Today Apple released a free major software update for Mac. The new OS X 10.10 Yosemite sports a brand new look, similar to the cosmetic upgrade that iOS 7 brought last year, though maybe not quite as drastic. The focus of this update is to bring the features more in line with iOS, allowing you to move between your devices seamlessly and continue working. This is not a “dumbing down” of the OS to make it more like an iPad with a keyboard. Apple is just trying to create more visual and functional consistency across all of their products and allow your data to flow freely to wherever you are. For example, you can easily move your current document or activity across your devices instantly using Coherence. Working on an email on your iPhone but want to complete it on your Mac? Instead of saving the draft and then loading the draft, there is simply one click to transfer it over. You also don’t have to worryabout whether a recipient is using Android or Blackberry when you text someone from your computer. Your computer now supports SMS messages in addition to iMessage (using your iPhone as a gateway). Lots and lots of similar tweaks make this version of OS X very efficient and user-friendly. Be sure to follow my blog or download my app so that you don’t miss any of my tips, which over the coming weeks will largely be about Yosemite.
- Computer model: Yosemite has the exact same requirements as 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.9 Mavericks.
- iMac (Mid-2007 or later) – The cheat way to tell is if it has a white plastic body it’s not compatible, if it has an aluminum body it is
- MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Pro
- 13-inch, Mid-2009 or later (really, that means any 13-inch model)
- 15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later
- 17-inch, Late 2007 or later
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later) – which is any model with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later) – which is any model with Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- Xserve (Early 2009) – the only model that had Mini DisplayPort
- RAM: Even though the specs call for 2 GB of RAM, I recommend 4 GB for acceptable performance or 8 GB for good performance (no different than my recommendation for Mavericks). Computers with an SSD drive can get good performance with 4 GB if your usage isn’t that heavy. All computers that are capable of running Yosemite can be upgraded to 4 GB, with the exception of the MacBook Air which has the RAM soldered in order to keep the size small.
- Software compatibility. You will want to check that anythird party programs you have on your computer are compatible, especially if you’re running software that isn’t the latest version and aren’tprepared to be forced into upgrading. Look for information on the developer’s website or Twitter feeds. I do have some information about a few things:
- Parallels: Version 9 and higher is compatible. Just make sure you run Parallels software update first to be sure you’re on the latest patch.
- iWeb: No support. It stopped working with 10.9 Mavericks from what I hear.
- Final Cut: FCPX is supported. FCP 7 runs for many people but I’d be very cautious with running it on Mavericks or Yosemite. Be sure your backup is current before you install in case you need to roll back.
- Install Prerequisites. Your Mac must be running at least OS X 10.6.8. You should also make sure that you run Software Update (Apple menu > Software Update) and install all available updates first.
- Back up. Especially if you don’t want to wait for 10.10.1 you’ll want to back up first with Time Machine or a disk clone utility. Major problems are uncommon with Apple software but you don’t want to be in that tiny percentage who loses data or discovers that important programs aren’t working.
- Download and Install. The installer can be downloaded from the App Store. The installer will load after it finishes. It’s huge so it could take a few hours if you’re connection isn’t very fast.
- Check for updates. Check to see what apps (such as iWork – Pages, Numbers, Keynote) from the App Store have been updated. Go to the Apple menu > App Store > Updates.
- Check your apps. Load each of your apps and make sure that they run and are usable in case you need to restore from your backup.