Today in Apple history: Yosemite brings a visual overhaul to OS X

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Yosemite more strongly visually resembled iOS than previous versions of OS X.
Photo: Apple

Jun2 June 2, 2014: Apple shows off OS X 10.10 Yosemite for the first time at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Following the Jony Ive-redesigned iOS 7, Yosemite boasts an aesthetic change that brings Apple’s desktop computers closer than ever to the look of the company’s mobile software.

Named after Yosemite National Park, the update follows the previous year’s Mavericks as the second Mac operating system named after a famous California landmark.

OS X Yosemite looks more like iOS

Despite what Microsoft did with devices like the Surface tablet, Apple staunchly opposes merging its mobile and desktop operating systems in any meaningful way. However, Yosemite made a few concessions in this area.

Along with the visual overhaul — which either appealed to customers or put them off, depending on your thoughts on the non-skeumorphic look of iOS 7 — Yosemite meant that certain iOS notifications would now show up on the Mac. These included Messages and even phone calls, which Apple software chief Craig Federighi demonstrated by phoning Dr. Dre from the WWDC stage.

In this vein, Yosemite also introduced the ability to switch between Mac and iOS with new Continuity and Handoff features. This allowed users to start off typing a message on their iOS device, then switch to their Mac to pick up where they left off (or vice versa). Users could also easily AirDrop files from iOS to Mac. Plus, they could quickly turn an iPhone into an internet hotspot for a Mac.

OS X Yosemite brings iCloud Drive and other changes

Another big feature of Yosemite was Apple’s attempts to fix its cloud problems by turning iCloud into a Dropbox-like file system called iCloud Drive. OS X Yosemite made Spotlight a more prominent part of the Mac operating system. It also updated the look and feel of standard apps such as Safari and Mail.

The operating system itself didn’t ship to most customers until October 16, 2014. However, developers could download a beta version immediately after the WWDC keynote on this date in 2014. The final Yosemite release came on August 12, 2015. It was replaced by El Capitan, the last Mac operating system to be named OS X.

Check out our original preview of Yosemite in this video, which features a slightly more fresh-faced Ste Smith:

Were you a fan of OS X Yosemite? Leave your comments below.