Must-Know Tips & Tricks for OS X Yosemite

If you have upgraded to Yosemite you've seen some changes visually but may not know the benefits of the update. If you haven't upgraded to Yosemite, we recommend backing your computer up before you upgrade. There are a ton of new features included in this update that make life a little sweeter and make your friends looking through windows jelly.  Here is just a pinch of what you can now do.

#1. Answer and make phone calls

If you have an iPhone (5 or later), you can now make and receive phone calls on your Mac computer. Simply make sure you're on the same Wi-Fi network and are using the same iCloud account on both devices.

When you're in the Messages app, go to Preferences -> Accounts and make sure your number is checked. Now, anytime you receive a phone call, you'll get a notification at the top right of your computer screen where you can choose to accept or decline it.

To make a call, go to FaceTime and either enter the number you want to call or hit the phone icon next to a recent number under the Audio tab.

Bonus: In addition to Yosemite, Wi-Fi calling via iPhone also works on the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini with Retina display.

#2. Receive & Send SMS Text Messages

While you've been able to send iMessages to other iOS users directly from your computer, regular text messages were still relegated to your iPhone. Now, thanks to SMS Relay, you can send text messages directly from the Messages app on your Mac.

Set up the iMessage app on your Mac with your iCloud credentials. Leave the app open on your Mac and, on your iOS device, navigate to Settings -> Messages -> Text Message Forwarding. Once you see your device listed, toggle it on. You may also be required to input a verification code, so make sure to leave iMessage open on your Mac to receive it.

#3. Name Your Group Messages When we’re talking with a group of friends, it’s usually about something specific, you can now label your conversations accordingly. Click the Details button inside a group message and you’ll see an option to give it a name. It’ll also sync the title with all of your other devices, so you won’t lose track of it.

#4. Stop blowing up my phone Sometimes you just don't want to be bothered by the onslaught of a back-and-forth group message. In Yosemite you won’t have to anymore. Inside the Details window are two ways to put a stop to the distractions: Turn on Do Not Disturb to stop getting notifications every time someone has a reply, or leave the conversation entirely. And like everything else, whatever you decide will be reflected on all of your devices.

#5. Smarter Spotlight Search Spotlight has been greatly enhanced in Yosemite, evolving from a simple system searcher to a full-fledged information center always at the ready. Just press Command-Space and the behemoth search field will automatically pop up in the middle of the screen. You can use it to hunt for long-lost files hidden in dark corners of your hard drive and it can find just about anything else you may be looking for: maps, trailers, definitions, songs, phone numbers... even pictures of The Fonz on his Triumph, if you're looking to be cool like him.

#6. New Tricks for Spotlight Spotlight can help you in a variety of new ways: Need currency conversion? Or maybe you need to know how many miles are in 24 kilometers or what 211 degrees Fahrenheit looks like in Celsius? How about movie times? Spotlight's got you covered.

211 degrees
211 degrees

#7. Find your Safari Favorites Apple has ditched the bookmark bar in Safari 8 for a cleaner browsing experience. Of course, you can still get to them with the dropdown menu or the sidebar, but Apple has given us a much easier method in Yosemite: just click inside the address bar and a "grid" of your favorites magically appear. If you want, you can still have the "old-fashioned" bar, bring it back in the View settings.

#8. See All of Your Open Tabs is Safari Tabs have always been a part of our multitasking workflow, but Yosemite will make us more productive than ever.  With a nod to iOS, a click on the new tabs icon or keystroke "Command + Shift + \",  instantly brings you into a screen where you can see all of the open tabs on your machine, arranged neatly and grouped by site so you can quickly switch between them.

#9. Send Links to Social Media and Recent Recipients Share a link with the world with the share icon (the box with an arrow pointing  up) or, If you’re constantly sharing links with your friends, Safari will help you send them out even faster. At the bottom of the sharing menu, you’ll find a list of recent recipients; just click one and it’ll open the appropriate message with the “To” field already filled out.

#10. Safari Sync History When we you a bookmark on your iPhone you expect it to pop up when you log into Safari on our Mac, but in Yosemite Apple has a new trick up iCloud’s sleeve. No longer do we have to leave tabs open to access sites between devices; when you browse using Safari in Yosemite, your history will automatically sync with your other devices, including anything you may have cleared. Now that's cools.

 #11. Annotate Attachments in Mail Mail is a versatile message manager, and things only get better in Yosemite. If you want to highlight something on a photo, or make a note on a PDF, you no longer need to do your work in an image editor first; after attaching it, click on the small arrow in the top-right corner of the photo and you’ll get a menu of editing options, including type, lines, shapes, and drawing tools.

#12. Fix Your Crude Drawings in Markup It's not easy to make neat lines using a trackpad is it? So, rather than letting you send scribbles that look like they were done by a monkey, Markup will instantly recognize what you're trying to draw. To use it, click the menu button that appears in the top-right of the attachment when you mouse over it.

#13. Sign PDFs in Mail While OS X has offered the ability to sign PDFs since the days of Leopard, Apple has streamlines it with Yosemite. Users previously had to open documents in the Preview app to sign a PDF, now it's part of Markup in Mail; simply click the new "add signature" icon in the pop-up menu and you’ll be able to sign your document, either by using the trackpad or scanning your Herbie Hancock with the camera.

#14. Pick up Where You Left off with Handoff Apple has integrated iOS and OS X like "Bam!", and nowhere is that more evident than in the Handoff feature. If you're working on something in a supported app on your iPad or iPhone, you'll see an icon appear on the left of the Finder; click on it and your work will instantly be beamed to your Mac, letting you pick up right where you left off. And when you're done, you can send it right back.