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Eight OS X Yosemite features we wish we could use right now

Dan Frakes | June 4, 2014
Apple preview of OS X Yosemite gave us a taste of what to expect when the new OS is released this fall. Some of the new features have us wishing we didn't have to wait.

Notification Center's Today view and widgets

Though it's not perfect, we really like the Today view in iOS 7's Notification Center, which shows you at a glance what you've got coming up. OS X Yosemite's Notification Center gains and expands on this view. In addition to showing you a preview of your day, Yosemite's version lets you enable widgets showing weather and stock info, your reminders, a world clock, and info from social networks. Apple is even allowing developers to provide--through the Mac App Store--third-party widgets that you can add to the Today view. (So long, Dashboard?)

Spotlight, refined

Believe it or not, Spotlight has been around for almost a decade (since Mac OS X 10.4), but for the most part, it's been limited to searching your drive for data; looking up dictionary definitions; and sending Web searches to your browser--and in our experience, many people don't even know it can do the latter two. Yosemite brings Spotlight its first major overhaul. In addition to looking different (it now pops up in the middle of the screen, rather than sticking to the upper-right corner, and it inherits Yosemite's new flat look), it also gains quite a few skills.

For example, though Spotlight still searches local content, its results will also include apps from the App Store, media from the iTunes and Books Stores, and news from popular websites. It can offer suggestions from Bing, Wikipedia, and Maps--the latter letting you type sushi to find local restaurants, for example. It can give you movie showtimes, lets you perform instant unit conversions, and even offers auto-completed suggestions for search terms.

os x yosemite spotlight
Yosemite's Spotlight can do more than just find your files.

Mail Markup

Sometimes email attachments are just photos. But oftentimes they're PDFs you need to sign (or otherwise annotate), or images you'd like to mark up. Yosemite's appropriately named Markup feature lets you do just that right from within a reply window in Mail. Instead of having to save the file to your drive, open it in a different app, save it, and then attach it to your outgoing email message, Markup lets you annotate on the fly and then send the results with a click.

According to Apple's website and keynote demo, you'll be able to add signatures; draw lines, shapes, and arrows; add callout text and cartoon bubbles; and even zoom in on part of an image. If you have a Magic Trackpad (or MacBook trackpad), you'll be able to draw using your fingertip.

os x yosemite mail markup
With Markup, you can annotate attachments right from within Mail.

 

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