iCloud — Apple's set of services that help keep your data consistent across your Apple devices — has been improved as well. For the first time since iDisk, Apple now offers iCloud Drive, a folder accessible from the Finder's Side Bar that behaves similarly to Dropbox, syncing any document to all of your devices using your AppleID. The documents are accessible from any iOS device or Mac, and even Windows PCs.
What's most interesting about iCloud Drive is that, after years of endless conjecture and theories of Apple doing away with a user-modifiable file system, iCloud Drive supports folders and any type of document and also supports Finder Tags for easy lookup.
Note: Enabling iCloud Drive in the public beta will move all of your current iCloud docs to the new system, which isn't supported in earlier versions of OS X or iOS, so be careful. You might want to hold off on enabling this feature until it's officially supported in the final releases of Yosemite and iOS 8, just in case. Unless you're a developer, having access to your data is more important than confirming iCloud Drive works as it should.
Minor but handy
There are a ton of minor feature enhancements throughout the OS that I'll be diving into in greater detail in the final review, but for now, here are some of my favorites:
Mail has been updated with email markup capabilities, which allows you to annotate and draw on graphics and documents you send through email. You can add speech bubbles, circles, text, and other simple designs without opening up Photoshop.
When Yosemite finally ships, the Actions menu, the Share menu and the Today area in the Notification Center will be enhanced and customized by third-party extensions.
Safari now features tabs you can swipe through. Instead of filling the tab bar and then offering a drop down list for tabs that can't fit, the new Safari allows you to use two-finger trackpad gesture to scroll sideways through the tab list.
With Apple (under CEO Tim Cook) making moves that would have been unlikely when Steve Jobs was in charge, it seems that the Yosemite beta is the perfect metaphor for Apple: Both a new direction and a natural evolution for the Mac.
By taking advantage of the vertical hardware/software/services strategy, Apple execs are apparently keen on providing solutions and integration that competitors might find tough to imitate.
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