Mac OS X Yosemite: What's Missing?

Mac OS X Yosemite is in beta, and we're not seeing everything we'd hoped for. Here are 10 improvements we wish Apple would include in its next operating system.

necessary. This would also simplify the process of deleting songs from iCloud, which currently is possible only if you're an iTunes Match subscriber.

5. Slimmer applications
If you open your Mac's Applications folder and sort by file size, chances are Apple's applications will be among the largest. This is an issue particularly if your Mac relies on costly, limited SSD storage. Xcode, for example, is huge, weighing in at 5.17 GB. Perhaps that's unavoidable, due to all the documentation and other apps within Xcode, but it's still unwieldy. Other big apps: iMovie (2.95 GB), iPhoto (1.7 GB), GarageBand (1.16 GB), iBooks Author (627.2 MB), Keynote (615.7 MB), Pages (467.6 MB), Numbers (354.5 MB), and iTunes (332.2 MB). When you look at top-notch third-party apps that aren't bloated, such as Transmit (63.4 MB) or Pixelmator (70.8 MB), you have to wonder whether Apple couldn't do better. 

6. Siri
Apple's Siri personal assistant deserves a shot at being more useful. Since August, there's been speculation that Apple intends to bring Siri to Mac OS X, based on a patent filing. If that happens in OS X Yosemite or a future version of OS X, it will be a welcome addition. Siri, in combination with the scriptability of OS X, could be a valuable way to launch apps, navigate, configure interface elements, and automate actions such as moving files from an iOS device to an OS X device.

7. Bootable backups
Carbon Copy Cloner lets you create a bootable copy of a Mac OS X volume over a network. Apple should buy Carbon Copy Cloner and build this functionality into OS X. Having a bootable backup is far more convenient than reinstalling the operating system and then restoring backed up files.

8. OS-agnostic parental controls
Mavericks has a great set of parental controls. But schools might not provide kids with Macs, which makes controlling usage more challenging, at least from a technical standpoint. The Mac OS X AirPort Utility provides timed access via MAC address, but it would be helpful if Apple could offer more granular network controls.

9. Gesture event support
There are a variety of ways now to track gestures and turn them into system events: Leap Motion, Kinect, and Myo, for example. Apple should integrate motion tracking sensors into its hardware and add support in software. Gesturing to scroll pages might turn out to be better than using a mouse.

10. Update iPhoto
iPhoto is okay, but it doesn't sync through iTunes or interact with iOS Photos. Apple is planning a new OS X version of Photos that's designed around multi-device usage. It's intended to replace iPhoto and, apparently, Aperture. It won't be ready until next year, and that's a good thing. Apple can't afford to have OS X Photos beset by the problems that accompanied the launch of iOS 7 Maps.

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