OS X 10.10 is coming: What do you want it to do?

I've told you what I want out of OS X 10.10. Now it's your turn.

The feature list for OS X 10.10 Syrah has already been decided. I don't have any special insight to what it has, but I know what I'd like it to have — I made the case for a flatter interface, borrowing from iOS 7, and many of you agreed with me.

But you have lots of other great ideas, judging from the many responses I got from Twitter. Here's a sample

Plain voice interaction

Siri is at the top of the list of wants. It's something that a lot of us depend on we use our iPhones and iPads, why should our Mac experience be any different? Apple understands when it makes sense to blur the line between mobile and desktop operating systems, and I think this is one of those cases.

There's already excellent dictation and voice technology built into the Accessibility system preference, let's augment that with a tool we're already intimately familiar with.

AirDrop that works

AirDrop on the Mac and AirDrop on iOS are two different things, and right now never the twain shall meet. That has to change. It's a pain point for Apple's customers, and it complicates the relationship between iOS and OS X devices.

More apps that don't suck

Mavericks was a big bump in the road for iWork users for reasons I've articulated in the past. There's a consensus that the fit and finish of other core apps isn't as solid as it could be.

Take Mail for instance, which is about as core an OS X app as you can get. It remains unsteady for many users who have applied all of the latest system patches and have reconfigured e-mail server settings when necessary.

My Mail app's latest trick is to randomly hang when checking mail, even from iCloud. Something I ultimately have to restart to recover from. And I'm not alone — a bunch of you said you were having similar difficulty.

iTunes is another favorite target. iTunes is bloated, slow, cumbersome. It is the antithesis of Apple's design aesthetic. Yet it lumbers forth like a reanimated corpse dredged from the bottom of a lake.

Make iTunes about the tunes again, and separate other functionality away from it entirely. Apple's managed to do this with discrete apps in iOS. It'll work on OS X. Get video and apps out of there, too.

Safari is another perennial favorite to complain about. I'm beginning to think that no single web browser is the best solution for everyone. Which is why I keep Safari, Firefox and Chrome in my dock at this point.

That's just the start but it's a good stopping point for now. Tell me about what your secret hopes and desires are for OS X 10.10. Let's keep it going.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

OS X 10.10 is coming: What do you want it to do?


Just better overall synergy with iOS. The graphics would be a obvious first step (plus a lot of the work has been done by the iOS team).

My secret hope is that they will make Finder work properly some day.

I want to be able to make a folder, put some icons in it in this or that location, and have it stay that way. I want every folder to *always* open in the same way, with the same icons and layout that it had the last time I went into it. If I opened it last in list view, I want it to open that way next time. If I opened it last time in column view, I want it to open that way the next time as well.

Simple eh? I remember Steve promising this on stage sometime around 10.4 and it hasn't happened yet.

Oh, and I also want my mail to always be in sync. I don't want my computer to have to use two or three sets of in and outbaskets. I just want a single trash, inbox and outbox on the computer, the phone, and the tablet, and I want them all to be in sync, all the time. I don't want to be searching around in the cloud, the computer, the other computer, the phone or the tablet to figure out which of the "inboxes" the mail I'm looking for is actually in.

To dream the impossible dream ... :-)

PS - It would be nice to let us at least choose to use coverflow in iTunes instead of just randomly eliminating it without notice after some of us had come to rely on it.

These were the first obvious usability design issues i took not of when I first got a mac. It made no sense why this consistency wouldn't exist in the finder where familiarity matters most.

I'd like to see improvements to the mac app store. This may not require 10.10 but trails and upgrade pricing would be great.

I really couldn't disagree more about iTunes. Do people honestly find it easier to navigate Apple's media on iOS, where the store is separated from the music which is separated from the video? I agree that books and files shouldn't be handled through iTunes, but other than that, I appreciate the consolidation.

iTunes might be the worst application ever written. Manually syncing my iPhone over many laptops shouldn't as difficult as it currently is.

