Whereas Apple’s iOS 7 looks and acts radically different, ditching skeuomorphism hard, OS X 10.9 Mavericks is a more evolutionary update with new features that move bar, but not reset it. Underscoring the point is the fact that if your Mac can run OS X 10.8, you will be able to run Mavericks — check OS X 10.9 compatibility here.
• Finder Tabs
— Pull together a number of Finder windows into a single tabbed window, decreasing clutter and increasing productivity
— Finder is now a fullscreen app, which is perhaps more of a check for Apple to tick rather than an immediately useful feature.
— Drag n’ drop files, folders between tabs
• Finder Tags — Tag your files and folders. Tags are listed in Finder window sidebars. This feature improves the searchability of files and folders in OS X.
• Advanced Technologies
— Compressed Memory increases responsiveness and performance, reduces memory calls
— App Nap directs power to the apps that need it
— System-wide Core Animation for super responsive scrolling
— OpenGL 4 improves graphics performance across the board
— Timer Coalescing manages system CPU calls to reduce power usage by up 72 percent
• Multiple Displays
— Get menus across multiple displays. Summon the Dock on multiple displays
— Menu Bars work independently on each display
— Go fullscreen in one app and the second, etc display doesn’t get blanked out (finally)
— Panning through Spaces works independently on each display
— Mission Control has been “supercharged” for multiple displays
— A connected HDTV and/or Apple TV can act as independent displays
• Safari 7
— New Sidebar for quick bookmark access, Reading List with continuous scrolling
— Shared Twitter and LinkedIn Links in the Sidebar for quick access (no Facebook!)
— Tabs moved to a separate process
— Background tab optimization, greatly reducing power usage
— Updated Safari Top Sites
• iCloud Keychain
— Sync logins, credit card numbers and Wi-Fi networks across multiple Apple devices, including iThings.
— iCloud Keychain suggests and remembers complex passwords
— Automates complex password logins across devices
— Reply to Messages, Tweets, email, FaceTime calls, etc right within a Notification
— iOS Notifications can be configured to appear on your Mac
— Notifications are delivered when you Wake, start your Mac
— App Updates are automated in the background
— Clean, minimalist user interface (goodbye skeuomorphism)
— New inspector is location, travel time aware
— Continuous scrolling
— Events are location aware, including traffic and weather
— Streets, 3D flyover, points of interest, etc
— Turn by turn directions
— Sync directions from your Mac to an iThing
— Developer SDK for adding Maps to third-party apps
— Full 1.8 million book iBooks Store library
— Supports iBooks interactive textbooks
— Remembers notes, page position, study cards, etc across devices
— Search points of interest, make info cards, bookmark locations, etc
Apple has ditched some skeuomorphism with OS X 10.9 (i.e. Calendars), but the overall look and feel of the Mac desktop operating system is little changed, which I think is a good thing™. That said, I’m greatly looking forward to using multi-display fullscreen apps, a bit of functionality that Apple should have put in when it shipped OS X Lion.
OS X 10.9: Best New Feature
In a similar vein, iCloud Keychain addresses a long-standing OS X/iOS integration issue that has bedeviled users since 2007. Though this feature and Mavericks are still sight unseen for this user, I’m going out on a limb and naming iCloud Keychain the best feature in OS X 10.9.
Apple pushed OS X 10.9 Mavericks beta to developers, so look for a steady stream of updates on the features covered here, as well as functionality that hasn’t yet been revealed.
Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks is expected to ship this Fall. Apple hasn’t announced pricing, but it seems reasonable to expect it will cost $20 on the Mac App Store, just like Mountain Lion…
What’s your take?