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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  • sunnohh - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Why on earth do you expect a pc to work after warranty? Actually it sounds like it was engineered perfectly.
  • name99 - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    God this is ignorant.
    What components do you expect to fail which require a "completely new purchase"?

    Let's go through my various macs:

    I have an HTPC mac mini. Internal HD has failed, so I boot it off an SSD I stuck in a firewire enclosure.
    I have an old 17" PPC-based Macbook Pro with a sticky keyboard and more or less dead trackpad (belonged to a friend who spilled coffee on it). I use it as a digital clock.
    I have a friend's old macbook air. He (different friend) spilled diet soda on it. The screen doesn't work, neither does the keyboard. So I plugged it into a (VGA-based) LCD screen that's 10+ years old, connected a USB keyboard, and it works fine for my needs.
    I had an old Macbook whose fan died. Not ideal, but I directed an external fan at it, and kept it running for about three more years.

    etc etc. In my experience Macs last longer than PCs, and they're only getting more reliable. The part that was most likely to fail was the HD, which is gone from portables and on its way out on desktops. The GPU tended to run too hot in desktop machines from around 2006/2007 and so provided a point of failure, but nothing tends to run too hot in a modern mac. etc etc

    And when things DO fail, you can generally work around the problem pretty easily to maintain the machine as useful IF YOU WANT TO. If you are such a princess that you refuse to engage in such workarounds, that's your decision, not Apple's.
  • Sleepingforest - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    You spent extra money on an external enclosure, one of your laptops is a clock, another one is anchored in place with a keyboard and display, and the third needs a fan to be function. NONE of the latter are working laptops, in the sense of a portable computing device. And the HTPC required you to spend a non-trivial amount to keep it working.

    Significantly reduced functionality is not the same as "working," and expecting an expensive product to last in full working condition without cumbersome hacks is not the same as being a princess. If I have shoes with huge holes in the bottom I don't think "well at least it still covers the top of my foot." I replace it because it no longer fulfills it's primary role of protecting the bottom of my food, regardless of any auxiliary tasks it may still perform (and poorly at that).
  • FATCamaro - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    Trolling. Not an MBPro owner or a 13 year OSX user. Check this users posts later in the thread. They are nonsensical coming from someone who is a 13 year OS user.
  • ViewRoyal - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    Good one! (͡° ͜ʖ°)

    You are right. We come across too many of these dishonest trolls, who are just out to be a nuisance to REAL users in the comments section..
  • KPOM - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    What's wrong with the new iMac? I was impressed that they pulled off a 5K display on a $2499 computer.
  • LostAlone - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    The display is great. Pity that it can only run at 30fps at 5k though. And pity it doesn't have anything like the graphics muscle to actually display anything other than pictures at 5k too. And unlike proper computers, you can't upgrade, so you'll be making a MASSIVE sacrifice to get all those pixels. If you ever want to do anything other than look at digital photos at 5k, then you need to look elsewhere. Congrats to Apple for selling a system around a 5k display that is utterly unsuited to doing anything that requires a 5k display.
  • ex2bot - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    Wrong! You are wrong, sir! I cannot list how many ways.

    :) Seriously, I'm not a huge fan of iMacs, though I am a huge fan of Apple laptops. Your statement that the only thing the iMacs are good for is viewing pictures is ridiculously wrong. Almost as if it's a sport to you or something. The iMacs have fast processors and decent GPUs. They'd be great for photographers and general computing tasks. How about editing 4k video? They can handle that just fine.

    To recap: WRONG!
  • Sleepingforest - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    You really think a quad core mobile processor is enough (and that's exactly what it is, a mobile processor thanks to Apple's focus on the thickness of a *desktop*) to drive 4K video editing? 4K video editing is a slow crawl on my 8 thread overclocked desktop.
  • x3n0n1c - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    The iMacs use Desktop class CPUs, always have. The only exception to that is the very lowest model which uses the internals of a macbook air to cut cost.

    The GPUs are mobile class.

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