What’s New In Mac OS X Yosemite

Check out the major new features of Mac OS X Yosemite. There are some major new features like iCloud Drive, Notification Center widgets, app extensions and iOS 8 continuity functions. Also be sure to check out the Video Guide to Yosemite available now in the Mac App Store.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: What’s New In Mac OS X Yosemite.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let's take a look at what is new in OS X Yosemite.

So before I get into what is new I just want to tell you about the new Video Guide to Yosemite. This is the fourth edition of the video guide series that I have done. Instead of writing a book on how to use Mac what I've done is create a series of videos and packaged it up as a Mac App. You can get this in the Mac App Store. It is broken up by chapter and you can select a chapter and then you can play it or scrub through it. You can jump around to any chapter and any part that you want and learn how to use the basics of using your Mac and using Yosemite. So check that out.

So let's start by looking at Notification Center. It comes out from the right, just like before, but now you have Today and Notifications. Two separate tabs. It is the same as iOS 8. Notifications is what you had before. It is just a list of all the most recent notifications from different apps.

Today, though, gives you a lot of cool information. For instance, there is a Stocks widget, a Weather widget, a Calculator right there as well as things like calendar events, Reminders, the Date, things like that. Now you can add more to this by clicking the Edit button at the bottom and you can see more items to add. For instance I can add World Clock here.

You can also go to System Preferences and in System Preferences you can go to a new Extensions pane. This is where you add extensions like, for instance, things that could appear there as widgets in the Notification Center.

Another major overhaul is the Spotlight Menu. Now the Spotlight Menu appears here just as before or you can use Command space to open it. Right away you will see it is called Spotlight Search and it appears in the middle of the screen instead of at the upper right. You can use it to do all the similar things as before plus a lot more. So for instance you can start typing the name of a file and it will find it either by file name or the contents.

But notice there is a nice preview window here on the right where you can preview images, text of documents, things like that. In addition it finds a whole bunch of other stuff. For instance, it will search Wikipedia and put it here and you can click there to go to the article.

Safari also looks a little bit different. As a matter of fact it looks very close to using Safari on the iPad now. When you start a new window or a new tab you can certainly use top sites as before but you can also have this Favorites view here where it basically can replace your Favorites toolbar. Whenever you bring up a new tab or a new window you can simply select where you want to go. But you still have the option of bringing up the Favorites bar there.

You also have the left sidebar here which allows you to look at Bookmarks and your Reading List and then other things including Subscriptions. We're going to have both Subscriptions now in Safari for iOS and Yosemite. I'll be showing that in a future video.

You've got a new tab view here as well. So one of the apps that can accept extensions is Mail. The extension that comes with Yosemite is the ability to annotate images in PDFs. So here I've got a new email I'm composing. I've attached an image and I can select Mark up here from this button and now I can draw on it, I can add a signature, I can add text, I can add boxes.

The Calendars app now has a new look which includes a day view here which can be very useful. Also notice the icon here for FaceTime now has a little phone in it. That is because FaceTime and Messages in Yosemite work with iOS 8 to allow you to use your iPhone to send, first of all, SMS messages. So you can get a SMS message from a non-iPhone user and your iPhone will send it to your Mac using Yosemite and you can actually respond using your Messages app.

Likewise the same works with Audio. You can actually use the FaceTime app here to receive audio phone calls. Regular phone calls. Somebody calls you on your iPhone, it is sitting on your desk, and your Mac is there too. You can actually use your Mac to talk to them rather than picking up the iPhone.

Now here is what I think may be the biggest new feature for a lot of users in Yosemite. iCloud Drive.

So I am in the Finder here and I'm looking in my Document folder but I'm going to switch over to iCloud Drive. You will notice here there is Keynote, Numbers, Pages, and a TextEdit folder. These are the folders that you had before with iCloud but you never actually could see them. You have to run Keynote and open a document in Keynote or save one in Keynote to be able to access the Keynote portion of your iCloud drive.

Now you can actually see them here in the Finder and any app that you use that is iCloud documents enabled will create a special folder for itself here. But you have complete access to the iCloud Drive. In fact you can create your own folders in here, drag and drop your own files in here. It works a lot like a dropbox or a similar service like that. You can put any files you want and they will sync across your Macs and you will be able to access those files from anywhere.

So there are a few more crossover features between iOS 8 and Yosemite. One is AirDrop. You will be able to AirDrop some files between iOS devices and your Mac. Of course they will need an app on iOS 8 to be able to handle the files. So TextEdit presumably still won't work but say Pages documents would work.

Also you've got the ability to do handoff. Which means you can start composing an email on your Mac and pick it up on your iPhone or iPad. Or go from one of those iOS devices in the middle of composing an email and pick it up on your Mac. It works with other apps as well. Like Safari. You can be browsing one page and then pick it up on the other device.

Then, of course, finally I should mention the design changes. You can see there is a new main font, there is some new icons here on the sidebar. The Dock looks very different and very two dimensional. One of the biggest design changes is how the red, yellow, and green buttons work. Gone is the maximize type button here which a lot of people just never used or didn't understand how to use. You have the Close and go to the Dock button the same as before but now the green button takes an app or window full screen. So it works as full screen did before except instead of having the full screen button on the upper right it is now the green button here. So a lot of cool design changes. It feels new and it feels pretty fresh.

