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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  • techconc - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    "The display is great. Pity that it can only run at 30fps at 5k though."
    Not that facts are important to your rant, but the iMac 5K Retina is confirmed to have a 60hz refresh rate.
  • Sleepingforest - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    The refresh rate doesn't matter when the GPU is incapable of pushing updated frames at the same speed.
  • The Von Matrices - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    I can't make a testament to the software issues on Macs. However, non-replaceable components are par for the course in thin and light laptops, whether they are sold by Apple or another company.

    I don't think you will find any laptops nowadays (other than desktop replacements) that have user replaceable RAM, and most of them have internal batteries that require disassembling of the entire laptop to replace.
  • ex2bot - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    As a Mac user since 2001, I can assure you there aren't many "software issues." OS X is a powerful, energy efficient OS. I left my unplugged MacBook Pro on overnight with a 70% charge (sleep disabled), expecting it to be dead in the morning. Imagine my surprise when it was still running in the morning.
  • mdvision - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Hp Folio 9480m....replaceable RAM, HD, battery. Secondary slice battery for a real use 14 plus hour runtime. 3 yr. bumper to bumper warranty included. Magnesium and aluminum. Docking station accessory. Typing this on one. Thin and light ultrabook built to military spec with matte 1600x900 display. Killer device and shocking to my MacBook owner acquaintances. FYI 8GB RAM, 256 Sammy 840 Pro SSD, and top wireless components as well.

    Agree with the Apple criticism here. OSX REALLY overrated and lots of documented Apple hardware issues in the forums. As far as references go...if no SD slot or replaceable battery in a cell phone I will not purchase it. Ewaste will be the legacy of Apple.
  • JimK85 - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Ahh another young generation learning about the eventual limits in the pretty Apple ecosphere. As you are realizing if you want customization and control to the max.. Apple is not the way to go.
  • retrospooty - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    Is it me or did this entire article seem like another Apple arse kissing extravaganza? I just don't know about this site anymore.
  • at80eighty - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    sort of lean on this as well, however in brandon's defence; it is labelled as a look at the OS's, and not a standard AT review
  • mudman - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    The article is named "a look at os x yosemite and ios 8.1".

    I don't expect to read about linux or windows in this article anyway.
  • retrospooty - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    Yes, it is titled "a look at os x yosemite and ios 8.1" ... I dont think anyone was expecting Linux or Windows... It just seems to cover all the positives and ignore all the negatives.

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