Apple’s OS X Yosemite, has a variety of features designed to make life easier for its users. Make sure you are getting the most out of your Yosemite experience by utilizing these helpful OS X Yosemite Tips & Tricks. From organizing your family’s schedule to making the desktop easier on your eyes, there are a variety of features not obvious to new Yosemite users that can be highly beneficial to the overall user experience. 

Turn On An Instant Hotspot

Yosemite contains an awesome feature called Instant Hotspot, a must have for anyone with access to multiple devices. If you find yourself in an area with your Yosemite-enabled Mac and are unable to connect to Wi-Fi, Instant Hotspot allows your computer to remotely access the personal hotspot on your phone and easily connect to the Internet.

For people who travel and find themselves in and out of locations where free Internet access is available, Instant Hotspot provides the perfect alternative. Smart functions also optimize the use of this feature. For example, when connected to your phone’s hotspot, the battery life and signal strength of your iPhone is readily available for you on your computer’s Wi-Fi menu. The hotspot automatically disconnects when you are done using it, further preserving the battery life of your devices. Your Mac also remembers that you previously used your phone as a hotspot when you are trying to connect for future sessions.

Connecting to your Instant Hotspot is a breeze after an initial setup through your iCloud account and will ensure that you never find yourself in a bind with without available Internet access. It’s so easy that you don’t even have to take your phone out of your bag for this trick to work for you.

Enable Dark Mode

To change the appearance of your Mac’s windows and dashboard, switching to Dark Mode is a great trick to know. While changing to this darker theme is not an obvious change, Yosemite finally allows this as an optional feature for your Mac. Similar to “Night Mode” on iOS devices, Dark Mode removes bright colors from the menu bar, submenus, and the application dock. This makes computers more optimal for use in rooms with low lighting conditions and puts less strain on the eyes of the user. (How to enable Mac´s Dark Mode.)

To enable Dark Mode on your Mac, a quick visit to the System Preferences menu will allow you to toggle back and forth between Dark Mode on the Appearance customization screen. While there are currently no Yosemite settings that allow for Dark Mode to automatically turn on and off depending on the time of day, third-party apps are now available which make this a possibility.

Synch Family Calendars

Family Sharing is a feature that Yosemite has added to keep up with the increasingly modern household. Through the use of the iCloud system, up to 6 family members on 6 different devices can easily share content and information. However, this extends beyond just being able to access purchased content. Family sharing allows your family to be ultra organized by also synching calendars.

Having a synched family calendar means that everyone can add events and information, letting everyone stay in the loop about what is going on within the household. Parents can even use this feature to set up reminders on the devices of others, (including iPhones, iPads, and iPods), so that children are always notified of important events.  Setting up a family calendar is a simple trick, but it is one that can truly streamline how a household is run.

Find Your Device with Ease

Family Sharing has a host of uses that extend beyond just synching the family schedule. It also allows you to use location services to find any lost devices. Enabling Family Sharing already allows you to track the location of your family members by using the location services settings on their devices (which can be turned off easily, should the need arise), but this feature doubles as a way to find iPhones that happen to go missing. Family members can request that other devices on the family network play a sound even if their ringers are turned off, meaning that you will always be able to find a missing phone with ease.

View Flyover Tours

Drone technology is responsible for one of Yosemite’s most breathtaking features: the Flyover Tour. Originally appearing in the iOS 8 beta testing process, Flyover Tours are now enabled on OS X Yosemite. Over 90 cities, parks, and landmarks are available for this automated aerial tour that features some of the most incredible views of the world’s most interesting cities. This feature comes standard on all devices running Yosemite. Users can find this function easily by simply accessing the Maps app on their device.

Customize your Notification Center

The Notification Center is a feature on Yosemite that should look familiar to iOS users.  While the Notification Center comes standard with reminders, updated stock prices, and weather forecasts, users can also customize the content that is readily available for them by adding Widgets. These Widgets (available for free from the app store) allow you to control what information you receive from your device. No matter if you want weather specific to the town that you live in or a countdown until you next vacation, all this and more can be added to your Notification Center so you can easily access things that really matter to you.

Browse Better with Safari

Safari has been Apple’s go-to web browser for years, however Yosemite offers new features that make surfing the web more intuitive than ever. To begin, a Smart Search feature has been added when you click the URL entry field, revealing a dropdown menu with icons of all your favorite websites. This makes getting to the website you want to go to a breeze. The URL display on Smart Search shortens the full URL of the website you are accessing for a cleaner and more efficient look. While most people like this feature, accessing Safari’s advanced settings menu can also turn it off.

Yosemite has also integrated social media into the Safari experience by offering a Shared Links sidebar feature. As long as you are logged into your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn Profile through the Internet settings, you will be able to view and click on links that have been shared by your friends via various social media platforms. With the Shared Links open, you can also re-tweet and share posts directly inside of this Safari Feature.