So there is a quick overview of the new features in Yosemite. Once again I would love it if you would check out my Video Guide to Yosemite available in the Mac App Store. Thanks.

Comments: 167 Responses to “What’s New In Mac OS X Yosemite”

    5 years ago

    Will yoesmite now work screen sharing.

      5 years ago

      Not sure what you mean. Yosemite does screen sharing just like Mavericks does.

    5 years ago

    Looks like Apple finally figured out Spotlight should have worked like Alfred…
    Your videos are always useful and efficient, I would definitely buy your guide if I upgraded to Yosemite…trouble is, I need Keynote ’09s advanced features for work, and the recent upgrades are really downgrades. Same goes for Pages. Here’s hoping they were only “bridges” to an improved version that will come along with the new OS X…I hope you’ll do some videos about that.

      5 years ago

      Using old versions of the iWork apps shouldn’t stop you from upgrading to Yosemite. You can still use them in Mavericks and Yosemite. In fact, you can have both. By default, you do when you upgrade. I’ve got both Keynote 6.2 (current version) and Keynote ’09 on my Macs.

    5 years ago

    Hi Gary, always appreciate the videos and newsletters you send. Do you know if the iWork 09 programs work with Yosemite? Similar to Lorenzo above, I do not like the new versions of Pages, Keynote or Numbers and need the advanced features of 09. If 09 is not available, then I won’t be able to upgrade.. boo.

      5 years ago

      As I mention above, the ’09 version definitely do. Just launched Keynote in fact, to check.

        5 years ago

        Thank you Gary, Sorry I missed your reply. Looks like you posted probably as I was typing my question. Thank you again and keep up the great work! Look forward to more cartoons in the NL you send!

    5 years ago

    Hi Gary, thanks for the video,
    Now that I intend to upgrade to Yosemite, I though to ask you, which is better? A clean installation or an upgrade?
    I bought my iMac mid 2010, It had Leopard OS then upgraded to Snow Leopard, then to Lion, now on Mavericks. Should I simply upgrade? or do I have to worry about dump files accumulating from an operating system to another?
    Your advices are always valued and appreciated,
    Thanks in advance.

      5 years ago

      There is no need for a “clean upgrade.” In fact, it is quite hard to even do, the way the OS is now updated through the Mac App Store. Just do a normal upgrade.

    5 years ago

    Will Yosemite be as much or even more of a resource hog than Mavericks? I find my iMac slower and my poor, old MacBook Pro glacial, with a lot of disk swapping and grinding that I never had with earlier OS versions.

      5 years ago

      I haven’t heard or experienced that Yosemite or Mavericks is a resource hog. If you are having trouble, I would challenge the assumption that it is the OS cause the slow-down and try to get some answers if you are having trouble. Take it to the Genius Bar or an expert if you are having trouble. It could be any number of things. My 2009 Mac Pro and 2011 MacBook Air have no issues with either Mavericks or Yosemite.

        5 years ago

        Okay. I’ll try the Pro first since I have to travel to a Genius Bar. I didn’t change anything for the first while (while both have slowed down) but keeping Safari off the MB Pro has helped a lot.

    5 years ago


    I have been impressed with the updates to software but the look of Mac it seems has been dumbing down. Gone are the well designed “3D’ icons that set Mac apart. If there any way to change the icons to the programs on the doc? It would be nice to have the choice. The “new” look, to me, is cheap and unrefined in marked contrast to the software

    5 years ago

    Gary, as always, your posts are quite useful. May be a dumb question but I haven’t figured out how to access files in the “personal” ICloud file folder you discussed on my iPhone or iPad. I make frequent use of Dropbox but might find it useful to shift to iCloud. Any help?

      5 years ago

      With iOS files don’t just exist on their own. You need to use them in the context of an app. So if you want to access something outside of the Pages, Numbers and Keynote folders, you need an app that can handle that type of file and can access iCloud Drive. So it depends on what the file is and what you want to do with it.

    4 years ago

    I upgraded my mid 2011 iMac to Yosemite. However Handoff and Airdrop don’t work probably because of the older version of Bluetooth on my iMac. Have you heard of any rumors that Apple may fix this in a future patch?

      4 years ago

      It has to do with your Bluetooth hardware and also your Wi-Fi hardware. There are some work-arounds for older Macs to use AirDrop over the regular network connection, though you can just use normal file sharing too. Without the hardware, there’s nothing Apple can do except maybe simulate these features with old-fashioned networking which wouldn’t be the same.

    Lars Kjeldsen
    4 years ago

    Hi Gary
    Your weekly newsletters are very informative. Always looking forward to listen. Could you maybe in future videos talk a little bit slowlier. That would definetly help me (and probably a lot of other foreigners) a lot in understanding eveything your are talking about.
    Lars Kjeldsen

    Bob Riley
    4 years ago

    Mac Mail in Yosemite changed the ability to send an email to multiple contacts (non-groups). Using the + sign is very time consuming. Why didn’t they (Apple) leave it alone?

    4 years ago

    In Yosemite they have deleted the iPhoto app. With no recourse to save the journals you have made. Some of these are once in a lifetime trips. Yes, the photos went to a new folder but the text and other data was trashed. This is unbelievable that they gave no option to save your journals.
    Any advice would b greatly appreciated.

Comments Closed.