OS X 10.10: what to expect

OS X 10.10 to iOS 8 AirDrop

On the Mac, AirDrop provides a fast, simple means of wirelessly transferring files between computers. On iOS, AirDrop provides a fast, simple means of wirelessly transferring content between devices. Right now, though, these identically named features don't communicate between platforms.

We're sure there are complex technical reasons why AirDrop for OS X and iOS don't communicate, not least down to the rather more restricted nature of iOS and its lack of a file system, but we think this is one of the problems Apple may well announce it's solved at WWDC. It'd certainly be useful to be able to fire content between an iPad and a Mac without having to resort to email or a third-party utility or service — even if the file and content types are perhaps restricted to those fully compatible with iOS.

More iCloud in OS X 10.10

The OS X 'Internet Accounts' pane in System Preferences is getting crowded, with various email services, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, AOL, Vimeo, and Flickr. Expect new additions, but also for Apple to increasingly push iCloud. OS X defaults to saving in iCloud, and we're likely to see more developers encouraged to integrate it more heavily within their apps.

We could see iCloud becoming more fleshed-out regarding working across multiple platforms and apps, using OS X tagging to automatically build projects, and introducing collaboration features. Additionally, it would be sensible for Apple to rework Time Machine so you can back-up your Mac to (and restore it from) the cloud.

This would, though, require a radical rethink in Cupertino regarding the miserly 5GB of space Apple offers for free (and the laughable 50GB maximum), but if Yahoo can offer 1TB of space for free, there's no reason Apple can't follow suit − and never having to worry about your data's safety again, no matter how much Apple kit you own, would be a great differentiator for the company and a huge new feature for OS X.

We also expect further changes to OS X's core, with speed and stability improvements to fully take advantage of the Mac Pro's power, while also ensuring the system remains energy-conscious for the next generation of Apple notebooks.

What to expect from OS X 10.10

If iCloud is to offer OS X back-ups, you'll need more than 5GB of space for free

OS X 10.10 and Siri

When it comes to interacting with your computer, the mouse/pointer paradigm is deeply ingrained, but it's been shaken up by touchscreens, hence Apple's move to gestural input in OS X via the trackpad (and competitors working on hybrid devices). As smartphones have shown, voice can also be a great way of interacting with any device − as long as the system is smart enough.

No doubt some will argue there's no place for voice on OS X, because your Mac isn't something you want to talk to in order to get a job done, but OS X's accessibility settings already offer voice-oriented features. These include the means to read text aloud or define speakable workflows. There's no reason this can't be part of the default experience, not least for quick tasks that are otherwise cumbersome to deal with, such as entering calendar appointments or performing tedious maintenance.

Imagine an OS X Siri that could offer to automate tidying. "Siri, tidy my Desktop." "OK. Do you want me to add all downloaded music to iTunes, photos to iPhoto, and documents to your Documents folder." "Sure." "And would you like me to do this automatically in future, so you can spend more time being 'productive', searching the web for LOLcats?"

On second thoughts…

What to expect from OS X 10.10

How about: why aren't you on OS X?