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Definitely, iTunes needs an overhaul. It's a pain in the @ss syncing it to an iPhone or iPad currently in Mac OS X...

We should really be able to backup and manage iOS devices in a much more controlled way. This 'all or nothing' backup to iTunes or iCloud is just nuts. And, yea, syncing could be much improved.

I want safari to have video switch to html5 versions automatically like on iOS instead of giving up a flash plugin error.

A lot of mobile browsers have a 'masquerade as desktop' type setting. It would be really nice if desktop Safari had a 'pretend to be an iPad' setting too. It seems Google / YouTube is getting more and more insistent about being logged in to be able to get what you want, especially the HTML5 version of YouTube videos.

You're right on about iTunes. Seriously needs a rethinking. Would also love to see more integration of social networks. Both Facebook and Twitter are there but they're buried in the notifications pane which I never open (leads me to believe that a keyboard shortcut has to exist).

I may be the only one on this, but folders for specific apps on the doc, sort of like you can do in the Launch-whatever it's called. I know you can have folders, but you can only do them for all applications, not just a few. (I would love to put all the Creative Cloud apps in one folder on my dock.)

IF they did nothing except the iTunes revamp, I'd still be ecstatic.

Totally agree with Gazooby about the Finder ! ! !
And make the basic functions useful ! That is:

I want it to work like real notes... You don't have time? Fine! No need to reinvent the wheel: Check out Evernote, just copy 80% of their functionality and you'll have something worth taking a few octets of space on my hard drive.

Geez, why do I need the app Any.Do if your reminders were really doing what it should do? Link it with the calendar and contacts, and assure direct wifi/Bluetooth IOS sync.

Good idea... But where is "user" gone into "UI" acronyms?
Why can't I save routes?
How come I can't name bookmarks as easily as in IOS?
And we should be able to make folders of bookmarks too!!!
And they should be instantly sync on my iPhone...
And please... stop calling them bookmarks...it's a map, not a book! Call it Fav place or MVP (most valuable places), anything but not bookmark, dah!

Well that is such a big chunk that it should simply be dealt with outside the OS, for once Microsoft ain't stupid in dealing with them separately.

We should be able to write pinyin or kanji or whatever Asian writing using the trackpad as easily as we do with IPhone.

Keep it simple: music, podcasts, video (if u want to keep it there), final dot.

New App: iPhone Manager...
Photos managed in iPhoto.
Contacts in address book.
Music & co in iTunes.
Apps in AppStore.
Books & PDF in IBooks.
And a simple IPhone manager app to link all of it to my iPhone, the way I want.... We could even store through that app some other files (you know, like a portable memory stick... What a revolution that would be)!

Not asking much, do I?

I haven't been around OS X as much as you guys. Not quite a year yet. So what you said Peter especially with regards to iTunes. It is cumbersome. Mail definitely needs work. It would entirely be nice to have a select all feature. The current form of deleting emails is archaic. Definitely better integration with iOS.
Regarding iTunes, how about making downloading movies simpler. When I rent something not always sure where to go to start playing it. Maybe I'm slow but it's not at all obvious to me. The Mac App Store could do with some more apps. So what's with the dearth and what can apple do to make it as full as App Store for iOS? That's all I can think of for now.

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I'm setting myself up for disappointment here. A real spacial Finder like OS 9 after all these years would be nice. Keep the columns for God's sake, I love them. But I want some folders to just always open as old-ass Finder windows.

Speaking of pie-in-the-sky hopes, how about not making it look like iOS 7? That's high on my list of dreams that are bound to be dashed like so many sad delusions. Visual refresh? Sure. Make everything retina-searing white?

Dammit. I just know this shit will be white.

I know what I don't want!!!

I don't want the UI to become flat like iOS though I think that is going to happen and I will stay on 10.9 until this Mac's life is over and I go back to Windows. I use a Mac because I love the UI.

