Apple unveils OS X Yosemite

The company shows off a new look for its signature operating system, named after one of California's most popular camping spots.



With a focus on linking together its mobile and PC operating systems, Apple on Monday revealed its latest version of the Mac OS X, dubbed Yosemite, at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The operating system has a new look, a refined toolbar, new notification center features, and a dark mode, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, told developers. Additionally, the OS will now synchronize with Apple's iOS mobile system through AirDrop file sharing, iMessage messaging, and the ability to make and take phone calls.

"All in all, they come together for a gorgeous and more usable version of OS X, the best ever," he said. Federighi showed off the phone calling feature by calling Apple's new high-profile employee, the rap artist Dr. Dre, whom Apple snagged in a $3 billion deal for headphone maker Beats Electronics and the Beats Music streaming service.

Check out CNET's first take on Apple Mac OS X 10.10. While developers have access to Yosemite today, Apple will release the OS to the public in the fall. But the company is allowing non-developers to sign up for the software's test version this summer through a public beta program.

Federighi gave an overview of the system's features, including new iCloud synchronization abilities and Mail Drop, a way to share large files through email. He also boasted fast video streaming, without a plugin, on Safari, and new tab features.

Prior to the announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook made a big showing of the performance of Apple's previous OS, Mavericks. The OS is now on more than 50 percent of Apple's PCs.

Apple's Mac business might not be as big -- as or as sexy -- as its mobile business, but it remains an important focus for Apple. The company last year introduced its powerful Mac Pro, and it has continued to add Retina Displays to its various MacBooks.

Tune into CNET's live show and blog at 9 a.m. PT on June 2.

After years of giving OS X cat-related names (for instance, Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion), Apple last year shifted to California-themed titles for future versions of the operating system. The first in that new line was 2013's OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks, which Apple gave away for free. Named after the world-famous surfing competition held near Half Moon Bay, Calif., Mavericks featured improved battery life, many new applications, better power management, tabs in Finder, and the ability to add tags to file names so they're more searchable.

The Cupertino, Calif., holds only two or three major events a year, and WWDC is one of them. The annual confab for developers takes place June 2 to 6 in San Francisco's Moscone Center, with about 5,000 lucky, lottery winning app makers descending on the city. Apple kicked off the event Monday with its highly anticipated, two-hour keynote featuring CEO Tim Cook and other executives.

For Apple, this year's developer conference comes at a critical time. Apple continues to sell millions of iPhones and iPads, but demand for the devices has started to slow. Google' Android software, and particularly vendors such as Samsung, have been gaining market share and also have made inroads in former Apple strongholds like education. Apple also hasn't released any truly revolutionary products since the iPad in 2010, while rivals such as Samsung introduce new devices every few months.

Apple has used its WWDC keynote as a chance to introduce new products in the past, but it more recently has focused on software, saving new mobile device announcements for separate events.The company is expected to launch many new devices in the fall as part of what it calls its "best product pipeline in 25 years." However, concerns have emerged that Apple may have lost some of its innovation edge -- a worry that Cook and his team have tried to quell by promising "exciting new product categories" for 2014.

This is story is developing. To read more about news from the event, follow along in the CNET liveblog. Check out all of our WWDC coverage here.

 

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