This is the third in a series of articles related to Apple’s WWDC 2013.
Apple senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, revealed the next generation of Mac’s OS X operating system.
Having run the gamut of cats with OS X from the cheetah (version 10.0) to the mountain lion (version 10.8), Apple decided to go in a different direction with OS X version 10.9. The new naming convention is based on places that inspire in California. The new version is called ‘Mavericks’. I have to admit that I said ‘Huh?’. I have never been to California and had never heard of Mavericks. I have since found out that Mavericks is a popular surfing location in Northern California known for its unusually high waves. I guess going forward we will all be getting an annual (or so) lesson in California geography. But I digress….
Below is a summary of some of the more interesting features of OS X Mavericks.
iBooks is coming to the Mac. Features will include:
- Books that you have downloaded on your iOS device will automatically appear in iBooks on your Mac.
- You can have multiple books open at the same time.
- If you take notes, highlight passages or add a bookmark on your Mac, iCloud automatically pushes them to all of your devices.
- iCloud remembers what page you are on so, whether you are reading on your Mac or an iOS device, you are on the right page.
Maps is also coming to the Mac, with the following features:
- Using the graphics capabilities of the Mac, zooming is smooth and responsive.
- Pertinent information is displayed for local points of interests such as their phone numbers, photos and Yelp! Reviews.
- Point-to-point directions, real-time traffic conditions, and suggested alternate routes.
- You can send your map to your iPhone for voice navigation on the way
- Maps are built into Mail, Contacts, and Calendar so wherever you see an address, you can see it on a map.
Calendar updates include:
- Continuous scrolling
- When you create or edit an event, addresses and points of interest will be suggested based on what you are typing in the location field.
- Your event is shown on a map along with travel time and a weather forecast.
Safari enhancements are:
- Improved performance
- Shared Links will be shown in the Sidebra. These are links posted by people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.
- A redesigned Top Sites
- Improved battery usage when browsing
Multiple Displays are more robustly supported, including:
- There is no longer the concept of a primary or secondary display.
- Each display has its own menu bar.
- The Dock is available from your current screen, regardless of which monitor it is.
- You can have multiple apps running on each display.
- Mission Control lets you easily drag content to another display.
- You can use your HDTV as a display by using AirPlay and Apple TV.
Notifications enhancements include:
- The ability to interact with your notifications without leaving the app that you are in. You can reply or take any other action right from the notification.
- You can sign up for alerts from website and have them included in your notifications even if Safari isn’t running.
Finder will support tabs, allowing you to consolidate multiple Finder windows into one.
Tags will allow you organize and more easily find files, including those in iCloud. You can associate one or more tags to a file to easily organize your files into logical groups. You can search on a tag in Finder.
Performance and energy efficiency improvements
- Operations will be grouped together to allow energy to be used more efficiently.
- App Nap can detect when an app is hidden and currently not providing anything to you, such as music. App Nap slows down the app to conserve battery life.
- While in Safari, if there are features, such as a video, off to the side as opposed to front and center, Safari won’t start the video until you click on it. This is another way OS X Mavericks will improve battery life.
- Improved iTunes HD playback efficiency
- As your Mac approaches its memory limit, OS X Mavericks will compress data from inactive apps, making more memory available.
OS X Mavericks will be available this fall. Apple has not yet provided an official list of compatible Macs.
To read earlier installments in the WWDC 2013 series:
Part 1 – WWDC – Apple by the Numbers
Part 2 – WWDC – iOS 7 is Finally Here (Sort Of)