It has been a busy year for Apple, although one could argue it has been more of a busy few months. The yearly updates for most of Apple's products now occur in September and October, and as a result we've seen the release of a number of new products and services in a very short period of time. On the hardware side we have the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the iPad Air 2 and Mini 3, the iMac with Retina 5K display, and a preview of the upcoming Apple Watch. The software side has arguably been even more exciting with the release of iOS 8 and its first major update iOS 8.1, OS X Yosemite, and Apple Pay. 

The theme this year appears to be integration and the power of a software and hardware ecosystem. Apple has always had some level of integration between iOS and OS X. As time went on, both operating systems began to share a core set of applications like Reminders, Calendar, and Notes. The iPad extended this even further by bringing the iWork and iLife suites to mobile. iCloud also played a key role in integrating both systems, by synchronizing documents and photos between all of a user's devices. However, the launch of iOS 7 with its visual and functional enhancements left many of the shared features and applications on OS X feeling left behind.

OS X Yosemite brings with it a massive visual overhaul, on a scale even greater than what we saw with iOS 7. This makes sense, as OS X is an operating system for desktops and laptops which makes it inherently more expansive and complex than iOS. Although OS X is not nearly as popular as iOS in terms of user base, the fact that the redesign changes some visual elements that have existed for over 14 years makes it quite a monumental moment in Apple's history. These changes finally unify the visual styles of both operating systems, which were once united but split with the launch of iOS 7.

The integration of these two operating systems goes far beyond a common type of visual design. OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1 also include new features that allow them to work together in unprecedented ways. Features like Handoff blur the borders between the iPhone, the Mac, and the iPad by allowing you to continue work you began on one device on another. SMS and call forwarding takes communication abilities that were typically reserved for the iPhone and brings them to every device.

There's a lot to talk about, and it all begins at the aesthetic level with the new design of Yosemite.

A New Design For OS X
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  • EnzoFX - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Do you really think the average joe is removing screws and changing ram? lol
  • designerfx - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    I see you skiping over the soldered ram and battery part. Let me assure you, that matters just as much as forcing things to be command line is equally stupid. That's the opposite of good UX design.
  • cgpublic - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    "As a long term OSX power user and a long term Android power user I feel constantly dissapointed by OSX updates." If you say so.

    "I certainly understand Apple efforts to unify their experiences and make them consistent under the same ecosystem. That's good for their business." It also provides a benefit to users.

    "Unfortunately I'm on a situation where OSX for me is more a handicap than something I'd like to pay for, and that's something which is reinforced on every single release." Handicap? Compared to Linux or Windows? Please expand this thought. Also, you are not directly paying for OS, you pay for the HW.

    "I will not use a system which is focused to my grandma and obfuscates all the advanced features under complex bash commands in an effort to make them not available to the users. I will not buy a 2K laptop with soldered RAM and battery, let alone the stupid joke the new iMac is." The purpose of a GUI to simplify user interaction. You can choose Terminal if that is your preference. Also, there are very real technical benefits to soldered RAM and non-replaceable batteries. The new iMac is the best desktop for most users at that price point, i.e., fastest and best display.

    "I'm sad, because OS X has been my main driver for some many years. But I'm not buying the Apple ecosystem, and apparently that's all that Apple wants to sell now." I guess Apple should be focused on selling other systems, say Microsoft, Google or Samsung. I can't say if you are paid to post this drivel, but if you are, you're overpaid.
  • Speedfriend - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    "Unfortunately I'm on a situation where OSX for me is more a handicap than something I'd like to pay for, and that's something which is reinforced on every single release." Handicap? Compared to Linux or Windows? Please expand this thought. Also, you are not directly paying for OS, you pay for the HW.

    I am with him on this, since I upgraded my iMac to Mavericks I have found it a pain to use, especially around saving and access commonly/recently used files. Now I am sure that I could spend some time finding out how to do it better, but I use a windows machine at work so have now bought a win 8 laptop with touch screen which is a revelation in useabilty. somethings are just so much easier and more natural with atouchscreen given we spend all days using them on phones and tablets. I haven't touched my iMac in months now.

    And off course you are paying for OS, otherwise Apples margins would be 5% and not 30%
  • techconc - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    LOL! Really, you're having trouble accessing recently used files? Seriously? You must not really have a Mac, because even the most novice users don't struggle with such things. Seriuosly, where do you think the "Recent Items" feature from Windows came from?
  • serons - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    I very much agree with this sentiment, and for the same reasons. They have green ambitions when building power generation for them selves and when building their product but expect us consumers to buy a completely new product if a component fails or if we wish to upgrade. That's very environmentally wasteful, inefficient and expensive. No way.
  • ViewRoyal - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    "expect us consumers to buy a completely new product if a component fails or if we wish to upgrade."

    If a component fails, and you are still on warranty, you get your entire Mac replaced. The one that you exchange gets refurbished and sold as a refurb. That's NOT "environmentally wasteful, inefficient and expensive" at all!!!

    If a component fails, and (as in most cases) it is due to a defective component (and not due to misuse) Apple has covered these instances with extended warranties. I had an iMac G5 that had a capacitor burn out in its 4 year of use. This was a known defective component, and Apple replaced it with a current iMac with Intel processor at no cost to me.

    Some Macs have user upgradable RAM, and some Macs don't. Those that don't are usually lower end, so it is important to buy one with the RAM you need. Nobody complains because they can't upgrade the RAM in their smartphone or tablet, so you should be used to this, especially in a Mac that costs less than the full price of a smartphone or tablet!

    All Macs have upgradeable internal storage, either by the user, or by an Apple Store or certified Apple provider. In addition, all Macs come with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectors for fast external storage. So internal AND external storage is definitely upgradeable!

    Your complaints really have no merit.
  • blackcrayon - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    It's actually hard to overestimate how great it is to have Thunderbolt on non Macs that never had pci slots (mini, iMac, Air). 2 Thunderbolt ports offers more expansion opportunities than ever.
  • HKZ - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    "Your complaints really have no merit."

    Bullshit they don't. I'm on my second GPU on my 2011 MBP and probably going to have to have a third soon since I have absolutely zero confidence that it'll last very long. A $3000 machine that lasted about 4 months past its warranty and then became 100% useless. Apple's solution despite the rash of failures and repeated petitions to have them recognize a widespread failure? Pay them $700 for an in-house replacement or $300 from a third party. I paid $3000 for a machine that *barely* lasted past its warranty before it became completely useless and Apple REFUSES to recognize they have another serious problem on their hands and REFUSES to extend the warranties of the machines affected.

    Your inability to recognize reality makes me question your objectivity. Apple has a huge problem on its hands that they have 1000x the cash to instantly solve by replacing the machines wholesale and they completely refuse to acknowledge the problem exists.
  • mrd0 - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    I agree. I went through two MBP's and the third just crapped out. I'm done.

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