I'll likely move to 10.10, but I'm with you on the direction of the UI. I sure hope they don't go 'flat' but I imagine they probably will. And even worse, that means, like iOS, a lot of 3rd party apps will attempt to jump on the bandwagon and go 'flat' as well, totally screwing up the UI of far more than the core OS.

Support for the latest version of OpenCL would be nice (Apple is an entire version behind at present).

An ios 7 style visual make over is much needed too. Time to put aqua away.

I would like to see Airplay to OSx so that we become less reliant on Apple TV as the hub to streaming to the TV especially now that Mac Mini can be quite a nice integrated home entertainment environment, it just lacks the airplay elements that are integrated into OSx. Yes I know there are 3rd party apps that can do this, but they are not the best.

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Let me change the location of notifications. When are working with lots of tabs in a full width browser, there is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a notification alert to move out of the way.

You could swipe it away (a two fingered swipe to the right with the pointer on the notification) to clear it faster and/or use the Do not disturb mode.

Thanks for the tip on the swipe. As for DND, it isn't that I don't want to see the notices. I do, I just don't necessarily need to act on most of them immediately.

Even with those options, being able to put the alert in a different corner is something I would still like to see, even though I am confident it will never happen.

Provide Dropbox-style document syncing for iCloud. I'd love to get rid of my Dropbox account and shift everything to iCloud. But I simply can't trust a service where my files reside only in the cloud and nowhere else.

I would like to see that for iCloud. I have said that for some time. I would actually like to see it addressable like iDisk

I'd like to see Apple return to it's roots, where they used to study UI and apply what they learned, as opposed to trying to be fashionable. I don't want change for change's sake. I don't want 'flat' if it compromises good UI principals.

I want improved data sharing between iOS and OSX, but I don't want OSX to become like iOS. The latter is more like Microsoft's failed strategy. Sure, when they learn something really great from iOS, it *might* apply to OSX, but that shouldn't be assumed, and the implications need to be well studied.

I'd love to have more control over the cloud, and that includes better tools for managing iOS devices. I'm actually a bit scared to buy a new iOS device to replace my aging iPod or iPad, as how, exactly, I'm going to move the data between them is less than clear. I should be able to do backups, and restore just the data from one app, etc. And, I should have version control over that if storage space allows. I should be able to see and manage what I have in the cloud. I'd like syncing to have a bit more control as well (Calendar, Contacts, etc. so I don't have to find ways to manually make backups.

I'd love the core to be improved so things we already have work properly. A great example is Mail. I've finally given up and gone to Postbox. I just can't spend YEARS waiting for Apple to get their act together on making a core app work properly. I'd like to be able to use my BT mouse without it making my WiFi mess up when I wake my laptop (something I've been waiting for Apple to fully fix since Tiger!)

Im generally happy with OSX, however I would like one simple feature. Allow me to connect my iPhone to my macbook via bluetooth. Seems so stupid that I can't do this and browse my pictures to copy them over.

Continue to improve iWork, especially Pages. It's always been the backward look alike cousin to MS Word. Add the ability to use it as WSIWYG web editor to export web pages. Perhaps you could roll iWeb into Pages. I've heard that the ability to create eBooks has improved in Pages abut haven't really explored it yet.

I just paid $99 for a Mac Developer's license and I can't even find the software update seed utility so I can try out 10.9.3 latest build much less 10.10.

1.) Improved Wi-fi connectivity-sometimes it just lags or takes a while before it connects
2.) More apps on the app store that could sync with iOS devices such as espn, netflix, twitter, instagram, flipboard, etc.
3.) Improved Mail app
4.) If we get lucky maybe even much more improved battery life like in mavs
5.) And Last, but not least, an Office for Mac free app like the new one of the iPad!
Hopefully we can get some of these in the "Syrah" upgrade. Mail and Wi-fi certainly a priority for me. What do you guys think?

