Category Archives: OS X

Apple releases second OS X Yosemite public beta

For the first time in Apple’s history, earlier this year they released a public beta of their upcoming OS X update. Named Yosemite, it brings a brand new look to OS X, taking a lot of design cues from iOS. On Thursday, Apple released the second version of this public beta to testers.


Over the past month, Apple has released two developer updates to Yosemite. This second public beta brings the public version up to date with what developer’s are currently using. OS X Yosemite Beta 6 was released to developers earlier in the week. It brought several small user interface changes, and the usual amount of bug fixes. The first public beta, which was brought out about a month ago; Apple said it planned to allow 1 million people to sign up for the beta.

Old system preferences look
New system preferences look
What’s New?

If you’ve been using the public beta, there are several new things you’ll find in beta 2. You’ll find small tweaks of the UI all over the place. Apple has spent the last month making sure every corner of the OS X user interface receives a make over in order to make it fit in with the rest of the operating system. 

You should also notice that this beta feels much more finished than the previous beta. Over the last month, Apple has fixed innumerable bugs and flaws, and has brought the OS closer to what we’ll see when the finished version hits Macs this fall. 

Apple seems to be pushing the developer betas faster than the public version. It’s possible that they are doing this in order to prevent major bugs for people who aren’t accustom to using beta software. 


The second public beta also includes the latest version of iTunes 12. iTunes 12 includes a brand new interface to fit in with the rest of OS X Yosemite, as well as new features for creating and managing playlists, and easier library management. 

This second version of the iTunes beta fixes several bugs, and further refines the user interface. 

Where to Get It

If you have the first public beta installed on your machine now, upgrading to the second version is as simple as opening the Mac App Store and going to the Update tab. There you’ll find an update, that when downloaded will update you to public beta 2, and will also install the latest version of the iTunes 12 beta.

If you have yet to sign up for the OS X Yosemite public beta, it appears (as of publication), that Apple is still accepting participants into the program. You can go the sign up page here. How long this will remain open is unknown, as again, Apple has stated that only 1 million people will get in. 

Preview: Quick look at the all new OS X Yosemite

For the fourth straight year, Apple is releasing a major update to its desktop operating system, OS X. This year the release is named Yosemite, continuing Apple’s new naming scheme based on California landmarks (last year’s update was labeled Mavericks after a California surfing hotspot).

OS X Yosemite may be one of the largest updates to the Mac OS since OS X was released in 2000, at least in terms of visual changes. Last year Apple released iOS 7 which brought a completely new design to the mobile OS; this year a lot of that same design has been implemented on the desktop. What’s new in OS X 10.10 Yosemite?


Redesigned Interface

The most major change in OS X Yosemite comes from the visual changes. The design is now much more iOS-like, taking the flat and translucent design from its mobile sibling. New icons adorn the classic Mac Dock; while a new dark option gives users the ability to make OS X a little less bright. 

The main theme of the new interface is translucency. The dock, the menu bar, and the title bars of all the apps are now translucent, allowing the user to see “underneath” the app. Apple says this gives users the ability to sense depth in their applications. 

Outside of the main interface, you’ll notice a redesigned Notification Center, which can now be equipped with third party widgets.


Updated Apple Apps

In addition to the main interface, all of Apple’s pre-installed applications have been updated to fit with the new look and feel of OS X Yosemite. For example the Mail app has a new look as well as some new features like in-message markup. Messages received the biggest update; it has a new look as well as allowing users to group message using iMessage. 



For people who have both a Mac and an iOS device, Apple has created a new service called Continuity. Continuity allows users to start doing one thing on their Mac (or iPhone) and continue doing it on their other device. For example, if you start browsing the web on your Mac, you can then pick up your iPad and continue browsing the same page there. 

This is accomplished with a new icon that will pop up on both devices when Continuity is available. In the example above, a Safari icon would appear on the lockscreen. 

Continuity also allows users who own an iPhone to take calls and send SMS messages on their Mac. 



Swift isn’t something that most users of the Mac will care about. It’s a new programming language that will allow developers to code Apple applications with less code and less experience. From an end-user experience, this should mean faster applications. 


Bottom Line

These are just the major updates to OS X Yosemite, there are many more under the hood. One of the biggest changes Apple has made is that it is allowing 1 million people to try the software before it is officially released in the fall with their Public Preview. This is a major change for Apple, which usually keeps its beta software under lock and key until it is polished enough for public consumption.

