It's the year of tens: OS X 10.10's unveiling is likely on tap for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote next week. As we hit 30 years of the Mac OS (and 13 years of OS X), Apple's desktop OS has become a mature piece of software: the slow-and-steady tortoise to the excitable hare of iOS.
Of course, that's not to say there isn't plenty of opportunity left to improve the venerable operating system. As the OS kicks off its fourth decade — and in keeping with the tens' theme of this year's update — we've assembled ten areas where OS X could use some sprucing up, all in the service of keeping the Mac chugging along well into its forties and beyond.
Listen up, Siri
Maybe we've just been watching too much Star Trek, but even after lo, these many years, we're still waiting to give directions to our Mac with our voice alone. Yes, the Mac OS has long had a limited capability for voice commands, but with Siri on all our iOS devices these days, we long for the ability to ask our computer a question and have it respond in kind. (Apple could even borrow a cue from its older Speakable Items technology — as well as what Google's doing these days — and have Siri respond only when addressed by name.)
Imagine if your Mac would understand your request to play that new album you bought without you having to look up from whatever you're working on. Or give you a weather report when you wonder aloud if you'll need umbrella later today. Now that's the future we're interested in.
AirDrop is a technology that's always been rife with promise. Easily exchanging files over the air, without having to know the other person's email address or phone number, or making sure they're using the same file-transfer app as you? Sounds like the kind of magical, transparent technology where Apple excels. Unfortunately, even though we have features going by the name AirDrop on both iOS and OS X, they seem to be stuck at an impasse, unable to communicate with each other.
Instead of being able to quickly drop a photo from our iPhone onto our Mac, we're forced to use workarounds involving printing, third party apps for Photo Stream, or the old tried-and-true tactic of email. It's a silly omission, and one that we hope Apple will fix with OS X 10.10 and iOS 8. And while they're at it, options to speed up the process by letting us remember trusted devices (like our own) and having an always-on option would greatly increase its utility as well.
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