Digital Trends reviews Apple’s OS X Yosemite: ‘The perfect desktop operating system’

“Unlike Windows, which fully embraced a mobile-ish interface, but failed to bring desktop-friendly mobile features along for the ride, OS X Yosemite is dedicated to serving notebook and desktop users,” Matt Smith writes for Digital Trends. “At the same time, it adds mobile functionality where it matters. The result is a wonderful operating system that provides the best of both worlds without slipping into a compromised, hybridized approach.”

“Nothing in Yosemite is a better example of its approach to mobile integration than Continuity, which is a phrase that includes four separate features,” Smith writes. “Continuity lets Mac owners with an iPhone send text messages and make phone calls directly from their computer. It also lets any Mac owner with an iOS device transfer app sessions between devices with a single touch. Setting up Continuity is as simple as ticking a checkbox, and the feature is turned on by default. Your Mac, iPhone, and iPad should ‘just work’ together if they’re all connected to a common iCloud account, and they’re within Bluetooth range of each other.”

“Mac OS X Yosemite is an excellent operating system that deftly adds mobile features without compromising the function of the desktop space. In this sense, it’s light-years ahead of Windows 8.1. Continuity, Spotlight, and the new version of Safari are way ahead of the default features Microsoft provides in Windows… this free update is clearly better than Windows 8.1, and is also a major leap forward from OS X Mavericks,” Smith writes. “OS X Yosemite is the perfect desktop operating system for people who just want to get stuff done.”

Read more in the full review here.

Related article:
Apple releases OS X Yosemite; available today as a free upgrade – October 16, 2014

42 Comments

  1. It is very smooth so far, a bit faster, and continuity for the phones work well between the iPhone, iPad, and OSX. Now when 8.1 is released on Monday, hopefully handoff and all the other little bugs will be solved and everything will come full circle.

    1. Actually, Continuity iPhone 6 calls do not work with the iPad Air. They did with iOS 8.0, but 8.0.2 broke it. The call rings on the iPad Air, but the connectivity to answer the call fails. Hopefully, iOS 8.1 on Monday will fix it.

      1. It’s as fast or faster than Mavericks on my 13″ MBP, and Safari seems to be significantly faster.

        No problems so far, still getting used to some of the changes in Safari. Which is noticeably faster.

      2. It is noticeably faster than Maverick. The finder snaps so fast it is startling at first. Safari is much faster also although I have had a few crashes. Negatives would be poor definition of window edges, a more complex window zoom, Safari looks a LOT different and bookmarks are accessed differently, itunes interface is different but not necessarily improved.

      3. It is quantifiably faster on my 2008 Mac Pro. Boot time has been cut in half. Lunging Applications is a snap. System preferences loads super fast too. So far it looks like Apple optimized the code tremendously. If I am getting these results in a 6 year old Mac, imagine how this OS runs on a brand new Mac Pro!

    2. Everyone should be aware that Continuity works only with hardware supporting Bluetooth 4:

      Model Year Range Ability
      MacBook Air mid-2011 & above YES
      MacBook Pro mid-2012 & above YES
      Retina MacBook Pro mid-2012 & above YES
      iMac late 2012 & above YES
      Mac mini mid-2011 & above YES
      Mac Pro 2013 & above YES
      The iPad 2 2011 NO

    3. I now have it on 3 machines with no significant issues so far. I love it but it is not perfect. Why are we still stuck with the elderly (1998) HFS+ file system withe bit rot and other flaws? Come on Apple, fix this.

  2. My initial reactions are positive – it is snappy, has a nice clean design and remains familiar (no weird Metro-style stuff). It also seems to have fixed an annoying “lag” problem I had opening some Apple applications in Mavericks. About my only complaint was the lost – as a default – of the bookmarks bar in Safari, but a little twiddling got it back. Nice work, Apple!

  3. I am on a 2008 MBP with a 2.5Ghz Core2Duo and this national park is very snappy. Management of my meagre 6Gb of RAM is excellent. No problems installing. Looks great and loving it.

  4. For long-time Windows users, many who are STILL running ancient XP on aging hardware, OS X Yosemite will be a far more familiar user experience than the latest Windows. Unlike Microsoft, Apple respects laptops and desktop computer users who want nothing to do with “tiles” and touching their screens.

    Apple should create and run a marketing campaign targeting disgruntled and alienated Windows users, called “Welcome HOME to Macintosh.”

  5. I’ve noticed how snappy Yosemite is on a 2009 MacBook Pro 3.06 GHz Core2Duo, and a Mac mini Server 2.66 GHz Core2Duo. I usually don’t upgrade my Mac Pros and MacBook Pros until version 10.x.3, but the performance of Yosemite has me chomping at the bit!