OS X Yosemite developer preview 6 released by Apple

Apple has released the sixth beta of its highly anticipated next generation Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. This comes about two weeks after the release of the previous developer preview. The new OS, touted because of its redesigned user interface, was first announced at WWDC in June.


The beta, known as a developer preview, has the build number 14A3429f. As of the time of publication, this new release is only available to registered developers, not participants of Apple’s public beta, which opened in late July. 

In addition to a brand new beta for OS X Yosemite, Apple has released a dictation Language update and has brought Xcode 6 up to beta 6. Apple has since removed Xcode 6 beta 6 from the developer center. 

In addition to a flatter interface, OS X Yosemite brings several other improvements that users are looking forward to. Many of the bug fixes since the first beta release in June have been pointed towards these new features, specifically the features that both OS X and iOS 8 share, Continuity and Extensions. 

Each beta has brought slight tweaks to the user interface. Most of these changes have been minor, just bringing icons and tool bars closer to the new flat design used throughout the rest of the interface.

Changes in OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 6

Similar to previous beta releases, Developer Preview 6 has several minor interface tweaks:

– The System Preferences pane received a newly designed top bar in Developer Preview 5. In DP 6, Apple has redesigned the icons in System Preferences to match the rest of the operating system.


– They have included a brand new Battery Icon.


– The new Developer Preview also comes with several Yosemite related wallpapers for the first time.


– In Developer Preview 4, Apple for some unknown reason removed the Do Not Disturb toggle from the Notification Center. In DP 6 it has returned. 


– It’s not known how long Dashboard will live now that OS X can have third party widgets in the Notification Center, but in this beta they’ve updated the design to make it fit in with the rest of the operating system.


– Developer Preview 6 also includes several updates to System Icons, including the standard hard drive icon, Font Book, Mission Control, Terminal, Script Editor, and Notes.


– Other changes include a redesigned color picker and Inspector in apps that use them. Noticeably, the Get Info window is still using previous designs. Additionally an all new Diagnostics Page is show on start up, as seen below.


While it is currently unknown when Apple will release the final version of OS X Yosemite to the public, it is fairly well known that these major releases are sent out in October during their second fall event, which is usually iPad and Mac themed. In normal situations, Apple releases the final bits to consumers a few days before the event; occasionally the day of. 

What are you looking forward to in OS X Yosemite? Feel free to comment and let us know.

Three most popular ways to use Windows on Mac OS X

Must of us who have chosen Apple and their user-friendly, stable OS over PC have done so because we prefer it to the other options on the market today. That choice may be based on previous computing experiences, our belief in the brand, what we need to use our computers for or just personal opinion. Whatever the reason, most people are either “Mac” or “PC.” But what about those instances where crossover is necessary? Some niche software or career demands require hardcore Mac users to delve into Windows territory. There are even some websites out there that still only run on Internet Explorer.

Thankfully, for Mac users who have to cross over to PC on occasion, it’s not necessary to purchase another computer. Instead, a parallel installation of a Windows operating system can be done right on Macs, resulting in increased convenience and money saved.

There are several different methods of achieving a Mac/Windows hybrid. Here are three of the most popular:

1. Boot Camp

Boot Camp is Mac software that comes included with OS X Lion and Mountain Lion. With it, you can run compatible versions of Windows, such as the new Windows 8, on an Intel-based Mac computer.

Officially, Boot Camp is a set of drivers that allow users with compatible Macs to partition their hard drive for a parallel installation of Windows. It’s compatible with a large number of Mac drivers, but essentially recognizes the Windows and OS X installations as two separate computers, going so far as to require iTunes users to authorize the Windows install as a separate computer within their accounts.

Boot Camp Assistant

2. Parallels

Parallels does virtually the same thing as Boot Camp – it enables you to partition your hard drive and have parallel installations of OS X and Windows 8. However, instead of being a featured set of drivers within your Mac that require setting up, it’s actually a software program you can purchase online or from the electronics store of your choice.

Parallels is a popular choice for some people as it doesn’t necessitate making as many manual tweaks and configurations as Boot Camp. Furthermore, the purchase includes support for Retina display, Thunderbolt and many other features. Essentially, it provides the best of both worlds with easy switching between immersive and complete Mac and Windows environments. In addition, Parallels provides mobile apps that allow users to carry Windows functionality over to the iPad and iPhone.

