One of the most difficult decisions I have living on the cutting edge of technology is to know when to upgrade to the new operating systems when they are released. Sometimes, I get lucky because I’m also upgrading to a new phone, tablet or computer and it’s a seamless process. But more times than not, I find myself upgrading to the latest software on my current devices.
I have been burned more times than I’d like to admit by upgrading on release day and then having to try and roll back my system to the old version. Now, I normally live on this mantra: Wait to upgrade until there is a “.1” update to the major revision so that all the bugs are fixed.
The reason I’m sharing this philosophy is because normally I can wait until the previously mentioned “.1” update is released. But, as the saying goes, “there is an exception to every rule” and Apple’s latest OS X release (Yosemite) seems to be that very exception. Yosemite includes some really nice features, that, as an educator I want to use and I’m really tired of waiting for a “.1” update.
Here are the 3 features I could not wait to use:
Have you ever been working on a document on your computer and then received a phone call or message where you needed to leave immediately, but you had to stop work on the current file until you returned? In I.T. it happens to me daily. Well, with Handoff, I can start working on an email or a Pages document on my Mac and when I need to go I can pick up my iPhone or iPad and continue right here I left off.
2. Airdrop between Mac and iOS devices
As a teacher at heart, this one hit home BIG TIME! I’ve been waiting for this feature since the launch of the iPad. You can now “Airdrop” a file from a Macbook to an iPad or iPhone without even being on the same WiFi network. Just imagine you have a picture or video file that is too big to share through email and you don’t want to have to send it up to the cloud or drive and pull it back down to your mobile device. All you need to do is open Airdrop on each device and share. Viola!
3. Phone calls on the Mac
Finally, this feature has brought me great personal joy. My phone is always in my pocket. Every time someone used to call me on my cell phone I would have to either stand up to get it out or make some type of contortionist movement like I’m a part of a Cirque de Soleil show to access my pocket in my chair. Well, now you just need to be near your computer with your phone and viola you can make and take calls from from your computers microphone and speakers. Brilliant!
So I bit the bullet, ignored my mantra and upgraded last week. The upgrade broke a few services (like my WiFi settings) and a few other minor items that I could resolve quickly using a Google search. However, I can say the upgrade is definitely worth it and I can’t wait until you experience all the great features that come with an ecosystem that is second to none. As always, before you upgrade to any OS make sure to have a valid backup just in case the upgrade goes south. I hope you enjoy the harmony as much as I do!