It’s time to upgrade again. Macintosh has released their newest operating system: OS X Mavericks. A free download available since October 22nd of this year. It is less a new system and more an improvement on the old OS X systems. So if you are an Apple fan, there will still be all the features you love with some new ones added in and more power. Apple claims there are 200 new features. This new system should be more powerful and efficient while still enhancing user-friendly tools. A few handy apps have been added to the dock: icloud keychain, ibooks, and maps. Geared toward the ultimate convenience, the new OS X is user-friendly and handy on the go.

Power to the apps

The apps sync automatically like before through icloud, but now it saves everything you were working on between all devices down to the page you left off reading and the browser tabs you had open. The sync is automatic, saving you time and trouble. And since the new apps are native apps, they have added benefits including full-screen view, access offline, and they’re faster.

It looks like most of the work has gone into improving the speed of the OS X. When apps are pulled up but are hidden or not actively being used, they slow down with App Nap. Low level activities are grouped together to make split-second idle times for the CPU that don’t affect performance. And are you tired of videos and ads that play automatically in the margins when you open a window? Safari Power Saver stops them from draining your battery power by holding them on pause until you click play. And when you start to reach your memory’s max, memory from inactive apps will automatically be compressed to give you more playing space.

Working out the kinks

Judging from user comments on Apple’s website and some tech rumor sites, most users with the new system are happy with the upgrade. But as happy as many users are, there are a significant number of issues. The problems users have had with mail accounts, specifically email getting deleted or not sending in Gmail and Microsoft Outlook not syncing, have been looked at by Apple. They have an upgrade for mail, but there continue to be some issues. QuickLook which gives a quick preview of a document or file before you open it, is slow. And the video player QuickTime 10.3 converts many video files before it will play them resulting in slower playback or even lower video quality.

A complaint that always comes up about Apple products is the lack of customization options. When they make something new, they often get rid of the old. This most heavily applies to design and system behaviors. For example, the dock has a new look and there is no option to change the appearance to earlier versions. Folders opened in Finder open up in new tabs with no option to have them open in new windows as they once did. If you don’t like the idea your iCloud adapting to automatically syncing everything you do, you don’t really have a choice. Keep in mind that some problems are only an issue for some users.

Does your Mac qualify for an upgrade?

From the Apple website:

To install Mavericks, you need one of these Macs:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or later)

  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later),

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch or 17-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later)

  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)

  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or later)

  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)

  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Your Mac also needs:

  • OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard v10.6.8 already installed

  • 2 GB or more of memory

  • 8 GB or more of available space

 

References:

Apple.com: What’s new in OS X Mavericks

MacRumors: Mavericks

ArsTechnica.com: Five complaints Ars readers have about OS X Mavericks