OS X 10.9 Mavericks Preview - What Apple Has Changed 

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Mavericks is the latest version of Apple’s popular desktop operating system OS X. It is expected to be released to the public this fall. It is currently in closed beta, but much has been revealed about it’s upcoming features and improvements. 

 

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New Features

Apple favours a semi-annual approach to upgrading their desktop operating system. This differs from Microsoft’s approach of releasing major operating system several years apart. Because of this semi-annual approach, changes aren’t as drastic, but rather happen steadily with each new version of OS X. Let’s look at some of the main features that Mavericks will bring:

OS X Mavericks

1. New Core Applications - iBooks and Maps

Mavericks comes standard with iBooks and Maps, which have been iOS apps for sometime. Bringing these applications to Mavericks further unifies the close relationship that iOS and OS X enjoy. Read a book or PDF on your iPhone/iPad, and then seamlessly continue reading on your Mac.

Maps brings the full map application to OS X, and allows the user to plan routes and then send that route to their iOS device. 

2. New Safari

Safari has been updated to version 7.0. The newest version brings massive speeds increases, particularly for users of the Retina Macbook Pro. It also brings an updated interface. It also brings power saving technologies to Safari, which disable web plugins (such as Java and Flash) from running automatically with content that you aren’t meaning to view (advertisements, sidebars, and other unwanted flash and java items). If required, the plugins can be started by clicking on the content that you wish to view. 

3. iCloud Keychain.

iCloud Keychain is one of the best new features from a security and convenience standpoint. It allows your username’s, passwords, and/or credit card data to be stored with 256-bit AES encryption. That information is then kept up to date on all of your Apple devices for quick use.

iCloud Keychain allows features a password generator, which will create unique and hard to guess passwords for use with online accounts. These generated passwords will be entered automatically for your use, but discourage attempts from outsiders by making your passwords essentially impossible to guess or crack. 

4. Multiple Displays

Mavericks brings many new multi-display optimizations and features. It integrates Mountain Lion features such as Mission Control, Exposé, and full screen apps with multiple displays. This will increase productivity greatly for all those who use multiple displays with OS X. 

5. Performance Increases

  • Timer Coalescing: this combines processes on your CPU, allowing your CPU to idle up to 72% more, thus increasing battery life
  • App Nap: puts running but idle applications into a hibernation mode until you need them, thus increasing battery life.
  • Improved HD Video Playback: reduces load by up to 35% on the CPU while playing HD video, thus increasing battery life. 
  • Compressed Memory: when running many applications, Mavericks automatically compresses the memory being used by inactive applications in order to allow more memory for the apps you are currently using. This allows for much faster responsiveness and wake up times. 

 

Conclusion

Mavericks does not bring any massive changes to the familiar elements of OS X, but rather improves efficiency across the entire operating system, and introduces new features and core applications. Mavericks will be released this fall, and cost approximately $20. Given the improvements and low cost, it is a recommended update for all OS X users. 

 

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