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How to add OS X 10.10’s best features – free
Nowadays it’s fashionable to argue that the Mac’s days are numbered; that Apple’s readying its desktop platform for retirement, to at some point in the near future be entirely supplanted by iPhones and iPads. Apple itself has of course argued to the contrary, not least with a rare anniversary celebration when the Mac hit 30. But if there’s anything that proved the Mac still has a big future at Apple, it was WWDC 2014.
The Mac was in the thick of it, with Cook and Co. showing off a brand-new OS X interface and a slew of new features. Taking a lead from Jony Ive’s minimalist design sensibilities, the next revision of OS X, Yosemite, has been refined rather than revolutionised – it’s simplified and lighter, more unified and content-centric. In terms of features, Apple showed off a rethought Spotlight, integrated cloud storage, enhanced Mail, and the means to more easily transfer documents between Macs and iOS devices via an updated AirDrop.
The one snag: as ever, this was just a preview. If you want to get your hands on Yosemite, you’ll have to wait until some time this autumn. But what if you’re an impatient and excited sort, who wants to experience the next version of OS X right now? Well, you’ve got a couple of options. First, there are two legal ways to access the OS X Yosemite beta: developers got immediate access during WWDC, and can install the latest dev release from their accounts; and everyone else can sign up to the open beta at appleseed.apple. com/sp/betaprogram. If you’re in the first million to be accepted, you’ll be able to install Yosemite as soon as Apple fires a confirmation
The Mac’s days are numbered? Think again; WWDC 2014 proved the Mac still has a big future
your way. (We’ll outline how best to install the beta, ensuring your existing Mac data remains safe, in the box below.)
Still, a beta is a beta, and with software that’s still very much under development, you’re bound to find bugs and unfinished features. Apple’s WWDC keynotes are extremely carefully choreographed and planned – your own adventures with Yosemite might be quite different while Apple’s engineers are reworking features and smoothing out the rough patches. Even once it’s in its final form, though, we know some people are hesitant about upgrading to a new OS. Fortunately, thirdparty apps and utilities can bring some of Yosemite’s magic to Mavericks today, from clean and streamlined new themes to iPhone/ Mac integration. What you end up with might not be quite the same as what was shown on stage at WWDC, but in some cases you’ll find that enterprising developers have created amazing add-ons that in fact go further than what Apple plans to ship this autumn, so you can pick and choose the features you want.