By Tracey Dowdy
Apple has done it again – showed me something I have to have that I didn’t know existed an hour ago!
At last week’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple didn’t introduce any new devices but they did unveil Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. Coming this fall, there’s a host of new features that will make you wish summer was over already. Well, maybe not that excited, but it will help ease the transition!
First up is a group of features they refer to as “Continuity.” Apple devices within Bluetooth range will be able to communicate seamlessly with one another. You can start writing an email on your iPad, switch to your iPhone and follow the prompt to pick up exactly where you left off.
With Yosemite, you’ll have caller ID and the ability to respond to a call on your iPhone by answering on your Mac as long as both devices are using the same Wi-Fi network. Similar to Google Voice, Yosemite will allow you to use your Mac as a speaker phone and dial directly from any web page.
Apple is finally going head to head with Dropbox and Google Drive in the cloud storage game. Instead of simply using the cloud for storage, you’ll be able to organize and tag your files, which for someone like me, who color codes and tags every email and has folders within my folders, is a dream come true. I’m getting a little emotional just thinking about it.
For those looking for 5GB of storage or less, iCloud will be free. If you need more storage, prices are reasonable – 20GB is $0.99 a month and 200GB will be $3.99 a month. There is talk of a 1TB plan, but those prices have not been revealed.
The Hotspot feature on the iPhone is getting a boost as well. Instead of having to go through your settings to enable it, Hotspot will automatically show up in your Mac’s Wi-Fi menu. Click on it for a secure (no password required) connection. If you aren’t using Hotspot, it automatically shuts off to prevent running down the battery.
One of the most anticipated features is Markup which will allow you to draw directly on attached PDF’s that need to be edited or proofed. If you’ve ever received a PDF attachment that needs a signature or an image of a document that needs to be edited, you know what a magical feature this will be.
Seriously, why has this taken so long? The gods of the internet have heard my cries and my muttered curses and have created this just for me. You won’t need to open the image in another app – just make the changes, hit Reply, and the new and improved image is sent back to the sender. It’s a beautiful thing my friends.
Personally, I’m excited about the new features. There are many that appeal to the average Mac user like me, but plenty to dazzle the real Mac nerds as well. Remember, OS X Yosemite is free and will be compatible with Mac products that are currently running OS X Mavericks.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some folders to organize.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology.