OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features

Apple announced OS X Yosemite during its WWDC 2014 conference in June, and the new Mac operating system has since been in beta form for developers and those enrolled in the public beta programme to test. But when is Yosemite getting released, and what new features will it bring to your Mac? Here's what you need to know about the Yosemite release date, price and new features. Updated on 16/10/14.

Update: As expected, Apple has announced at it's special event that OS X Yosemite is available today (16 October).See: How to watch new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 launch live video stream and what to expect from Apple's iPad event.

“Yosemite is the future of OS X with its incredible new design and amazing new apps, all engineered to work beautifully with iOS,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple during the Yosemite launch event. “We engineer our platforms, services and devices together, so we are able to create a seamless experience for our users across all our products that is unparalleled in the industry. It’s something only Apple can deliver.”

Apple also unveiled iOS 8 during the keynote, which was then released on 17 September after Apple's iPhone 6 launch event.

Apple OS X Yosemite release date: When is Yosemite coming out?

If you're part of the Mac Developer Program then you can get the developer preview of OS X Yosemite now. Apple is also offering a public OS X Beta program, which lets non-developers download and test Yosemite for free. It's the first time Apple has ever opened up a Beta Seed Program like this one. Find out more in our How to get OS X Yosemite now article.

As we mentioned above, OS X Yosemite is available to download for iMacs, Mac minis and MacBooks today - 16 October - from the App Store. See also: iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

Apple OS X Yosemite: Price

As with the previous version of OS X, Mavericks, the Yosemite edition will be free for Apple customers.

OS X Yosemite price

Apple OS X Yosemite: New features

New look

As with many new versions of software,  OS X Yosemite has been given something of a redesign. Apple says it has a 'fresh and modern' look where controls are 'clearer, smarter and easier to understand'.

The interface also includes streamlined toolbars and translucent elements. “App icons have a clean, consistent design and an updated system font improves readability.” says Apple.

Another new part of the interface is the Today view within Notification Center which gives you an overview of what you need to know which information from widgets such as Calendar, Weather, Reminders and even social networks.

Spotlight now appears at the front and centre of the desktop and includes new categories of results. You can get suggestions from Wikipedia, Maps, Bing, App Store, iTunes, iBooks Store and more.

See also: Windows 9 vs OS X 10.10 Yosemite comparison

Continuity: merging iOS and OS X

Apple says that new continuity features in Yosemite bring OS X and iOS closer together – 'perfect companions'. When your iPhone or iPad is near your Mac, a feature called Handsoff will let you start something on one device and then continue on another.

SMS and MMS messages on your iPhone will now appear in Messages on all your devices. You can  also reply from, and have phone calls through your Mac.

OS X Yosemite new features

iCloud Drive

You can store any type of file within iCloud Drive and the feature is built into Finder so works just like a regular folder. This means you can drag documents to it, arrange and organise them with tags and search with Spotlight. You can access the files in iCloud Drive from Mac, iPhone, iPad or even Windows devices.

Safari

Fitting in with the new look, Safari has been given a new 'streamlined' design which, according to Apple, puts the most important controls at your fingertips. To this end,  there's a new Favourites view which gives access you your most used websites and a new Tabs view which shows thumbnails of open pages in a single window.

Improved privacy features include separate Private Browsing windows and built-in support for DuckDuckGo – that's a non-tracking search engine. Spotlight will also chime in with suggestions if you search a common or popular term. See also: 4 OS X Yosemite features we'd love to see in Windows

Apple says that users can watch an extra two hours worth of HD Netflix content thanks to HTML5 Premium Video Extensions. The firm claims that the latest version of Safari is six times faster than Firefox and five times faster than Chrome when executing JavaScript found in typical websites.

Mail

Updates to Mail mean that editing and sending attachments is easier. Markup means you can fill out and sign forms quickly and also annotate PDFs or images from within the application. Mail Drop is a new feature which lets users send large files such as videos or images up to 5GB in size from within Mail to any email address.

Messages

Messages also has a new look and provides more options for communicating with friends and family. You can now add titles to message threads so they are easy to find, add new contacts to ongoing conversations and leave any conversations you want to. Soundbites is a way to create, send and listen to audio clips within Messages.

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