Apple unveils OS X 10.9, Mavericks

Apple OS X 10.9Apple today unveiled OS X 10.9 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), showing off the first major revision of the Mac's operating system since last year's Mountain Lion. Apple has apparently run out of cat names and is now naming releases after places in California, where OS X is developed. The new OS X is thus named "Mavericks."

Developers are being given a preview version of Mavericks today. It will be available to the general public in the fall. New features include tabs in the Finder, allowing multiple Finder windows to be drawn together in tabs. Apple is bringing tagging to documentsany tags you add to a document will appear in the Finder sidebar and in iCloud. Multiple tags can be added to each document, and these tags will allow new search capabilities.

Finder  OS X 10.9

Mavericks will make life easier for users who have multiple monitors. Menus will be spread across the different displays, and users will be able to take a window full-screen on one display without disturbing the desktop on another display. HDTVs connected to Apple TV boxes can also act as displays. Mission Control has been "super charged for multiple displays," Apple said, making it easier to drag apps and windows from one monitor to another.

OS X 10.9

Apple is improving battery life and responsiveness. A new feature called "Timer coalescing" reduces CPU utilization by up to 72 percent in certain scenarios by reducing the number of transitions processes make between sleep states and states of high power use.

Compressed memory will compress active memory to make more free space available to applications, making systems more responsive even when running many applications. This will lead to faster performance and up to 1.5X improvement waking a system from standby.

Safari in OS X 10.9

New features in the Safari browser provide a sidebar with easier access to bookmarks and reading lists, a home page of your top sites, and a new feature called "Shared Links" where you'll see stories shared by people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn. Apple also promised improvements to JavaScript, optimization for background tabs, power saving features, and a "shared memory resource cache." A feature called "App Nap" dramatically reduces Safari's power consumption when a user switches to a different application.

iCloud Keychain

Apple is hoping to help users with password security with "iCloud Keychain," which lets Safari auto-suggest complex passwords and sync them across your computers, much like a traditional password manager.

The Notifications system in Mavericks allows users to reply to messages from within the notification box that appears on the top right of the screen, whether it's an e-mail or a FaceTime call. A new kind of notification lets Web-based applications send push notifications (like fantasy football alerts, eBay auction alerts, breaking news alerts) to OS X's notifications area even when Safari isn't running. Mavericks will also display notifications on the lock screen when you wake your computer up.

OS X can now also update apps automatically in the background.

calendar in OS X 10.9

Calendar improvements include Facebook events and an inspector that is aware of location, travel time, and weather.

Apple's new Maps app automatically sends directions to your iPhone. A new SDK lets developers add mapping functionality to their apps.

iBooks is also coming to the Mac. Apple demonstrated an interactive iBooks textbook that makes it easy to scroll though pages and chapters; the new app also provides a sidebar with the user's notes.

iBooks OS X 10.9

This is the third year in a row that Apple has released a new version of OS X, following Lion in 2011 and Mountain Lion in 2012. Until then, Apple had been going with an every-other-year release model since 2003. While Apple used to charge $129 for new versions of OS X, Snow Leopard in 2009 and Lion in 2011 cost only about $30. Mountain Lion lowered the price further to $19.99.

Apple used to sell a separate version of OS X for servers instead of desktops. Snow Leopard Server, which cost $499, was the last such release. Starting with Lion in 2011, server functionality became a desktop add-on instead of a separate version of OS X. Sold as an "app," Lion Server cost $49.99. Last year's Mountain Lion Server cost $19.99. OS X Server contains a file sharing service, Time Machine backups for multiple computers on a network, VPN, a profile manager for Macs and iOS devices, a wiki server, calendar and mail services, Xsan storage area network administration, and more.

Apple did not mention pricing for Mavericks. There was also no mention of a Mavericks server app.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple, Mac OS X, OSes

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