MyTechBlog

What’s new in OS X Mavericks?

By on 10 June, 2013

In today’s keynote Apple jokingly revealed the next generation operating system as Sea Lion before explaining a change of naming convention, and why it has settled with OS X Mavericks.

Finder Tabs

This is basically what is says on the tin and means that you don’t need a bunch of finder windows open simultaneously. Apple are implementing this in a very similar fashion to Ubuntu. Quite why Apple actually thought that they had to demo this new feature, only they know. Finder can now also be viewed fullscreen.

Tags

You can now tag documents and other types of file to assist in categorising documents. These tags appear in the sidebar of finder and can also be used for advanced searching. This wasn’t a feature that I had particularly thought of, but I can certainly see its uses.

Mac Tags

Multiple Displays

Support for multiple displays/monitors has been improved. This was certainly something that always annoyed me. Each screen can now have its own top menu and dock. Full screen apps now don’t render all your other monitors useless. Spaces is now attached to an individual monitor and can be changed independently of the other displays. AirPlay can now act a full display as well. I don’t use AirPlay but I thought that it could already do this? Someone correct me as a comment

Power and Performance

As with any new operating system release Apple claim that it offers better performance and power usage. This claim was substantiated with new features, including compressed memory. Studying computer engineering meant that I was easily able to follow along with Apple’s thinking. Compressed memory is used instead of paging and is designed to prevent disk thrashing. I can’t help but wonder why no one else has ever done this if it is really as simple as claimed. Without getting too technical, lots of other improvements were made. I’ll probably end up writing an article dedicated to this topic in the future.

Mavericks New Features

Safari

You’ve guessed it, another new version of Safari. Yet another redesign, which is as usual overhyped. Basically it has a new sidebar. You want to see a new design? Just take a look at iOS 7.

iCloud Keychain

Keychain is an application that I thought was only ever used by developers, but it would appear that Apple expects everyday user to be aware of it. To the layman it now lets you store your password and credit card details securely on your computer. This data is also synced between your Apple devices. I personally don’t like the sound of that.

Notification Improvements

 You can now reply to iMessages and even email replies directly from within the notification. Notifications also make an appearance on the lock screen.

Automatic Updates

Quite why this has taken so long, only Apple know. All your apps are now kept up to date automatically. This received a huge cheer from developers present at the event.

Maps

Maps has come to the Mac. Initially I was pleased and then I realised that it was Apple Maps not Google Maps. I hope they let me remove it! In the UK the mapping software is appalling. There is still a massive cloud over my house. In case you are interested you can plan a route on your Mac and then send it to your phone.

iBooks

Yet another app has made the transition from phone to desktop. This time it’s the turn of iBooks. This is a nice feature but I can’t see many people sitting in front of their Macs reading a book. That’s what the iPad was invented for. Still, textbooks on the desktop with note taking might be a hit.

iWorks

A web version of iWorks is now available on iCloud. The price was not made clear, but reading between the lines, I think that it is free. It supports office documents and even is fully compatible with Windows web browsers, including Internet Explorer. My reaction from the demo, “That’s a lot of Javascript”.

Design

OS X certainly isn’t a completely new design but many apps have been updated. The calendar has lost its leather look and other apps appear to have a flatter design.

Verdict

This seems a fairly major upgrade to OS X. Judging by the time Apple spent examining the new power and performance improvements I’m guessing that they must be substantial. Without getting my hands on the new system it is difficult to give a full assessment.

 

What do you think of OS X Mavericks? Leave a comment below

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Mac OS X

II am the Founder and Director of Wheal Media Limited and a student studying MEng Computer Engineering at the University of Portsmouth.

http://www.johnwheal.co.uk
John Wheal
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