Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks Rundown

With reports emerging that Apple staff are undergoing training in the latest and greatest of Apple’s desktop operating systems ahead of release at the end of the month, there was no better time to give you a rundown of exactly what to expect from Mac OS X 10.9, Mavericks.

As has been evident for some time now, Apple is gradually converging its two operating systems, OS X and iOS. Familiar features have been cropping up throughout the last few releases of OS X that appear to have come directly from Apple’s mobile devices, including the new iBooks and Maps apps. This release sees an even greater step towards the potential future reality of a single OS, as iBooks and Maps come to the Mac. Both are almost exactly as you’d expect it seems, offering much of what the mobile services do, only with greater processing power for those 3D maps, perhaps.

New Features and Upgrades

Password Generator suggests a unique password, saves it to your iCloud Keychain, and fills it in automatically.
Password Generator suggests a unique password, saves it to your iCloud Keychain, and fills it in automatically whenever you access the page.

A new feature in iOS 7 is iCloud Keychain. Essentially a transition of the application Keychain, which has been available in several previous generations of Mac OS X, from the desktop to the cloud. It’s making the jump on the desktop now, too, so you can expect all of your saved passwords and form entries to be stored in Apple’s cloud so you can leave access to all your favourite sites open at the click of a button.

Apple has also made significant upgrades to Finder. You’ll now have the convenience of tabs in your finder windows, functioning identically to the tabs you have in your browser. This is a feature that’s been available to consumers for a while via third parties, but most will be glad to see it’s being built right in out of the box. Furthermore, Apple has introduced tags for Finder. With Mavericks you can tag files and folders to appear under dynamic categories built right into Finder, that’ll appear in the sidebar. Both of these will be great enhancements for people who like their desktops tidy and organised.

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 12.16.15
Finder now comes with tabs. A much welcomed, long overdue addition.

Along the same lines, Apple has made improvements to the notifications system introduced in the last version of OS X, Mountain Lion. In Mavericks you’ll be able to do as much as answer Facetime calls, reply to messages etc. directly from the notification. All in the name of productivity.

With the new notifications system you can now reply to emails and messages directly from the notification itself.
With the new notifications system you can now reply to messages and answer Facetime calls directly from the notification itself.

Last on this list, but certainly by no means least, is the improvement to full screen apps and multiple display capabilities. Ever since Apple introduced full screen apps last time around, it’s caused havoc for people wishing to keep apps organised across multiple monitors. Now, for example, your dock will be available on every monitor, and each will have its own menubar. Perhaps more importantly, you can now run full screen apps on their own display. Apple’s also built in the ability to use a secondary display wirelessly via AirPlay and an Apple TV box.

All in all these are relatively minor changes, yet clearly another incremental step towards the aforementioned singular Apple OS. More and more iOS features are migrating to the Mac, and in the case of the likes of Keychain, vice versa. The debate for that is for another day, but for now these updates are certainly welcome, yet it remains to be seen whether they’ll appeal enough to the everyday user to have them part ways with £20-30 again.


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