Earlier today, Apple held it’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC,) and if you follow TechDissected on Google+ and Twitter, our streams were going crazy with all the new bits and pieces that Apple has to offer. During today’s Keynote, Apple covered three main pieces of next software for developers and users alike. Before CEO Tim Cook even took the stage, Apple played a video from iOS users around the world, talking about what their favorite apps were, and you can see that video below.

One of the big themes for this years WWDC, was the fact that today was the 25th anniversary of WWDC. The conference started in 1989, and has grown to massive proportions, so much so, that Apple has been streaming the annual WWDC Keynote, for a few years now. Tim Cook even made it a point to mention that 200 student developers were invited for the first time ever, and there were a grand total of around 6000 different attendees to this years WWDC. After all the hooray’s quieted, the first focus of today was the newest Mac OSX Operating System, Yosemite.

If you did follow TechDissected during the keynote today, you would’ve seen a picture showing off two iMacs with the OS already installed, for demoing purposes. This normally does not happen, and it surely seems that someone forgot to throw on the black curtains, or put the computers to sleep, before the conference actually began.

Yosemite On Macbook Pro

Before Tim Cook started speaking about Yosemite, and before he introduced Craig Federighi, he spoke about the number of Mavericks adopters and compared them to the users of Windows 8. This was just the beginning of a slew of pokes and jabs at Windows, and Android users. At 14 million downloads, Mavericks became the most installed OS in Apple history, so Apple wanted to try and build upon that number with Yosemite.

Yosemite

Yosemite Desktop

Yosemite is a complete redesign to OSX, and while it’s base is still with OSX Mavericks, many of the core applications and functionalities of the OS have been redesigned from the ground up. The first image that was shown on the screen, was of a Macbook Pro Retina with three different, redesigned apps from Yosemite. At first glance, you can immediately see that the dock and icons have been changed, and Mr. Federighi even made a joke about how beautiful the Trash icon looked in Yosemite.

With the flat design of the OS and the responsive, translucent panels, along with the flatter icons, Yosemite is definitely drawing from the design of iOS 7, to bring a more uniform experience. Of course, there was more to learn about iOS 8 later in the day, but at the time, iOS 8 had yet to be shown. Something else that caught my attention immediately, was the fact that Craig Federighi announced that there is an all new “dark mode”, which dims the entire interface so that you can better focus, or just for the aesthetics. I’ll be using the dark mode for the latter.

Spotlight

Yosemite Spotlight Redesign

The first new feature that Apple presented today was the updated Spotlight. For those who don’t know, Spotlight is a quick search functionality, built into the OS, so that you can quickly find any documents, files, pictures, on your computer, with ease. As an OSX user, I no longer use Spotlight, due to the fact that there are third-party applications, like Alfred that replace Spotlight, and allow me to search in more places than just what’s on my computer.

Spotlight allows users to not only search for documents and files on their computers, but it will also allow you to search web results, and as demoed, let you search for movie times, if you input a new movie into the search bar. The second largest change, in my opinion, is that Spotlight is no longer confined to the top right hand corner of your screen. Click the Command and Space Bar, and Spotlight appears in the middle of your screen, allowing you to have more screen real estate for whatever it is that you’re searching.

Notification Center

Apple’s Notification Center for OSX has had a bit of a revamping as well, with the new “Today” view for calendar, reminders, and more. With Yosemite, there is also the ability to add other “widgets” to the Notification Center, and that’s something that will be touched on a little later. The Today view for OSX is extremely similar to the Today view found on iOS and once we touch on iOS 8, you will know why.

iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive Yosemite

iCloud syncing, for me, has always been a fairly large hassle. Even today, I was having issues with my PhotoStream not syncing properly from my iPad, to my MacBook Pro. So I was relieved when I heard the members from Apple mention that they have redesigned iCloud to work instantaneously with your Finder window in Yosemite. What this means, is that you will be able to view and select any files stored to a user’s iCloud account from within the Finder on your Mac. You can write up a document in Pages, and it will instantly be viewable on your Mac. Apple also stated that iCloud Drive will not only work with iOS and OSX devices, but also from Windows computers, as well.

Safari

Yosemite Safari

Apple’s favorite browser, Safari, received a very significant update with Yosemite. Going back to the iOS 7 roots, with a minimalist feel to its’ applications, Safari will now have a single bar at the top of the page, which will include the URL bar, as well as a couple of the regular options, including an integrated share menu. When trying to click a new tab, you can see all the thumbnails of the tabs that are already open within Safari. Apple has also updated the JavaScript for Safari, making it the fastest browser available today, while using the least amount of memory, in tests between Chrome and FireFox.

Continuity

Continuity

From the beginning of the Keynote, just about everyone who came on stage, spoke about Continuity. This is the idea of Apple helping users make the switch between OS X and iOS, without any hiccups, or confusion. Simply leave off in one place on your iPhone, and pick up in the same place on the Mac. What makes Continuity possible in Yosemite, is a new feature that Apple has called “Handoff.” The example that Craig Federighi used on stage, was the ability to start an email on his iPhone, and then pick up in the same place, and finish the email, on the iMac, without skipping a beat.

Calling Dre

Speaking about Continuity, leads to something I’ve been wanting on my devices for as long as I’ve had a Mac and an iPhone. The ability to respond to text messages, not just iMessages from the comfort of my computer, without having to stop what I’m doing and respond. Craig Federighi called non-iOS users the “green bubble friends” and with Continuity between iOS 8 and Yosemite, you now have the ability to answer any text messages, from any users, on your Mac. Not only can you send and receive normal “green bubble” text messages, but you can also make and accept phone calls made to Handoff-friendly devices. Fresh off the heels of the Apple/Beats announcement, Federighi called new Apple employee, Dr. Dre, just to show off what you could do with Continuity. Dr. Dre thanked all of the developers for coming out, and asked Federighi what time he should come to work so that he could beat CEO Tim Cook to the office.

Wrap-Up

As a little bonus, Apple announced the ability for those, like myself, who are not developers, but want to still try out the beta of Yosemite, there is a little treat for you. If you are one of the first One Million users to go to the open beta site, and sign in with your Apple ID, you would be in queue for the program. Apple opened this beta so that they can get the opinions from the everyday person on their newest operating system. Be warned, the servers right now are absolutely slammed, and so if you are able to get through, get your Apple ID in there ASAP.

Like I mentioned above, there were a lot of demo’s that were performed by Craig Federighi and other members of the Apple team. I, for one, am really excited for the newest version of OS X, and I can only hope, that with a name like Yosemite, this version of the OS is as beautiful as the park it’s named after. Keep your eyes open for our wrap up of the latest version of iOS that was also announced today.

Website: Mac OS X Yosemite
Website: Mac OS X Yosemite Open Beta

About the author

Andrew Myrick

I'm a lover of all things technology, which happens to work perfectly with the ideology behind TechDissected. I currently carry an iPhone 6 and the Moto X 2014, but the Moto X is my current daily driver. I also have a Samsung Series 5 Laptop running Windows 10, and a 2010 15" MacBook Pro. They claim that I may or may not be the Apple "guy" around here.