I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I'm really looking for Apple to get into the touch screen game! I really want a ultra portable/convertible laptop/ipad! I've been eyeballing the Lenovo Yoga 2 for some time as it's a really sweet piece of hardware design with great specks for the buck. And seriously, W8.1 is not bad at all. I'm ready to switch from my 14 years of using OS X if Apple doesn't get innovative and move forward in a serious way.

Except for the fact that Windows 8.1 is a step BACKWARDS because the faithful were outraged by the “touch screen game.”

Adding the "Start" button back has helped rectify this "outrage" and I understand how the touch screen isn't always the way to interact with their computer, but it DOES have a very valuable contribution to how they use their computer.

I just want a stable operating system and hardware that continues to be easy to use. That’s why I use Apple gear in the first place. The nerd crowd is always clamoring for one more bloatware feature that very few people actually use. I DON’T want OS X turning into Windows and I DON’T want iWork turning into Office, which is what the so-called tech/nerds seem to want. Every techie and every nerd on the planet could leave the Apple platform and it wouldn’t even be noticed by Apple’s bottom line because I am the majority of Apple’s customer base, not the nerd herd. I hope Apple keeps that in mind and in focus.

1. Flat design based on iCloud.com, not on iOS 7. iOS 7 is too damn blinding with the nearly white-only theme. Apple should use a light color tone, not just white.
2. Buy Alfred and Replace Spotlight with it in OS X
3. Improve App Store with the upgrade prices along with an hour trial like Google Play. I'd like to make sure the app I install works for me. If it does, I'd keep it. If not, I'd like to just press Cancel within an hour and no charges goes through. App is automatically removed from the system.
4. Oh, buy AppCleaner or provide a better uninstaller. Clean and simple install is there with OS X but not for uninstall. Clean up my library, cache, and so on folders when I move the app file to the Trash.
5. A proper iCloud sync folder, progress indictor for uploads/downloads, and so on.
6. Loosen up some of the sandboxing to enable more flexible apps in the App Store.
7. Decouple various apps in iTunes, separate them out but put it in the same iTunes suite. I like lighter and simple-function apps, not the bloated iTunes client.
8. Add the iTunes suite to iCloud.com, let me stream my stuff on the website without requiring me to download videos on my Macs and without using the bloated iTunes client. I'd pay an extra 20-30$ a year just for the streaming rights.
9. Provide more storage for iCloud at cheaper prices (how 10.10 is related to this is explained a bit later), storage costs are going down every year. Instead of reducing the price, give loyal fans free bump every year like 2GB extra per year and 5GB extra per iOS device registered to the AppleID account. This would start with 10.10 and iOS 8, as a way to push folks over to newer platforms.
10. Add iMessage to iCloud.com and overhaul the apps in 10.10/10.8, make it more reliable, flatter, and so on. iMessage would be very useful if we don't have the iOS device/Mac with us.
11. Archive iMessage conversations to iCloud, allowing us to free up space from the huge collection of images/videos we put in iMessage. This is a huge problem iOS but same can be said on OS X with laptops that have limited space.

And so on. Apple need to focus on providing better cloud services and integrate it with OS X / iOS. It's not enough to have the best OS platforms but it is now required to have the best in class services. Google and Microsoft are kicking Apple's ass in this area.

So much WORD to the iTunes bit in the article. For years, I (and I'm sure countless other people) have wanted separate, less bloaty clients for music, videos, and other media.

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i want to have the ability to employ the hud-framework in *all* apps, ui included.
i want mac os x to be much leaner, much faster, boot up and shut down much faster. multitasking could be improved on as well.
i'd like them to improve on their newest iteration of their iwork suite, bring the feature-set up-to-par with Microsoft Office (especially numbers, the others aren't as lacking).

I would like to see better dual monitor integration. When I open a program it would be nice to have it actually open on the screen I opened it from. Also, make the dock work correctly. I can't stand when I try to get my dock to pop up and it stays hidden. It should pop up the second my mouse hits the bottom of the screen and not have to move and click 20 times to finally get it to pop up.

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