Apple has just released an early preview of Mac OS X Yosemite, the latest version of its computer operating system for Macs. In addition to featuring a visual overhaul that will make the new version of Max OS X look more like the iPhone’s iOS than ever, it will also have new features that allow it to work in tandem with your iPhone or iPad.
Send texts, answer phone calls on your Mac
“With OS X Yosemite and iOS 8,” Apple’s website explains, “your devices recognize when they’re near each other.” If they’re on the same Wi-Fi network, for instance, a notification will pop up on your Mac when you receive a phone call on your iPhone. You can then press a button to answer or reply with a text message, and it will let you type out a message using your Mac’s keyboard, or use your Mac to voice chat Facetime -style (except over an actual phone call).
Use your iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot
“Tethering,” already a popular feature for many smartphone owners, will be integrated into OS X on the system level with the release of Yosemite. If your iPhone’s data plan allows you to use it as a hotspot (which usually costs an additional fee), you’ll be able to select it from your Mac’s Wi-Fi menu without having to go into your iPhone’s settings and set it up manually. The “Instant Hotspot” feature will automatically manage that for you.
“Pick up right where you left off” with Handoff
Similar to how you can edit documents in Google Drive or Microsoft Office Online on both your phone and your PC or Mac, with the changes synced between them, Mac OS X Yosemite’s “Handoff” feature will let you “start writing an email on your iPhone,” then “finish it on your Mac.” It will work with ten of the Mac’s built-in apps which have iOS counterparts, at first, and app developers will be able to make their apps work with Handoff as well.
Speaking of which …
New programming tools will let app developers reuse more code
… between their iOS and Mac apps.
A small blurb on Apple’s preview for developers page mentions “Shared Frameworks Between OS X and iOS,” which will mean less work for developers to port their apps between Apple’s two hardware platforms.
“The days of wishing an app for your iOS device were available on your Mac […] are numbered,” Apple’s page promises. That part just links to the current iOS 8 for developers site, though, so despite its days being numbered you may still have to wait awhile longer.