Top 11 hidden features in OS X Yosemite

BY Jason

Published 19 Oct 2014

OS X Yosemite was publicly released last week after a series of developer previews and public betas. The update comes with an all-new design, in line with the changes Apple introduces in iOS 7.

But a new design isn’t the only thing that’s new in OS X Yosemite. Here are some hidden features in the OS that you may not have discovered yet:

Dark Mode

As a part of the design overhaul, Apple has also introduced a Dark Mode, that makes the menu bar and dock background darker, with a blank tint. You can enable this from System Preferences > General > “Use dark menu bar and Dock” checkbox.

How to enable Dark Mode on your Mac with OS X Yosemite

yosemite dark mode

Mute Per Message Thread

The Messages app on OS X Yosemite comes with a number of new features and improvements. One of the improvements is that you can selectively mute message threads for a certain time. To mute a thread, select the thread, click on the Detail button at the top right and enable the “Do Not Disturb” checkbox. To start receiving notifications again, just uncheck the box.

messages yosemite mute threadRecord iPhone or iPad screen

QuickTime on OS X Yosemite now lets you record your iPhone or iPad’s screen. Earlier you had to use third-party solutions and AirPlay to do this, but now iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite natively supports this.

To record your iOS device’s screen:

  • Connect it to your Mac with the Lightning cable
  • Open QuickTime
  • Click on File > New Screen Recording from the menu bar
  • You’ll see a down arrow button next to the red record button. Click on it and select your iPhone or iPad.
  • Now click on the record button to start the recording.

screen recording

Inbuilt Currency Converter in Spotlight

Spotlight has received an overhaul in OS X Yosemite. Along with a new design, it also supports an inbuilt currency converter. Just type in queries like “1 USD to Yen” to see the conversion results. You can also do other currency conversions in Spotlight.

spotlight yosemite currency

Markup Images

Mark Up is a new Mail feature that lets you add shapes, text, and callouts to images using your trackpad. You obviously can’t make perfect circles or ovals with the trackpad, but Mark Up is intelligent enough to understand what shape you’re trying to draw, and converts it into a smooth shape later.

In addition to images, Mark Up also lets you fill PDF forms and add signatures to PDFs by signing on the trackpad, or scanning your signature through the camera.

mark up mail yosemite 2mark up mail yosemite 1

Share Screen in Messages

Like other popular messages applications, Messages in OS X Yosemite supports screen sharing. Just click on the Details button at the top right in any thread, and click on the screen sharing button, circled below. You can ask someone to share their screen, or invite them to see your screen.

share screen messages yosemite

Add Signatures from Trackpad

In Mail and Preview, you can add your signature by signing on your Mac’s trackpad. Just click the signature button, click on Trackpad, and start signing on your Trackpad.Screenshot 2014-10-19 18.31.58

Close Tabs on other devices

iCloud tabs has been a part of OS X since a few versions, but with OS X Yosemite, in addition to seeing tabs on other iOS devices and Macs, you can also close tabs remotely. Just click on the tab view button and click on the close button against a tab in a device.Screenshot 2014-10-19 18.39.30

QuickType on Mac

iOS 8 comes with QuickType — a really useful predictive keyboard suggestion feature. You can get the same suggestions in OS X Yosemite as well by pressing escape:

Screenshot 2014-10-19 18.50.08

3D Flyover Tours

Another iOS 8 feature that’s making it to OS X is 3D Flyover Tours. The feature uses Maps 3D Flyover mode to zoom in to some of the main monuments and landmarks in a city. To start a Flyover tour, just search for a supported Flyover tour location like Rome, and click on the Tour button.Screenshot 2014-10-19 19.13.25

RSS in Safari

RSS subscriptions are back in Safari, accessibly from the Shared Links tab. Click on any RSS link, and Safari will show a popup asking if you want to subscribe to the RSS feed, which will show up in the Shares Links tab.

rss links safari yosemite

Have you updated to OS X Yosemite? What’s your favorite hidden feature? Let us know in the comments.