The new user in­ter­face

Mac Format - - YOSEMITE TIPS -

To say that Yosemite does for the Mac’s user in­ter­face what iOS 7 did for the iPhone and iPad might be a tad sim­plis­tic, but the ef­fect is sim­i­lar. While the new user in­ter­face isn’t com­pletely flat, it is no­tice­ably flat­ter. Gone are the glassy tex­tures and other frivolous nods to the third di­men­sion. Where drop shad­ows still ex­ist, they do so for a rea­son, to help lift di­a­log boxes and make them clear, for ex­am­ple.

Yosemite is also more translu­cent – most ob­vi­ously with the side­bar in Finder win­dows. Thank­fully, Ap­ple has ad­justed the ef­fect so back­grounds are now more blurred, mean­ing if you have a busy desk­top back­ground it won’t in­ter­fere with el­e­ments in the win­dow above. (You can turn it off al­to­gether in the Ac­ces­si­bil­ity pane in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences.)

The sys­tem font has changed from Lu­cida Grande to a slightly mod­i­fied ver­sion of Hel­vetica Neue, which Ap­ple also uses in iOS. It takes a lit­tle get­ting used to, but we like it. Some of Ap­ple’s icons have changed too, again to bring them in line with their iOS cousins.

Fi­nally, there’s a new Dark Mode, de­signed to make your Mac more com­fort­able to use in low-light con­di­tions. Its ef­fect is cur­rently limited to chang­ing the menu bar, Spot­light, ap­pli­ca­tion switcher, and Dock to a dark shade of grey. It’s not per­fect; some third-party menu bar items – Ever­note, for ex­am­ple – don’t re­verse their own colour to a lighter grey and so get lost. Also, you need to in­voke Dark Mode man­u­ally – you can’t set it to come on au­to­mat­i­cally when­ever, say, the back­light on the key­board comes on. No­ti­fi­ca­tion Cen­ter in Mav­er­icks was use­ful, but at the same time limited. The ad­di­tion of the To­day View adds to that use­ful­ness sig­nif­i­cantly, as it did in iOS.

Prime po­si­tion is given to the day and date, but be­low that, you can drag el­e­ments such as the World Clock and Weather into the or­der you want to po­si­tion them.

You can re­move ex­ten­sions you may not need (yes Stocks, we’re look­ing at you), and you can switch Do Not Dis­turb on and off, mak­ing it easy to con­trol when you get your no­ti­fi­ca­tions. Of course, the way all this in­for­ma­tion is pre­sented has been care­fully thought out (would you ex­pect any­thing less?), so in­stead of just list­ing your ap­point­ments, for ex­am­ple, it says some­thing like ‘The first thing on your Cal­en­dar to­day is…’

Per­haps best of all, though, To­day View sup­ports third-party ex­ten­sions. So if you use a task man­ager or third-party email app, for ex­am­ple, you may be able to view con­tent from those in the To­day View panel.

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