With the whole web joking about how OS X is coming to an end due to the dwindling amount of cats, Apple intelligently twisted the joke and used that as the new OS X milestone. After developing the OS X big cats for a good ten year, it is time for a change.
After their official announcements, beta-testers spread like wildfire. Just key in OS X in the search query of any search engines, and you’ll see beta-reviews, snapshots, videos, praises and critics all over your search results. So here, we’ll give you a quick ride over what the brand new Mavericks has in store.
A Quick Overview of OS X Mavericks
It is a common agreement that Mac has better battery life than any other computers that we currently have in the market. But even so, the first priority of Apple in developing the OS X is still to continue extending battery life. After doing some research upon the applications in OS X Mavericks, mainly the apps made by Apple, they consume the least amount of RAM, which in return reduces power usage, in comparison to other third-party applications. However, the assumption of performance reduction due to the reduction of RAM consumption does not apply to OS X. With Mavericks, Apple introduced a few power and performance optimizations such as Time Coalescing, App Nap, Safari Power Saver, iTunes HD Playback Efficiency and Compressed Memory. Also, various new features have been added into the new OS to promote better user interface and experience. We’ll provide you brief summaries of each of the features introduced.
If you like to keep your desktop spick and span at all times, especially when you’re browsing through your Finder, you’ve just hit gold. Mavericks allows users to arrange several Finder windows into tabs, just like how Safari does. You can still continue putting lots of Finders on your desktop to your own preference. Still, having Finder Tabs can perhaps slightly increase productivity. You don’t have to look for a certain folder all over your desktop, which is filled with Finders, and end up opening a folder twice.
What’s more? Finder can now run with full screen.
Remember a feature called Labels in your Finder? It is now called Tags and the good news here is that it is now fully customizable. You can allocate the red tag as Important, for example, and easily access to any of these files with the red tag from any of your folders in your sidebar on your Finder. You can even appoint several tags to one file.
Not something that everyone uses but for people who just love having several display monitors right in front of them, here’s something that might just be the perfect music to your ears. OS X Mavericks takes the opportunity to optimize its performance over this little detail. You can now summon your dock across displays and easily open up your applications on that display without disturbing your other running ones. And menu bars run individually on each display, giving users a peace of mind from the fear of disturbing their other projects.
Running full screen applications on each display is now possible. You can even easily drag files over the displays, from a full screen application to another one on another display (fantastic feature for Photoshop users). Mission control has been made more comfortable for us. Toggling Mission Control on one display will toggle the same on all your screens. You can easily drag apps across displays.
We have iBooks on our iPhones, iPods and iPads. It is simply impossible to leave our Mac behind with no reading application that our mobile Apple products have. iBooks has been introduced into OS X Mavericks, alongside with iBooks Store, where you can easily look for books from the current bestseller to classic literature and even to textbooks. Your iBooks are even synchronized on iCloud, enabling you to read as you travel. An additional point for scholars, you can jot down notes and even highlight on your iBook in the new OS.
Put aside the critics that this application has received and appreciate the effort that has been put into it. True that it is not on par with what Google Map has to offer but why compare a crawling baby to a full grown adult. After all, this application was first designed for the iOS instead of OS X. With the new Map application on Mac, you can plan your way before you start your journey, taking full control over road conditions and incidents on the road. You can even select your route and have it sent to your iPhone, saving up the effort of having to turn on your WiFi or cellular data as you go. It’s bon voyage!
The Calendar application just had a new makeover and is now more pleasant to look at. It has now the Week View and Month View, which provides a more visual picture for your schedule. Deeply integrated with Facebook, your events from Facebook are automatically added into your schedule. It even calculates your travel time from one place to another, giving you the ability to plan your day more in detail and even to squeeze out extra time for yourself.
Top sites in Safari now looks more plain than how it was arranged before but it is now easier to navigate. Organizing your favorite sites has been made simple (Rejoice!). Bookmarks, Reading Lists and Shared Links have been put in the new Sidebar, which does not affect your current page. In Mountain Lion, opening the Reading List will probably mess up your current reading page. But now, that is history.
Shared Links is a new feature added into Safari, allowing you to read new Tweets or LinkedIn statuses without having to navigate away from your current webpage. You do not even have to click. Just hover what you want to read and it will appear right on top of your webpage. Apple also made Safari less power hungry. Here’s how Apple showed Safari’s performance compared to other browsers.
Having various passwords to remember all the while and creating new ones can be a pain in the you-know-where-it-is. With the improved Keychain Access, now iCloud Keychain, your usernames and passwords are saved and protected with the 256-bit AES encryption. iCloud Keychain also has a Password Generator that suggests unique passwords for your accounts. And with iCloud integrated, you can now easily access your saved password through you other Apple products.
The new Notifications allows you can now interact with your email, messages, or even Facetime calls right from your pop up notifications without navigating away from the application you are using. This allows focus on the job you are now doing and also saves up the effort of having to open up your other application just to respond to it. You can now even receive notifications when you’re away from your Mac. It has always been annoying when you leave your Mac unattended and you end up missing an important call or message. With this new feature, you will never overlook important happenings on your Mac.
Ending the feline names, Apple started naming the new OS X based to places in California. I would be more interested to see Apple continue innovating their new OS X from their new milestone. The new features in Mavericks are quite good start offs. However, we can see Apple users asking for more all the while. Something is still lacking, but no one knows what, not Apple, perhaps, and not even the users themselves. But we all know that it could not be the joke that Apple pulled off during their announcement of the new OS X.
So what do you think of Mavericks? Would you instantly yell “Take my money!” the moment it is officially released? Or would you bide your time and look at the general feedbacks from around the web, and wait till a more stabilized version is released? Leave your thoughts in the comments section and let’s throw a little discussion over the upcoming OS X.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.