Meet the new Apple OS X  screenshot

Meet the new Apple OS X

Review

Good news for those Mac users around the world: Apple has released its ultimate Operating System update, OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Taking a look at it, general users may not find enough changes and enhancements once installed in their computers, but Mavericks is free as long as you had OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in your iMac or your MacBook. First of all, you will need to be sure if this new OS will work in your hardware, so if you own an Apple PC from mid/late 2007 onwards that will be fine enough.

The first impression you will have after installing OS X is that it is almost the same Operating System as before, since it keeps the same Interface style as the previous versions. In that sense, Apple doesn’t want heavy changes like Microsoft’s Windows 8 since it could mean to destroy everything for that they worked before. Mavericks aims to become a better OS for Apple laptop’s MacBook series since it is designed especially for saving battery and offering an improved performance for games and general software thanks to its Timer Coalescing feature. Among its new characteristics for improving its performance you can find the App Nap, which makes a hidden application to become inactive to stop wasting resources; an improved efficiency with HD contents and an advanced memory compression for saving space and resources.

According to one of its developers –Craig Federighi, the senior vice president of Apple’s Software Engineering- this new version is clearly faster than its predecessors but we found that it may be troublesome sometimes, since it presents some stability issues for what we could test. In case you use your Mac desktop for playing, Game Center brings some new improvements and interesting apps. So if you are upgrading to Mavericks make sure you have a powerful enough laptop to use it without any kind of resource problem.

Finder, tags and notifications

The Californian computing Company brings us the possibility of using tabs in the Operating System’s main folder explorer. This feature comes directly from the main Internet browsers and is really helpful for everyone who wants to explore items in different locations. It is not so strange to have several Finder windows opened at the same time, not only in OS X but in all kind of Operating System, so we wondered why this feature has not been included as a default option before.

For those users who want to have all their documents and bookmarks classified there is now a new utility introduced: Tags. You will be able to tag your documents created with iWork or similar software and different kinds of items in order to have immediate access from any Finder window, since the Tag section appears in the sidebar located at the left side along with the main directories. You can tag not only folders but also all kind of documents as well as perform searches filtering these tags for making easier to find files by theme when surfing the net.

Notifications tweaks have been also included as a default feature in this latest version of OS X Mavericks. This active real-time notification option informs the user whenever an email has been received (where you can directly respond to the received imessage) as well as websites upgrades or whatever function you decide since it is pretty customizable. This way you won’t need any further app for adding these useful incoming alerts. Get full control of your new interactive notifications, no matter if your MacBook or iMac are blocked, since these will be shown thanks to this new software.

Improved functionality with other displays

This new 10.9 version works better than before with external screens, increasing its functionality. Nowadays, it is pretty common to use two or more displays for professional issues. Having this in mind, developers have designed OS X Mavericks to increase this function adding an extra dock and menu bar for each screen. This way the consumer won’t waste time configuring the settings of these devices since the default options will be enough.

This enhanced function also works with bigger screens such as HDTV through its AirPlay feature. You will be able to control your Apple TV with a 15-inch laptop or from your desktop and, at the same time, keep working without any performance problem. Full-screen applications have been enhanced, allowing different full-screen programs in each display. Mavericks makes easier to enjoy your retina screen with improved and updated graphic drivers for MacBooks and desktop computers for enjoying proper content management, such as movies, pictures and even games, taking full advantage of its hardware.

Grab your keys and come to Safari

One of the additions of this downloadable OS is the new Safari version which enhances its usual features without any kind of redesigned interface. According to the developer’s tests, Safari actually beats its competence in terms of performance, CPU and Memory usage. It is true that the new Safari 7 has been optimized and includes some new built-in functions (calendar) that improve user’s experience with a better navigation and faster startup utilities, reasons for competing against Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

The developer has learnt from its study of social networks and brings built-in capabilities of sharing information with other users without the necessity of opening a new tab. You will be able to share information directly with your friends through Twitter or Facebook worldwide just configuring your browser and log at once. It also enhances the performance for HTML5 based games and multimedia content.

In order to improve the security of its user’s information and accounts, Apple has developed iCloud Keychain, a productive and smart application that stores encrypted passwords. Having actually knowledge of your personal keys, this application can manage automatically your data for a safe encryption. In case you are going to introduce your password in a webpage previously visited, iCloud Keychain will AutoFill those fields. Truth be told, this feature was also included before directly in the browser, but this way the security has significantly improved. This also works not only in your iMac or your elegant aluminum MacBook, but also on your iPad and your iPhone as long as they are synchronized correctly with the main computer.

Read and travel, now reachable

iBooks enters more powerful than ever being a default application for this OS, luckily for e-readers fans. Its compatibility with iPad, iPhone and other Apple’s devices allows access to all its book collection from each Apple’s device or desktop computer with just one account. Once you get a book from your mobile Apple device, it will be also available in your personal MacBook instantly. This way you won’t need to plug any kind of connection to synchronize your content; this will be performed automatically online thanks to its iCloud service fully compatible with iBooks.

The newer Apple Maps tries to compete with the all-known Google Maps, by creating a local client that works with online information. Now you can check live information in this version such as actual traffic in your city and create bookmarks of the searches you make in order to gain direct access whenever you want. This information can be easily shared with other iOS devices such as iPad in order to check your maps on the road.

Installation

Since this update has not been released in physical format, the only way of acquiring OS X 10.9 Mavericks is through a free direct download. The official installer works also in USB devices and can be bootable into a DVD with any diskmaker application. Due to the commonly used memory sticks you can install this update through one 8GB USB by formatting it.

Once you get your untitled USB drive formatted just for this installation, you can start the setup by introducing a sudo command in the terminal application with the source of your Mavericks.app. In case you want to run a simpler installation you can do it just be mounting the image in your actual OS X 10.8 and running the installation wizard.

Conclusions

This new release of Apple’s OS X doesn’t really grant awesome multiple novelties or an astonishing visual aspect. It just keeps the path started with OS X Cheetah, improving its design bit a bit and integrating new apps such as the new iBooks and the enhanced Safari 7 with built-in social functions. Despite that it needs to significantly improve some functions and fix some stability issues, this free OS X 10.9 Mavericks updating is welcome, looking forward for its next step.