The big cats are long gone, as Apple is sticking with its new California naming scheme for OS X. Its annual developer conference keynote kicked off Monday with the unveiling of a new moniker for the latest Mac OS X -- "Yosemite."
An OS X upgrade announcement was already a sure-bet for WWDC, but the name for OS X 10.10 was a mystery. Speculation was that it would follow in the California mold, based on Mavericks from last year. Mavericks is a popular surfing spot in Northern California.
-- Chris leyva (@Xzavios) June 2, 2014
Yosemite is an even grander name. The park covers nearly 1,200 square miles and is known for mind-blowing natural views, perhaps signaling that Apple is aiming for an epic new look to the OS. Details on the changes include an overhauled transparent toolbar, new icons, and a redesigned user interface that lends it more of an iOS-style look.
Apple VP Craig Federighi teased the new name by leading with some silly suggestions like "OS X Rancho Cucamonga," "OS X Oxnard," and "OS X Weed." Yes, Weed is a real town in California. The final reveal of "OS X Yosemite" came as a quite a relief after all that, though it seems a lot of Twitter users would prefer to see that as the official name. Microsoft enthusiast Zac writes, "I really hope OS X Weed becomes the 'street name' for Yosemite."
Indeed, "OS X Weed" is currently near the top of Twitter's trends list.
The scenic names for OS X upgrades came about after a long stream of large cats ranging from "OS X Cheetah" to "OS X Mountain Lion." Interestingly enough, mountain lions live in Yosemite.
Reactions to the new name quickly cropped up on Twitter. One of the most entertaining comes from user Chris Leyva, who posted an image of gun-toting cartoon character Yosemite Sam. Some tweets expressed frustration with the perceived difficulty of pronouncing "Yosemite." User LondonJason writes, "#Yosemite is such a stupid name choice. Unpronounceable to 50% of #Apple users."
Now that OS X Yosemite is official, we can start to look ahead to next year's WWDC. Whatever OS comes next will need a new name. This could trend in a couple of different directions. Keeping with California, it could be anything from OS X Death Valley to the extremely cool, but totally improbable OS X Zzyzx.
Perhaps it will indicate the start of a run of national parks, which could branch outside of the state, though "OS X Black Canyon of the Gunnison" doesn't exactly fly off the tongue.
Apple will officially release its updated operating system Yosemite to the public this fall, but enthusiasts who don't want to wait can sign up for a test version. What do you think of the new name? Tell us in the comments, and follow our live WWDC coverage here.