Apple Unveils OS X Mavericks, The First Non-Cat In Over A Decade

Chris CrumIT Management

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Apple unveiled the next version of Mac OS X at its Worldwide Developers Conference today. For the first time in over a decade, they went with a name that doesn't involve a cat.

This is, as the company noted, because there's simply a "dwindling supply of cats". They're running out of cat names. They unveiled the name as Mac OS X Sea Lion:

OS X Sea Lion

Then, they noted that this was a joke. The real name is OS X Mavericks. This is the first in the company's new series of names, which will be based on California-related themes.

The OS has over 200 new features. Three big features the company touted were: finder tabs, tagging and multiple displays, which were demoed.

Finder tabs essentially give your Finder window more of a modern browser feel. You can add tabs by clicking the plus, and take the whole thing full screen, which will be more appealing with the inclusion of tabs.

As far as tagging, you can now tag files on OS X based on details such as your location. This makes them better for search, and they will appear in the Finder sidebar.

The crowd was really excited about the Multiple Displays feature, which lets users view menus across various screens, and view various apps in full screen on each screen. AirPlay-connected TVs will work as full displays.

Apple also touted the battery life that accompanies the new OS thanks to compressed memory and other features.

With this version, Apple has also added iBooks, Maps (which lets you send directions to your iPhone), an updated Calendar, and launched a new version of Safari. It also integrates iOS notifications.

From the press release:

Maps brings advanced mapping technologies from iOS to the Mac, including crisp vector graphics, stunning 3D view and interactive Flyover™. With Maps you can plan a trip from your Mac, then send it to your iPhone® for voice navigation on the road. Maps integration throughout Mavericks gives users helpful maps from within Mail, Contacts and Calendar, and developers can integrate the same powerful mapping features into their apps through the Map Kit API. With iBooks you have instant access to your existing iBooks library, as well as the more than 1.8 million titles in the iBooks Store, from textbooks and classics to the latest best sellers. iBooks also works seamlessly across your devices, so you can read a book on your Mac, make notes or highlights, and then pick up exactly where you left off on your iPad®.


New core technologies in OS X Mavericks improve the energy efficiency and responsiveness of your Mac. Timer Coalescing intelligently groups together low-level operations so that the CPU can spend more time in a low-power state, saving energy without affecting performance or responsiveness. App Nap reduces the power consumed by apps that you’re not using. Compressed Memory technology keeps your Mac fast and responsive. When your system’s memory begins to fill up, Compressed Memory automatically compresses inactive data. When these items are needed again, Mavericks instantly uncompresses them.

The new version of Safari that accompanies the OS is energy and memory efficient, and has improved JavaScript performance.

"Safari’s new process-per-tab architecture makes the browser more responsive, stable and secure," the company says. "Safari also introduces innovations like Shared Links, which make it easy to discover, read and share interesting new content from Twitter and LinkedIn, all in one place."

Also included in OS X Mavericks is iCloud Keychain, a way to safely store site login info, credit card numbers, and WI-Fi passwords. It pushes them to all your devices so you don't have to remember them.

It has interactive notifications that let you reply to messages, respond to FaceTime calls or delete emails from the apps you're using.

There's a developer preview of Mavericks available today. For everyone else, the final release will come this fall.

The Mac install base is up to 72 million, CEO Tim Cook proudly proclaimed. The iMac and Macbook are the number on desktop and notebook in the US, respectively.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.