OS X Yosemite Review - To Upgrade Or Not

Apple charmed its dedicated fan base with a gleaming new OS this October. With the release of OS X Yosemite on October 16, 2014, the California based technology giant has achieved yet another milestone in a long list of amazing products. Yosemite has already won the hearts of many and is fast gaining the title of the most successful OS X ever.
While Apple products are infamous for being over-priced, Yosemite is for every pocket for the simple fact that it is offered as a free download. It’s true! Yosemite has been launched as a free upgrade for all Mac users owning a Mac machine made later than 2008. In reality, Yosemite is for all post 2008 iOS users, be it for an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. To download Yosemite you’ll need a minimum of 2GB RAM and at least 5GB of hard drive space. Downloading it also requires access to the Mac Apple Store.

Prominent Features

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting new aspects of Yosemite.

#1 - The Look

At first glimpse, Yosemite strikes the eye with a new look. Though the overall graphics seem inspired by iOS 7 and the desktop metaphor still exists, the user interface seems flatter and is equipped with translucency effects.

#2 - Continuity

One of the most striking new features of this OS X is the integration between different iOS devices. Termed as Continuity, this feature allows the integration of devices running Yosemite with devices running iOS 8 via Bluetooth LE or Wi-Fi. So now you can search for a contact on your iPhone 8 and make a call to that contact using your Mac.

#3 - Handoff

This is another aspect of the Continuity feature. With this, you could start composing an email on your Mac but finish writing it and send it via your iPad or vice versa. The two devices should be on the same Wi-Fi network.

#4 - ICloud Drive

This new feature enables smooth syncing of files and media across iOS, OS X and Windows. It works and behaves almost like Dropbox.

#5 - Instant Hotspot

With Yosemite you can use your iPhone as an instant hotspot anywhere you go. If your Mac’s Bluetooth is on and your iPhone’s Internet and Bluetooth is on, your iPhone will show up in the list of available wireless networks on Yosemite.

#6 - Spotlight & Improved Safari

Spotlight has received a major upgrade in Yosemite. When you search for an item on the Internet, Spotlight will display previews of search results from Wikipedia, Bing, your Contacts and any iTunes purchases you have on your computer. The same searching improvement can be seen in the new Safari as well. Also, the look of the browser has been matched to the flat design of Yosemite.

Comparison With Mavericks

Now that we’ve seen the major new features of OS X Yosemite, let us see some of them as compared to the earlier OS X version.

FeatureOS X Yosemite v/s OS X Mavericks
User Interface, Fonts & Icons, AirDrop

  • The default system font in Yosemite is Helvetica Neue. In Mavericks, it was Lucide Grande.
  • The bottom horizontal dock is a 2D Flat Rectangle in Yosemite, whereas it was Curved Glass Shelf in Mavericks.
  • You will notice slight changes in the battery indicator, maximize, minimize buttons, and the finder icon.
  • The AirDrop parachute icon in Mavericks is replaced by the “inverse Wi-Fi” icon in Yosemite.

iCloud DriveiCloud drive in Yosemite will enable you to access files as drive from Finder. This feature was deprecated in Mavericks.
MailMail on Yosemite has additional features, viz., Maildrop and Markup.
SpotlightIn Mavericks, a search on Spotlight returned the most likely results according to the system. It was mainly used to find help on using an application. In Yosemite, a Spotlight search will return Wikipedia, Bing, your Contacts and your iTunes search results as well.

Should You Install This Upgrade?

There’s no doubt about the fact that Yosemite is very beautiful and sleek looking and equally competent in the features it offers, but is this version of OS X suitable for you as a Mac user? That’s actually the most important question of this discussion. Even though the upgrade has been thoroughly tested and Apple even released a beta version for developers in June and for testers in July 2014, the general public might want to consider the following points before upgrading from their earlier OS X version.

#1 - Install If You Are An Existing IOS User

Yosemite will come naturally to people who already use iOS since Yosemite’s UI is inspired by iOS. Though getting used to OS X versions is not that difficult, upgrading to Yosemite might not work for you if you prefer the look-and-feel of Mavericks and previous OS X versions as compared to iOS.

#2 - There Might Still Be Some Undiscovered Bugs

Since the OS is still relatively new, there might be some undiscovered bugs that could pop up in the near future. So if you feel that bugs are a nuisance and cannot live with them at all, wait for some time before upgrading.

#3 – Some Apps Are Not Compatible

If there are some specific apps that you must use each day, check online if they are compatible with Yosemite before upgrading. If not, wait some more.

Concluding Message

In case you do decide to upgrade to Yosemite, be prepared – clean up your Mac, backup your data, keep your Apple ID and password handy and take a deep breath. We suggest, take a leap of faith. You might enjoy the experience!


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