For users looking for Apple’s next cat, I have some bad news. The Mountain Lion will be the last of its line. Rather than name the next OS X Sea Lion, Apple has gone to a new naming convention, California landmarks. Surf’s up – OS X 10.9 is called Mavericks. Mavericks is a not a feature-rich release, but it brings several features from iOS and some much needed changes to the underpinnings.
Finder, Tagging, and Notifications
For users that work with a bunch of windows open, I have good news. OS X now has tabs in finder. The interface is very Safari-like. While it could have issues, such as dragging files, it will help reduce clutter. Tagging has also been overhauled for those wanting to better organize their Mac. Notifications are in the background and apps now update automatically in the background. Other than that, it’s very much the same finder we’ve come to know and love.
Multiple Display Support
OS X’s multi-display support can be a bit suboptimal at times. That is changing with Mavericks. The menu bars and dock are available in all windows, not just your main one. These have been available via third party utilities, but now it comes on the OS. Each window will effectively operate as a separate Mac. In AirPlay mode, your AppleTV-connected television now acts as its own separate display.
Maps and iBooks
I’m not going to lie, not being able to use either Maps or iBooks on my Mac kept me from using either on iOS. They’re now here in full force. For iBooks, you can have multiple books open in separate windows. Students have access to study notes while reading the chapter. Maps will push out any directions you plan out on your Mac to your iPhone. They both take everything that is right about those apps and adds in the advantage of the big screen of a computer. Both these are long overdue.
Mavericks makes the OS operate more efficiently and powerfully. Apple has redesigned how the Mac handles minor tasks as to reduce CPU activity. This will keep your processor cooler and save you battery life. It also handles memory allocation just as efficiently. Taking a page from iOS, 10.9 introduces Nap App which puts apps you’re not currently using into a dormant state also saving you power. Gamers and graphics pros will benefit from the inclusion of OpenGL 4.
OS X Mavericks is not going to give you a bunch of flash. It’s not going to be all that different from Mountain Lion. However, there are a few much needed updates and additions from iOS. There isn’t touch screen support or a new iOS 7 like interface. It’s OS X, just a year better.