothing earth shattering, but nice to have.

Usability wise, the thing I'm really liking is the new iCould folder in the Finder - which behaves exactly like my dropbox folder did. Note how it has automatically created a separate subfolder for each app from which I'm saving files on the cloud. Be warned however that turning this on means you must also upgrade to iOS8 beta to access these files - they won't be visible from iOS 7.

Finally, there is the new spotlight. This is a major improvement in usability and looks. While it works mostly like before, the built-in previews tab makes finding things even easier.

This developer preview version is quite stable, but I do see crashes and freezes from time to time as can be expected from any beta version. I have not seen any compatibility issues with any apps yet. It is very much usable, but if it is your primary work machine, proceed with caution for now

The other set of changes are in Safari which has undergone a complete interface refresh with a cleaner look and more compact toolbars and controls - more on that later perhaps.

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