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We’ve been observing and navigating our way through all the aspects of the latest Mac OS, which is free for download now on the Apple App Store.

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First, the good, beginning with aesthetics. The first thing you notice is a cleaner and brighter appearance. The icons are more flat (as opposed to 3D), and brighter colors. (I especially love the crayon box color palette!) The redesign of the icons and refining of the various buttons and text seem to really pop on Macs with Retina displays. There is not a single blurry menu or icon to be found! Spotlight is bigger and right in the center of the screen which is very helpful.

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It also performs very well, and has added some efficiencies and functionality between the Mac and iOS. Answering phone calls on the Mac sure is convenient, and now it’s easier to transfer files between a Mac and iOS device with Airdrop. iCloud Drive streamlines the whole iCloud document storage situation, and works a bit more like Dropbox (or any other cloud storage). Basically, it’s a revival of iDisk—finally!

After upgrading to Yosemite, I got a bunch of upgrades in the App Store to address improvements and compatibility, including new versions of iLife and iWork apps, so that was nice.

white-screenThe bad: I’m using a late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina display and everything works as it should. However, I’ve been a little wary to upgrade older Macs that just weren’t built to handle newer operating systems and the load on the graphics and processor. We’ve seen a few quirks, mostly just annoying, but some of its flaws are debilitating, and we have reverted to a downgrade in a couple of instances. Irritating prompts that you are out of application memory, problems connecting to the internet, crashing apps, and sluggish performance are a few issues we’ve dealt with. The worst is a white or black screen, which seems to be a conflict with certain iMac graphics cards.

In general, if you are already running Mavericks, or you’re getting a new Mac, then Yosemite should be fine. But if your older Mac (2007-2009) is doing okay where it is, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of upgrading before pulling the trigger. It can most definitely be that last straw for an aging computer.

new finderThe ugly: this operating system provides a nice facelift and some shiny features, but there are some other changes that can just be confusing. I don’t know why Finder is different, it is definitely happier now but I preferred the earlier version. I’m not a big fan of the changes in the iTunes interface, such as the removal of the sidebar. And “Today” in the calendar has moved from the left side to the right side. These small changes can take some getting used-to. The nice transparency feature isn’t ugly, but it can cause too much drag on the processor in some cases. This can be turned off.

Overall, Yosemite is a good move. If your Mac is at least a 2010, in good overall health, and you can verify all your apps are compatible, you may be ready for the upgrade!

The MacSpa