Apple is a big fan of releasing near yearly updates. You can count on a new version of OS X to be released annually, bringing with it new features and some pretty heavy marketing. On October 22, Apple released the latest version, OS X Mavericks. Now that it is finally out, you should be able to upgrade, but do you know about the changes it will introduce?
What exactly is OS X Mavericks? Officially labeled as OS X 10.9 and given the code-name 'Mavericks', after the popular surfing spot in California, this new version of OS X has just been released. It is best to think of this as an incremental update - it's not a completely new OS but introduces some new features and small changes to the layout of the overall system instead.
It is available for free from the App Store on your computer. You just have to download and install it. Of course, if you use your computer for work, you may want to check with your IT department or IT partner to ensure the update can be installed without any trouble.
What's new in Mavericks? While this isn't the biggest OS X update to date, Mavericks does introduce some interesting new features. Here are five:
- Maps - While the maps themselves are the same, there is a new feature that is helpful for those who are on the road frequently: You can now plot your own route on the desktop and then send it to your iPhone when you leave the office. You will receive a message on your phone which will open Maps and offer turn-by-turn directions.
- The Finder - There are two new useful features for the Finder. The first is tabbed viewing. You can open one file in a window, then open another in a tab in the same window, much like the tabs in many Internet browsers. The other is the ability to apply labels to your files and folders. Click on a label and you will see other files and folders with the same label. This makes finding files in different folders far easier.
- Notification Center - The new version of the Notification Center allows users to carry out tasks for certain apps directly from the notification. For example, if you have an iMessage, you can reply directly from the notification that pops-up. Other apps, like Mail for example, allow you to open, or delete an email from the notification. The Center will also be available from the Lock Screen of your computer, allowing you to see notifications that have come in while you were away.
- Multi-monitor support - In previous versions of OS X, using multi-monitors can be a bit tough, especially if you work in full screen mode. The new update now treats multi-monitors as essentially individual systems. Each monitor has a menu bar and can handle individual apps. Of course, if you like the older layout then you can revert to it from System Preferences.
- iCloud Keychain - Because many people are using so many more systems, they have started to turn to password managers to help remember all their different passwords. Mavericks offers iCloud Keychain, which saves passwords and credit card info in iCloud.
As we stated above, if you are using your Mac at the office, it is a good idea to check with your IT partner or department to ensure that the update is compatible with other systems. Also, you might want to check if your machine can support the update. Here is the list of all Macs that can support the update.
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or early 2009 or newer)
- iMac (mid 2007 or newer)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (early 2009)
- MacBook Pro (mid/late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (late 2008 or newer)