In the hype surrounding the release of the new iPad Air last week Apple also released its newest operating system for iMac and MacBook computers OS X Mavericks. Apple has made a bold move with this release. As well as including a plethora of new features, it is also free for all Mac users to download.
To download OS X Mavericks for free you need to be running a compatible Mac (anything that worked with OS X Mountain Lion will work with Mavericks). The upgrade is free for all users from Snow Leopard up including Lion and Mountain Lion. OS X Leopard users will have to pay for an upgrade to Snow Leopard to become eligible for the free upgrade to OS X Mavericks.
In contrast to the expected iOS 7-style overhaul, Apple has not completely re-invented the desktop OS but rather tweaked and refined it to make it more efficient and easier to use.
Noteworthy New OS X Mavericks New Features
- Multiple monitor support- At last Apple have fixed the multiple monitor support issue in OS X Mavericks. You can now run full screen apps on different screens without the problem of blanking out the rest of your screens. The dock can be accessed in each monitor and are only visible when you are on that screen.
- Finder Tabs and Tags- Taking a leaf out the browser book, rather than having to open multiple finder windows for transferring files or looking in multiple folders you can access them all in one window via the tab system in OS X Mavericks. Another new feature for organisation in OS X Mavericks is the ability to tag files to make them easily searchable and to place them.
- Safari- In catching up the Chrome following the release of Mountain Lion, Apple has worked hard on improving some of the Safari features and speed. The implementation of iCloud Keychain and improved Reading Lists are great but the best feature is the power saver which turn of unused flash plugins.
- Improved performance and battery life
- Better RAM usage and resulting improved app loading speed
Other OS X Mavericks New Features
- Flatter design- While it has not gone for the full iOS 7-style flat design the linen backgrounds and leather aesthetics have been removed from many of the apps. Oddly the icons for Contacts, Calendar and Notes remain unchanged while the rest have had a makeover, which does give the system a kind of half-finished vibe to it.
- iBooks and Maps integration
- Improvements to the notification panel including iMessage sending being integrated and support for replying to messages instantly from the notification center.
OS X Mavericks Verdict
If you have an Apple computer then it is a no-brainer not to download Mavericks. The new features improve the efficiency and the experience of the operating system whilst not departing from the look and functionality. Sure there are a couple of flaws such as a small issue with some Gmail accounts with mail (although we did not encounter them) and perhaps they could have changed more of the apps to keep in with the theme. But it is definitely an improvement and free to upgrade. Get it.