Prior to Apple’s keynote held yesterday, a banner was spotted on the ground floor of Moscone Center which appeared to show a ‘wave’ accompanied by the roman numeral ‘X’. Many speculated what the image of a wave could represent in terms of software, some even suggesting it could signal the dropping of the software’s affection with ‘Aqua,’
Yesterday, however, we finally got our answer.
Standing up on stage in front of the thousands of developers present at the event to address the crowd on the new software, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, laughingly joked as he showed an image of ‘OS X Sea Lion’ in a seemingly ‘official’ capacity.
“I think that one would be a bit of a dead end,” he remarked (laughingly).
He then went on to explain Apple’s initial choice behind the software’s new market name, highlighting that – (as we all were probably already thinking) – Apple had simply ran out of cat names.
The official name? – OS X Mavericks.
Federighi explained that Apple wanted to choose a name that reflected something closer to home. Something that resembled California – the place where the software is both designed and created. Personally, I think it’s great.
As for the software itself, this is a stepping stone for OS X. As I predicted before the event, Apple has focused heavily on refining what makes OS X, adding a number of new features which will better enhance a user’s experience whilst using the software.
The first of those features is iBooks.
Mac Joins The Book Club
Yes, iBooks is coming to the Mac. “OS X Mavericks begins a new chapter in the iBooks story,” Apple’s official website reads.
The choice of millions who read on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, digital books that you’ve perhaps purchased or downloaded on any of these devices will now automatically appear in iBooks on your Mac.
Plus, with 1.8 Million more in the iBooks Store – ready for you to download with just a few clicks, Apple says that reading books is “every bit as intuitive” as it is on an iOS device. You can turn pages with a swipe, zoom in on images with a pinch, or even scroll from cover to cover using the side navigation.
If you’re a student, Apple says that its new operating system will make hitting the books even easier and more convenient. You can keep as many open as you like and search through them with ease. “When you quote an excerpt while writing a paper,” the firm adds, “iBooks adds a citation for you.”
This ties in with the ability to take notes through the new app, (which is noticeably not present in the available beta), where user’s can use iBooks for Mac to highlight passages they find interesting, or add a bookmark on their Mac. Added bookmarks are pushed out to all your devices, automatically, via iCloud.
“That way you have them on whichever one you take to class. iCloud even remembers which page you’re on. So if you start reading on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, you can pick up right where you left off on your Mac,” the company concludes.
A New Destination: Your Mac
Alongside the adding of iBooks to its desktop operating system, Apple is also bringing a version of its Maps client to OS X. While the company’s maps service got some stick in the initial weeks after launching, the service is continually improving (especially in regards to flyover data).
“Text and details are crisp and easy to read. And you get gorgeous views such as Flyover, a photo-realistic, interactive 3D experience that lets you soar high above select cities,” the company says.
Apple is also bringing “local search” to the Mac. The feature allows users to not only search for points of interest right on their Mac using a ‘Maps’ interface, but Apple’s new Maps app for Mac will even show local business and places, with individual information cards and photos for each.
Perhaps the most convenient feature, though is the addition of a new button at the top of the Maps client which allows users to now send directions to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, via the use of push notification. For example, if you’re running out and need to quickly take those directions and routes with you, one click of a button in ‘Maps for Mac’ and … they’re now on your iPhone.
Just like that.
No Virtual Cows Were Harmed In The Making
Calendar has also seen an update in OS X Mavericks. The app has completely lost all connection to the ‘real-world,’ with the firm choosing to remove its previous ‘leather and stitch’ look.
The new design of the Calendar app in OS X Mavericks is now more reminiscent of the new Calendar app we’ve just seen Apple introduce with the announcement of iOS 7, tying further into Ive’s idea of simplicity.
With the launch of OS X Mavericks later this year, Apple’s default browser ‘Safari’ is set to gain some interesting additions. Consolidating bookmarking your favourite sites into a ‘one button’ experience, the new browser is set to bring with it “blazing performance” — while introducing some “breakthrough technologies.”
