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Apple is hoping a majestic name can get people excited about its new desktop operating system.

It's called OS X Yosemite and it was unveiled on Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.

Apple's last operating system, OS X Mavericks, was also named after a natural treasure in California, in that case a legendary surf spot. But what besides its name makes OS X Yosemite stand out?

Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi introduces the Yosemite operating system during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, on June 2.Jeff Chiu / AP

The latest update takes a lot of cues from iOS 7, creating a more uniform experience across Apple's laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. Icons on OS X Yosemite now have a flatter design, much like they do on the iPhone, and windows now adjust their color temperature depending on the background image.

Yosemite also utilizes "carefully crafted translucent materials," in the words of Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering. Translation: There are lots of pretty translucent panels everywhere.


Apple settled on Yosemite after considering some less acceptable names, joked Federighi, including OS X Oxnard and OS X Weed.

"Strangely [Weed] had large pockets of support," he said.

The iOS-ization of the desktop and laptop operating system continued with the Notification Center, which now features a "Today" view — which packages together events, reminders and the weather — much like it does for the iPhone and iPad.

While developers can get their hands on Yosemite now, regular users will have to wait until it's widely released in the fall.