So, Apple didn’t wan’t its OS versions to be limited by the dwindling number of big cat names, and switched to a new naming system based on California themes. The next version of OS X will be called Mavericks, and it’s got a number of new apps and features. Here’s what we like:
- Two new apps — iBooks and Maps — will make their appearance in Mavericks. Finally, we can read iBooks files on the Mac. It didn’t make sense that you had all those books in your iTunes app but had no way of reading them on the Mac. Maps still doesn’t look to be as good as Google Maps, but in my experience it works okay if you’re just looking for directions.
- Organizing files gets a big boost with tabs in the Finder app, letting you switch much more quickly from window to window, as well as allow easier bulk-dragging of files from tab to tab. The new Tagging feature is also a very welcome organizational tool, and should ease the burden of having to organize files in folders and subfolders.
- Notifications are now smarter: it can receive website updates even if Safari isn’t open, it collects and summarizes notifications received while you were away, and, best of all, you can answer messages (from email, Messages, FaceTime) right within the pop-up notification bubble.
- There’s better support for multiple displays, including an HDTV connected via AirPlay.
- Safari and Calendar also get interface and performance tweaks. Safari is faster, new sidebar where bookmarks, shared links, and the reading list are kept, and better organized. Calendar is cleaner, having gotten rid of the faux leather accents, integrates locations from the Maps app, and now allows continuous scrolling through the months.
- Probably the most significant new feature is a fine-grained power management system that, together with features like App Nap and Safari Power Saver to power down idle windows and apps, boosts battery life dramatically — from 5 hours to 9 hours for the 11-inch MacBook Air, and from 7 hours to 12 hours for the 13-inch model.
There are more iOS users than Mac users — 600 million vs 73 million — but Mac users haven’t been left out of the upgrade party. Get more details about the new version from Apple’s OS X Mavericks page.