With OS X Mavericks, Apple is moving away from the cat-themed names of the first nine versions of OS X and is moving to a brand new California-themed naming convention.
The three standout features of OS X Mavericks are:
Finder Tabs — Finder finally gets tabs. While third-party apps such as Total Finder have offered a tabbed Finder experience for some time, now it’s native.
Tagging — Files, folders and documents can now have tags for better organization.
Multiple Displays — The fullscreen mode from OS X Mountain Lion now supports multiple displays and using Airplay, users can use an Apple TV powered monitor or TV as a full secondary display.
Better Performance and Battery Life
Under the hood, OS X Mavericks has new features that improve battery life by reducing CPU activity up to 72%. That means your MacBook should get better performance.
OS X Mavericks also has compressed memory, which should improve response time. That means apps should load faster and wake from sleep more quickly.
A feature called App Nap also figures out which apps are in use, and which apps are simply idle. Those idle apps will stop sucking power when not in use.
The new Safari will offer an improved sidebar, homepage and reading lists from LinkedIn and Twitter. This means you can quickly access articles to read later from Twitter or LinkedIn.
Safari is also faster and more responsive, and Federighi says scrolling for popular websites is now faster and more responsive.
Whither 1Password and LastPass? Apple is creating a new iCloud Keychain for password management that works across devices. It’s encrypted and secure, and Safari will even suggest secure passwords when creating new accounts.
In the .Mac and MobileMe era, Apple actually used to sync the OS X keychain across computers. This looks like a return to that feature, with better password management across all devices.
Notifications are now improved as well. Users can not only respond to mail messages directly from notifications, but also choose to get receive notifications from their iOS devices directly on the desktop.
Notifications will also push when a Mac is sleeping, showing missed notifications in the lock screen.
iBooks and Maps Come to OS X
iBooks and Apple Maps are now standalone applications for OS X.
With iBooks, users can access past purchases, bookmarks and interactive content.
This could prove especially useful in the classroom, where textbooks are currently limited to the iPad. Taking notes in a book on the Mac is faster and more efficient.
Apple is bringing all the flyover data from Maps in iOS to the app. It looks beautiful in the demo. Users can push directions from Maps to their iOS device, and a SDK will allow developers to integrate Maps into their own OS X apps.
The calendar in OS X Mavericks drops the leather look of OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.8 in place of a smooth, clean design.
The calendar now has better scrolling. The app also speaks with Apple Maps when it comes to directions and can provide suggestions when creating new entries such as “lunch.” It can also offer directions to a user’s calendar destination.
Calendar also appears to take more cues from the fantastic third-party calendar app, Fantastical.
Available to Developers Today
Developers will have access to a preview version of OS X Mavericks beginning today.
Image courtesy of Apple