  6. Just a heads-up y’all: this only works if your Mac supports Low Energy Bluetooth. My 2010 iMac doesn’t. Got this from an Apple rep today when I called in because Yosemite sat with a progress bar 1/2 way across and the Mac ignored input frame keyboard and track pad. I was however, able to hear the audio from EyeTV, so the restart got far enough to load the entire system, but the UI never came up. Good news: a forced power down resolved the issue.

    1. Yeah, it took forever for it to install for me and I had to do a forced power down twice. Also, it was a pain in the ass installing updates for the iLife/iWork apps. But aside from those issues, it’s been pretty great. Late 2011 Macbook Pro.

  7. I like it. But there are predictable problems. Software Update has been a problem. Among its other issues is that it wanted me to update iPhoto (apparently with the identical update) at least three times so far. And I miss the option to select Software Update in the Apple Menu. I turned off the automatic update feature since I like to know what’s going on myself. But it’s now a multi-step process.

    Another complaint I have is with the voice features. A small thing, but I have missed some little things like asking, “What time is it?” and hearing it tell me. Other old standbys, too. In fact, there is no feedback anymore, as far as I can tell. Did I miss this in Mavericks?

    It also fails to interact with a number of apps. In the past, it was not necessary for apps to be optimized to work with speech. They just did.

    Dictation still bothers me since correcting errors (by voice) is often not possible. That’s pretty much a basic if one is going to use it effectively. I have tried all the basic options as well as the available speech commands without success. Anyone have a suggestion?

    I suspect more will turn up, too.

    This is not to say I am not excited about it. But it needs some adjustments and rethought choices by . Not unexpected in a new system, but I hope they’ll get thing fine tuned in a couple updates.

    1. I’m thinking the interpreted commands, a la “What time is it?” are going to move into a Siri for OS X. In their place you have a pretty strong vocabulary for working with document dictation.

      1. The vocabulary are good, but the tools are weak. Those of us who work with Dictate can get a bit frustrated at some oversights. Even some simple things appear overlooked. I would expect Dictate to be stronger for dictation. It does make fewer errors. But Apple has been working with dictation and voice controls for many, many years now and it’s still feeling like a work-in-progress. In the case of some things, they removed them. One might wonder why they did that. Hopefully, a Siri for OS X will surprise us with massive power and accuracy.
        Or not.

  8. The real subline was, “OS X Yosemite is the perfect desktop operating system for people who just want to get stuff done.”

    I disagree somewhat. It’s an update that makes it easy for iOS users to push stuff back and forth between their iOS gadgets and their Mac. Yosemite does nothing to aid the pro in managing high definition audio or video files from pro-level gear, and it does nothing to make it easier or faster to manage.

    Helvetica Nueu and flat icons are even more underwhelming on the big screen as they are on the iPhone. UGLY.

    The article also pans the Notification Center, which indeed needs the user to tamp down hard for it not to become primarily an annoyance to the user whose primary reason to have a Mac is to do creative work, not to blab to Zuckerberg all the exciting stuff that is likeable today..

    iCloud limitations have been relaxed somewhat, but certainly not for professional users. If seems Apple indeed is running as fast as it can toward the consumer buyer instead of continuing to keep the Mac the absolute best it can be for professional desktop and laptop users.

  9. Yosemite runs very well.

    Disappointed by the look, though. Apple has carried their pursuit of simplicity too far. In fact, the Yosemite style reminds me of Windows from around 1998, which I happily gave up when I bought my first Mac.

    You know there’s a problem when you look at their Yosemite announcement at the App Store. One of the major design changes they mention is the streamlined Dock look. Wow….

    When it comes to OS X, Apple has style anorexia. Thinner isn’t always better, for women or for design. Hope they get something to eat.

    1. Funny. But I’m getting used to the “simple” look, MaxBay. I do like it at the moment. But you’re right that it can be taken too far and there is also beauty in depth and other art styles and colors. Don’t worry though. After a time, the pendulum will swing again. Nothing lasts too long.

      1. That’s the point right there. “The pendulum will swing back”
        It never should have gone too far to begin with. Apple was always about the human interface and making the best one that they could. Changing the look because of some design fad is insane! Not to mention stupid and short sighted.

        Incremental change to improve is good. Make a drastic change, then you better do many trials with average users to see if it makes it easier or more difficult to use. Not just pretty and usefulness be dammed.

    2. I half-agree about the flatness. It will take a bit of getting used to. Probably improved in logic and effectiveness HI wise but less delightful than brushed metal, cherry buttons, liquid metal progress bars etc.

      I think the they’ll add some relief (literally) as time goes on, but only where it helps with both usability and aesthetics. Love the new system font.

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