Recently, Apple released the OS X Mavericks, billed as “the world’s most advanced desktop operating system.” Designed to help Mac users port the iOS experience to their desktops and laptops, the new system has a lot of new features and advanced technologies—and best of all, it’s a free upgrade.
The new operating system comes with apps for the desktop that also work with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices. Here’s what’s new with OS X Mavericks, which you can download and install now from the Mac App Store.
Device syncing for iBooks
The iBooks app included with Mavericks makes your library accessible through your Mac. This upgrade syncs iBooks libraries through iCloud, the OS X storage—so when you highlight, bookmark, or take notes on any device, the changes appear in all your devices automatically. The app also remembers what page you’re on, and lets you keep multiple books open at once.
New and improved Maps
Apple took a lot of flak over its Maps function when it was first introduced in 2012 with a host of glitches and mistakes. Now the improved Maps interface contains fewer mistakes, and also has features like the ability to look up directions on your Mac, and send them to your iPhone for voice navigation en route.
Recent searches and bookmarks are saved to the iCloud and synced with all your devices. The app offers information on local points of interest, and uses the interactive, photorealistic Flyover view that gives Maps a great look and feel/
Facelift and features for Calendar
In addition to a great new look, the Calendar app for OS X Mavericks comes with an event inspector that auto-suggests points of interest or addresses when you start filling in the location field. There’s also a weather forecast display, one-click directions, a travel time calculator, and notification scheduling.
Password storage with iCloud Keychain
This app uses 256-bit AES encryption to store website user names and passwords on user-approved Mac and iOS devices. In addition, it can store your credit card information, and auto-fills the data to save you time when you’re signing in or checking out.
Improved functionality for multiple screens
Apple’s OS previously treated multiple screens as primary and secondary displays, with the Dock and menu bar only available on the primary display. With the Mavericks upgrade, multiple screens now behave as two primaries, each with a separate menu bar. The Dock is accessible through whichever screen you’re using, and you can run any combination of multiple windows and full-screen apps independently. The multiple display functionality also lets you use an HDTV as a functioning second display with Apple TV and AirPlay.
Better organization with tags
A new tag function with OS X Mavericks makes it easy to find files and documents stored on your hard drive or in the iCloud. You can tag files with keywords, and retrieve all files tagged with a specific keyword at once by either entering the keyword in the search field, or clicking on it in the Finder sidebar.
Efficiency and performance boosts
OS X Mavericks has redesigned not only the looks, features, and interfaces of desktop apps, but also their performance. A Timer Coalescing feature for processing groups operations to put your CPU into low-power mode more often for increased energy efficiency, and App Naps powers down apps while they’re not in use to save even more energy.
There’s also improved HD playback efficiency and a Compressed Memory feature that keeps more memory available by compressing data from inactive apps.
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