Parallels running multiple versions of Windows on Mac OS X

3. VMWare Fusion

Suggested for home users who want to install Windows on an Apple computer, VMWare Fusion is a less-intimidating but still functional solution for those who may simply want the parallel install for nothing more than the ability to play PC games on a Mac. Switching between operating systems is easy, and the user-friendly experience is extended by letting users manage their desktop and interact with their Windows OS like it was a Mac – complete with dock.

VMWare Fusion running Windows on Mac OS X

Another option worth considering is VirtualBox. A “feature rich, high-performance product,” it’s less consumer-targeted than Parallels or VMWare Fusion. VirtualBox markets itself as a professional solution that will meet the most specific lists of criteria, yet is available entirely as Open Source Software, backed by a dedicated tech community. It’s available for Mac, Windows and Linux and enables users to have a virtual experience of another operating system.

Whether you need to use specific business or scientific software or you’re just eager to check out computer games that are still targeted only for PC, there are many reasons you may want to set up a parallel installation of Windows 8 on your Mac. Fortunately, there are also several options that will enable you to do so.

Top 5 features of OS X Mavericks

Anyone who pays attention to the tech world knows that Apple is huge. The company claims that Mac growth is up 100% in the last five years, as compared to just 18% for the rest of the PC industry. Because of Mac’s ever-increasing popularity, they’re looking to distinguish themselves from Windows-based computers even further.

With the new OS X Mavericks, they are doing just that. The new operating system boasts a number of amazing features that are sure to please Mac users, including power-saving technology and easier ways to search.  OS X Mavericks also takes a significant leap with regard to offering features common to mobile computing devices like their iPhone and iPad while still retaining a uniquely “desktop” computing experience.

Here are five of the best features of the new operating system:

  • Better navigation through folders. When you have an organizational system with your documents, a lot of files are in folders three and four times off the root, and when you want to move them around, you’re juggling between levels. A great feature of the new OS is that it makes folder navigation easier. Mavericks folders are styled after web browsers and support tabs, so users can simply open a New Finder tab and start navigating elsewhere without getting completely lost.
  • Better organization of documents. Organization is imperative when you start collecting files. Work documents, personal business items, recipes, you name it, can all get mixed together. What’s worse, when you try to find a file you might not always recall what you named it. Thankfully, OS X Mavericks comes with a new file tagging system. Very similar to popular apps like Evernote, it’ll let you organize and search through all your documents with tagged keywords, making finding files a lot simpler.
  • Better Internet browsing. With the new OS, the Safari browser provides smoother performance and a cleaner interface. It’ll utilize a new sidebar that lets you browse rom your bookmarks on the left side of the screen and a new feature called Shared links lets you quickly see what your Twitter and Facebook friends are sharing. Safari also offers 3.8 times more performance on JSBench JavaScript benchmark, uses less memory and energy than Chrome and Firefox and if you’re on a MacBook, can potentially save you battery life.
  • Better password storage and security.  With so many websites, services and programs that require login information, it can get a bit overwhelming trying to remember all your passwords. With OS X Mavericks, iCloud can help you with that. You can choose to have Safari remember your passwords or even suggest and remember complex ones for you, and the information will sync across all your iCloud-enabled devices. As a result, if you change a password on your iMac, you don’t have to worry about re-entering it on your MacBook, iPad or e. iPhone. Once it’s changed, it’s changed everywhere. This feature works similarly to services like 1Password or LastPass; the iCloud keychain can even store credit card information (except, for your safety, not security codes, making online shopping faster and easier. You’ll just need to remember one secure pass phrase and then you can log in anywhere.
  • Better system notifications. The new OS now features interactive system notifications. This is awesome because it means you can reply to incoming messages or emails and accept or decline FaceTime calls directly from the Notifications alert window. It can also deliver push alerts, whether they’re from eBay or a live sports scores feed you’re following. And just like the iPhone and iPad, the lock screen will show you what notifications you missed since you last logged on.

With changes like these plus all the other features offered, OS X Mavericks will prove to be incredibly useful for both the average consumer and the computer super-user. The new operating system is due out soon and is truly something to get excited about.