What You Need to Know About OS X Mavericks

The Name

It seems Apple has run out of big cats to name OS X so it’s time for a brand new naming convention. Now, Apple has chosen to name the various OS X updates after locations in California. This version is known as OS X Mavericks, which is a famous surfing location southwest of San Francisco.

Design

If you have seen anything about iOS 7, you know it’s gone with a much flatter look and the big question many people have is if they are doing the same thing with OS X Mavericks. The answer is, yes and no. Some of the new apps definitely have a much flatter look but that basic operating system still appears much like Mountain Lion. You will be happy to know that the apps that used that leather design have now gone with a much more simple look. Will the other apps be redesigned with this same flat look? Right now we don’t know. Apple didn’t showcase the entire OS and its apps. It’s a good bet that they will but at the time of their keynote had not finished the redesign of all the apps yet.

Mac OS X Mavericks

Performance

Apple, in their keynote, talked about several enhancements to the OS with names like Timer Coalescing. What is that you ask? Well, without getting into the dirty details, everything they have done “under the hood” has been to increase the performance and power of your Mac as well as make it more battery friendly. Apps will use less memory and power giving you longer battery life on your Macs.


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Finder Enhancements

Apple didn’t forget about the Finder in Mavericks. The Finder now sports a tabbed interface much like Safari and will allow you to maintain different views in the tabs and easily drag files into the different tabs. I quite look forward to this one as I am constantly moving files around and the extra windows on my screen gets tiresome.

You will be able to add tags to any file no matter where its stored. Once you have assigned the tags you can then click the tag in your sidebar or search for that tag and the Finder will display all the files with that tag no matter if they are stored on your Mac or on iCloud.

Safari

Safari is getting a handful tweaks and enhancements in OS X Mavericks. Most of these are under the hood and involve it’s speed and performance which I know I am looking forward to. But it did receive a bit more attention than just that receiving enhancements to features such as the Reading List which will now allow you to automatically continue on to the next item after you have finished the current one and a redesign of its Top Sites allowing you to add pages from bookmarks and rearrange them as you see fit.


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Calendar App

The Calendar app has been redesigned and enhanced. In addition to losing the leather binder look, the Calendar App is also now able to integrate with Facebook and you can even check the weather and see the location of where your event is. Calendar will now even block out time you to drive where you need to go and alert you when you need to leave.

iOS Apps

Lion and Mountain Lion both brought their share of iOS functionality and apps to Mac OS X and OS X Mavericks is no different although there don’t seem to be as many additions as Mountain Lion had. There are, in fact, two that are most worth noting – iBooks and Maps.

Maps looks and feels much like its iOS counterpart and offers much of the same feature set including, directions, bookmars and points of interest just to name a few. One of the coolest things, in my opinion, is Send to iPhone. You will be able to sit at your computer and plan your route and then with the press of a button wirelessly sent it to your iPhone so you can follow the directions.

iBooks has also gotten a little love and made its way to OS X in Mavericks. The bookshelves are gone for a much cleaner, basic look. The coolest part of iBooks on the Mac is now your books can be synced across all your devices with iCloud allowing you to read your favorite book on your iPhone, iPad and now your Mac as well.


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Improved Multiple Monitor Support

This is one area that users of multiple displays have been begging Apple to address for quite a long time and now they finally have. In OS X Mavericks, you will be able to get your Finder and Dock on all your monitors and you can also put one display into full screen mode and still have access and use of the second display. Even cooler, if you have Apple TV, you can turn your HDTV into a fully functioning display and drag windows and apps over to it and even access your dock and Finder.

iCloud Keychain

Do you remember the old MobileMe Keychain Sync? Well, iCloud Keychain is similar to that only better. iCloud Keychain will store all your passwords, credit card numbers and Wi-Fi passwords and sync them across all your devices on OS X Mavericks and iOS. It sports integration with Safari so you can use it to automatically fill in your info for you and it will even help you create strong passwords. Oh and don’t worry, iCloud Keychain uses AES 256-bit encryption, so all your passwords and credit card numbers will be safe.

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