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Yosemite deep-dive review: OS X 10.10 gets ready for the big time

Michael deAgonia | Oct. 17, 2014
For the first time since 2000, Apple has offered a public beta of its new OS. Here’s what's new and what's cool.

One thing I'm interested in seeing is whether Notification's Today view will be the death of the Dashboard, as they're functionally similar.

Spotlight and Safari
For years, Spotlight was accessible by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner or via the command-space key combo. Searches were confined to a comparatively tiny search field, huddled to the upper right of the screen; results were also limited to a narrow list cascading down the right of the display. Most results were abbreviated, cut off due to lack of space. In Yosemite, Spotlight finally cuts loose.

Spotlight still resides in the far right menu bar corner, just to the left of the Notification Center icon. When activated, a large search field fills a good portion of your screen, front and center, and results are displayed in a large rectangle centered on your screen. The results area is a much larger area than before and holds much more information.

There are also a ton of new tweaks. For instance, you can still look for and launch an app by entering a few characters of its name and then pressing enter; but in Yosemite, search results for that app also display recent documents, which is smart and relevant.

Spotlight is capable of searching through more sources and displaying many more results, too. As before, you can launch apps, find local contact information, mail, calendar events and reminders; now there are Wikipedia entries, searches through conversion histories, PDFs, map data (like local restaurants), dictionary results, local theater show times, and iTunes app and media store results (including movies for rent and purchase).

The Safari browser gets some updates, too. The interface is a bit more streamlined, with the window toolbar and embedded interface elements using less space than before. In line with the window controls, Safari now sports a minimalist toolbar featuring forward/back, sidebar toggle, address field, share, tabs view and downloads buttons. The text field still serves as a search and address field, but it's been enhanced a bit.

Despite the clean new look, you can still customize the action icons on the main toolbar; and you can still display Favorites (bookmarks) on a separate toolbar. Those options weren't removed, just disabled. But if you click on the address bar, a menu appears with all of your favorites, anyway -- including nested folders -- so there might be something to hiding the Favorites menu to display more Web content.

The address/search field can search using multiple sources, not just Google (or another preferred search engine) alone. You can now search map data, movies, the iTunes store, Wikipedia, and other engines, with the results displaying inline. As before, clicking on the results brings up more information.


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