I’ve been using the final version of Yosemite since it was pushed out by Apple. I’ll admit I hated the interface changes at first, but the new look grew on me rather quickly. Many of the new features are wonderful additions, even for those of us not using iOS. The changes to the notification center, for example, make using it a much more integral part of my workflow.
However, there are many issues with the first mass release of the OS, that I feel need to be addressed by Apple in the near future. These are bugs and issues that do not detract from the fact that Yosemite is a major upgrade, and a step in the right direction, but rather detract from the overall polish and perfection of the OS.
The first issue pertains to transparency. As anyone who has used Yosemite knows, Apple has replaced much of the “aluminum” look of previous versions with a more transparent look to windows, the menubar, and other UI elements. It certainly looks nice, and it certainly feels more modern while still maintaining a traditional desktop. But it also requires more heavy usage of graphics and system resources at all times, and during heavy usage interface lag becomes noticeable in a way it wasn’t in, say, Mavericks. Furthermore, while Apple added an option to “reduce transparency” in the accessibility settings, its implementation seems to be halfhearted at best. Yes, it reduces the transparency of the UI, and there is a noticeable performance boost, but it also renders certain aspects of the UI uncharacteristically ugly. The volume HUD, for example, is plagued by hideous black corners which remind one of booting a Linux desktop in “software rendering mode” because you installed incompatible graphics drivers. It’s not the end of the world, but it definitely needs a fix. And the sooner it gets it, the sooner Yosemite will feel fully finished.
Another issue involves a new feature implemented in a puzzling manner. OS X Yosemite introduced Dark Mode, which tints the dock and menubar dark instead of the usual light. In my opinion, this is one of the sexiest features of the new OS. I love the dark look. But for some reason, instead of applying a filter to the entire menubar to invert the colors (as some third party apps do), Apple only has Dark Mode effect their own UI elements and menus, but no third-party apps. This means that any menubar app that has not yet been updated specifically for this feature is invisible in dark mode, or worse, tinted some bizarre shade of gray that makes the entire interface look like a glitch. It’s not a pretty sight. Sure, it’s only aesthetic, but the feature itself is an aesthetic tweak, which for some reason seems not to have taken into consideration the possibility that not all apps you might want to use have been updated for the newest version of the OS.
Many people have been griping about changes to the interface that removed features they were used to, or that changed the way they use apps– the loss of the iTunes sidebar, for example. It’s true, those can be annoying, but with a new OS release, those were to be expected, and I think its perfectly reasonable to assume you’ll get used to those small changes with time. But flaky performance and flaws in the aesthetic overhaul, when the new OS update was supposed to both increase performance and make the UI prettier, are some pretty big issues. It’s still a great OS, but these are problems that need to be fixed. Here’s to hoping we’ll see some bug fixes from Apple in the new future.