From OS X Mavericks’ features page:
“Innovative new features make it simple to return to sites you visit often — and discover new sites as well. Shared Links in the new Sidebar shows links posted by people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn, so you can keep up with interesting new content.”
“And with the redesigned Top Sites, it’s easy to organize your favorites. There are also unique advancements under the hood. Thanks to the new Nitro Tiered JIT and Fast Start technologies in Safari, the web pages you visit feel snappier and more responsive. Browsing the web can take a toll on battery life, but with new power-saving technologies, you won’t waste energy on web pages in the background or plug-in content you don’t want to see.
In OS X Mavericks, Apple says that Safari is “simply the best way to surf.”
Remembering your passwords Apple says “can be a real pain.” Thankfully, iCloud Keychain is set to change that. The new feature will store your website user names and passwords on the devices you’ve approved, protecting them with robust AES 256-bit encryption. The software will also keep them up to date on each device — and it automatically fills them in whenever and wherever you need them.
Mavericks’ new “Password Generator” can even suggest unique, “hard-to-guess” passwords for you to use online with your many accounts — and it’s not just passwords. iCloud Keychain works with credit card information too, so checking out is a “snap.”
“Juggling passwords has never been so simple.”
Because in Mavericks … you don’t have to.
Those lucky enough to have a setup at home (or work) which takes advantage of multiple displays acting as monitors, will also be pleased to hear that Mavericks is set to arrive with full support for using OS X over multiple displays.
“OS X Mavericks takes full advantage of every display connected to your Mac, giving you even more flexibility to work the way you want. There’s no longer a primary or secondary display — now each has its own menu bar, and the Dock is available on whichever screen you’re working on,” Apple notes.
With OS X Mavericks, you can have multiple apps running on each of your displays, and even have a different fullscreen app open per view. Mavericks will allow you to switch between apps and views independent of each other, on whichever of your displays you choose to use.
“Or run an app full screen on each one. Even show a desktop on one display and a full-screen app on another. Mission Control can give you a bird’s-eye view, making it easy to drag what you want where you want it. You can even drag it across the room, because now AirPlay and Apple TV can wirelessly turn your HDTV into a fully functional display.”
Notifications you receive in OS X Mavericks are now “actionable.” For example, say you receive an iMessage from your friend or family member and it shows up in the top-right of Mavericks as an alert. You don’t want to have to click the thing to open Messages for Mac. Instead, you wan the ability to quick-reply to that message directly from the notification.
With Mavericks, you can.
And finally, Finder.
Those who use the file system viewer frequently will likely be pleased with the changes that are about to arrive with the launch of Mavericks, later this year. To start, the days in which you had 30 finder windows open and had to navigate between them to continue your workflow — are gone.
This method will be replaced with a single “merge” feature, that will allow users of the desktop operating system to merge all their open Finder windows into one tabbed browsing experience (similar to the way tabs work in Safari, today).
‘Tags’ are also coming to the Mac. With the official release of OS X Mavericks users will find that they are now able to ‘tag’ files with certain keywords, allowing them to both search, locate and find them a lot more easily.
“Tags are a powerful new way to organize and find your files, even documents stored in iCloud. Simply tag files you want to organize together with a keyword, like ‘Important.’ Then when you want to find those files, just click Important in the Finder sidebar or enter it in the search field,” Apple says.
“Tag a file once, or give it multiple tags to assign it to multiple projects. If you have documents stored in multiple iCloud libraries, tags let you group them together into projects. So if you’re planning an event, you could tag the guest list you saved in Numbers, the flyer you designed in Pages, and the presentation you created in Keynote, and see them all with just one click — organized as a single project in a single Finder window.”
OS X Mavericks is expected to ship to end-users, this Fall. It is so far unclear what price Apple will make the software available for, however (if we had to hazard a guess) we would probably jump for $19.99.
You can learn more about this new and upcoming update to Apple’s desktop operating system at apple.com/osx/preview/. Developers looking to get their hands on the OS can head to developer.apple.com, today, where they’ll be able to download the first beta version of the software.
Note: You will need a Mac developer account in order to download and install this software. See developer.apple.com/programs/mac/ for details.