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10 for 10: 10 things we'd like to see in OS X 10.10

Dan Moren | June 2, 2014
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.

Messages for you, sir

Oh, Messages: Much as we'd love to ask why we can't quit you, it's actually all too easy to give you the old Command-Q. Apple's iMessage service and instant-messaging app are both still kind of a hot mess in Mavericks. There are reliability issues with iMessage as a service — messages arriving out of order, or hours, sometimes days late — but there's also the somewhat confused nature of this app. Mavericks's ability to respond to iMessages via the Reply button in notifications has certainly reduced our reliance on Messages, but we still find ourselves frustrated when using the app. Messages needs to decide whether it's primarily there to support iMessage, or the legacy IM systems — hint: It's the first one.

Find My Mac Friends

We've seen a lot of iOS apps make the jump to OS X — most recently iBooks and Maps — and Find My Friends is one more we'd like to see join that exclusive club. Apple's app for letting us share our locations with our friends and family often has proved to be a useful one, and we'd like to have access to it on our desktop as well. Besides being able to check in on folks' location from our Mac, we'd love the ability to get notifications when any of our Find My Friends geofences are triggered — just in case we don't have our iOS devices close at hand. At the very least, a Web interface on the iCloud site would go a long way to assuaging this particular need.

A folder for iCloud to call its own

You gave the whole "we don't need a filesystem" thing a good shot, Apple, but for many of us the whole simplicity angle never quite took off. For one thing, it's annoying to be limited to only opening files from iCloud in the app with which they're associated. To make matters worse, apps like TextEdit and Preview still have no iOS equivalent, making iCloud document storage for text files and PDFs of limited use.

Dropbox, for its flaws, has the right idea: a big folder where we can drop whatever files we want and have them automatically show up on all our devices. If nothing else, just give us an iCloud folder at the root of our home directories and call it a day; we'll take care of the rest.

Accounting for iCloud

As long as we're putting the file system into the cloud, what about taking that a step further. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to log in to your account on any Mac you sat down in front of? Much as you can access other Macs on your network (or screen share into them) by using your Apple ID, imagine entering those credentials on any Mac's login screen to have access to your account — set up just the way you like it — with all of your files. A longshot it may be, but it's the kind of forward-thinking feature that we expect from the folks at Apple.

 

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