Notification Center Gets a Facelift in OS X Yosemite

OS X Mavericks Notification Center August 07, 2014
The old Notifications Center: pretty functional, a little clunky-looking, and–well–boring.

For anyone with a busy schedule, the Notification Center is a useful tool. It’s functional, straightforward, tells you what you need to know. But right now it isn’t pretty. The list format is overwhelming, unappealing, and no longer fits the tastes of Apple’s clientele. With the debut of iOS 7 last year, Apple introduced us to a sleeker design and better functionality for the iPhone and iPad. This did not translate to the Mac OS to the same extent–that is, until now.

OS X Yosemite has gotten on board with Apple’s new aesthetic, apparent in the layout of the Notification Center. In the OS beta, you get the same functionality, the same updates, but with a Today view and widgets from Apple’s core apps (third-party app widgets will eventually be included as well).

Notification Center 4 August 07, 2014
OS X Yosemite Notification Center: improved functionality with eye catching, at-a-glance info.

Here’s a taste of what the Notification Center now offers: The day’s date appears in large font for easy visibility. Below is the Today view summary, listing the first thing on your calendar. The Calendar notification section shows the timeline of your day and includes a color strip for each event that corresponds with the color-coding in the Calendar app. Your Reminders appear next, followed by the weather report for the day. You can, of course, add other sources such as news, stocks, and sports and make the Notification Center truly your own.

Apple’s core app widgets can be added to the sidebar for quick access. In the final version of OS X Yosemite, you’ll also be able to add widgets from the Mac App Store. But with this new function, Dashboard availability of your apps won’t compromised. Those who have come to love their Dashboard can continue to access apps from there.

OS X Yosemite features the Helvetica Neue font that Apple has been favoring.
OS X Yosemite features the Helvetica Neue font that Apple has been favoring.

On top of the improved functionality, the design is gorgeous. More elegant, legible font paired with selective translucency in the interface makes for an aesthetically pleasing experience. The look complements the function of the Notification Center, so your notifications are easier to read at a glance.

Other OS featuring notification centers offer limited functionality. Windows 8 features live tiles that show you whatever apps you have pinned there; the catch is that you can’t interact with them. Live tiles only allow you to open the app where the update came from. Honestly, Windows 8’s notification system is no competition. With its fresh look, improved function, and overall quality, OS X Yosemite is really proving to be in a league of its own.