On schedule, Apple have announced their annual vision for personal computing. With Apple firmly on an annual release cycle and the big move from 32-bit to 64-bit well behind us, OS upgrades, which were once a major issue, have become nothing more than simple 'app' updates. Or have they? While these upgrades usually succeed with minimal drama, there are always many new and great features under the hood which can (and do) have ramifications for the multi-device households and small businesses who don't have dedicated Technical staff on hand. (Removal of Rosetta, SMB2, VPN for OSX Server to name a few)
With 10.6 being the bullet proof, baseline OS in the new 64-bit world, 10.7 dropped the ball somewhat and introduced a number of annoying bugs, 10.8 recovered to take over the stability crown from 10.6 Snow Leopard. Mavericks however, in my opinion, dropped the ball again with bugs emerging from new features introduced. The release of 10.9.3 finally addressed most of them to bring much coveted stability back to MAC's but at least one very annoying bug (Sleep Wake Failure) still haunts this version of OSX.
So, using history as a guide, Yosemite 10.10 should be the (S) version which takes back the stability crown in the same vain as the S iOS devices do from their single digit predecessors.
Many long awaited features arrive in this version which move further towards a complete suite of 'cloud' integrated products. iPhoto in the cloud is something I've been asked about so many times I've lost count, along with the family AppleID feature. These two alone will ease the pent up demand for a lights-out cloud solution for anyone fully subscribed to the Apple ecosystem. If setup correctly everything becomes as reliable as a landline dial tone.
It seems all the core apps will get some degree of a makeover, including Mail and Safari along with more subtle enhancements such as font clarity and iOS 7 iconography and it's clean, flat lines. (...and let's hope skeumorphism is finally dead in 10.10!)
A few more subtle enhancements which will slowly but surely change the way we use all of our personal commuting devices;
- Dynamic Spotlight Searching
- Enhanced Notification Center
- iCloud Drive (Is this really a Dropbox contender?)
- Functional Handoff
For now, I'll leave you with the machines which are expected to be able to support 10.10.
- iMac: mid-2007 or newer
- MacBook Pro: mid-2007 or newer
- MacBook Air: late 2008 or newer
- Mac mini: early 2009 or newer
- Mac Pro: early 2008 or newer
- MacBook: late 2008 aluminum, early 2009 or newer
- Xserve: early 2009
Still supporting early 2009 Mac Mini's for a 2014 OS is an admirable feat of engineering!
With the Beta program becoming more accessible, watch out for more in-depth analysis in the coming months across the usual technical sites.
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