What’s im­proved?

Feast your eyes on all the fea­tures you can en­joy in the lat­est edi­tion of OS X

Mac Format - - POWER UP YOSEMITE! -

Up­grad­ing to OS X Yosemite brings a raft of new fea­tures, the most ob­vi­ous be­ing the new-look in­ter­face. While not wholly dif­fer­ent from pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tions, the new style has re­ceived a mixed re­cep­tion. Apps such as Cal­en­dar and Con­tacts no longer mimic real-world ob­jects, a style some thought hammy. Many apps fea­ture a blurred trans­parency ef­fect with in­ter­face el­e­ments that re­act to the colour of the desk­top or ob­jects be­hind them. The Dock is a translu­cent rec­tan­gle, rather than like a 3D shelf.

New fea­tures

Rad­i­cally for Ap­ple, OS X’s sys­tem font has changed for the first time. Out goes Lu­cida Grande and in comes Hel­vetica Neue. There are new-look icons for many of Ap­ple’s apps, which come in two styles. There’s the familiar cir­cu­lar icon pro­duced to Jony Ive's icon grid, and a new rec­tan­gu­lar one with a 9° tilt.

Yosemite also in­tro­duces a ‘dark mode’. When en­abled, the menu bar and the Dock take on a dif­fer­ent look with a black back­ground and white text.

An­other strik­ing in­ter­face change is that the be­hav­iour of the Zoom but­ton (the green but­ton found at the top-left of most win­dows) has been changed. Now when you click that but­ton, most apps switch to full-screen mode. Some Mac users find this odd and dis­con­cert­ing. Hold­ing down å while click­ing the green icon re­verts to the tra­di­tional be­hav­iour of tog­gling the win­dow be­tween two sizes – typ­i­cally the one you’ve cho­sen and a per­ceived best fit for the con­tent.

OS X Yosemite isn’t just a vis­ual re­fresh. Three big new fea­tures are Hand­off, Air­Drop with iOS, and In­stant Hotspot, all of which in­te­grate your Mac with nearby iOS de­vices. You will need a rel­a­tively re­cent Mac to ac­cess th­ese fea­tures, be­cause they rely on a com­bi­na­tion of Wi-Fi and Blue­tooth 4.0 LE. This is the lat­est ver­sion of Blue­tooth (the LE stands for Low En­ergy). You can check whether your Mac is com­pat­i­ble by choos­ing > About This Mac > More Info, and check­ing if the model name listed is within the ranges listed at sup­port.ap­ple.com/ kb/PH18947.

If your Mac isn’t com­pat­i­ble with th­ese fea­tures, you may be able to ac­ti­vate them by con­nect­ing a Blue­tooth 4.0 LE adap­tor to your Mac and us­ing a hack known as Con­ti­nu­ity Ac­ti­va­tion Tool (http://bit.ly/con­ti­nu­ity­hack).

An­other great, but re­source hun­gry, new fea­ture is the up­graded Spot­light, which now com­bines search re­sults from apps, files and meta­data on your Mac with con­tent from on­line sources. Sources in­clude Wikipedia, Bing Web Search, and con­tent from the Mac App Store and

iTunes Store. If you find th­ese new search re­sults in­tru­sive, or don’t want to be up­sold on iTunes con­tent while search­ing your com­puter, then open Sys­tem Pref­er­ences, click the Spot­light icon and, on the Search Re­sults tab, de­s­e­lect the op­tions you don’t like.

Pri­vacy ad­vo­cates are pleased to hear that Yosemite in­tro­duces sup­port for Duck­DuckGo in Sa­fari. Duck­DuckGo is a search en­gine that prom­ises not to track user be­hav­iour. You can find its pri­vacy pol­icy at duck­duckgo.com/about. If you dis­like Google and Bing track­ing your ev­ery move, open Sa­fari and then choose Sa­fari > Pref­er­ences > Search and change the search en­gine set­ting to Duck­DuckGo.

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