Apple gave users their first glimpse into OS X 10.9 on Monday during a keynote event at the company's annual World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco. The next version of OS X does away with the cat naming scheme in favor of California locations -- starting with Mavericks. OS X 10.9 Mavericks will also include Finder Tabs, system-wide file tagging, and enhanced multiple display support.
Craig Federighi demos OS X Mavericks at WWDC 2013
Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi took the stage during the keynote event to show off some of the new features in OS X Mavericks.
Tabbed Finder Windows
Mavericks lets users group Finder windows in tabs, much like Web browsers. Mr. Federighi said each tab can have its own location and view mode, and it makes Finder windows fit well into full screen mode.
OS X Mavericks includes a new Tag option in Finder window sidebars that let users add extra bits of information to their documents for easier organization. Mr. Federighi said, "As I go to save a document, I can give it a name. And in addition to its location, I can also give it a tag."
Users can apply multiple tags to documents, search and sort based on those tags, and tags are color-coded, too.
Tags extend beyond the Finder and can be used in applications, as well. In apps, tags appear in the Save dialog, and they're also available for organizing documents saved to iCloud.
Apple will be beefing up password management in Mavericks with iCloud Keychain. The new version of Keychain offers system-wide password management and also syncs between Macs running Mavericks so all of your passwords are up to date on all of your computers and iOS 7 devices.
If you're already a 1Password user, that should sound familiar since that's one of the big features the app offers. This also isn't the first time Apple has rolled features from a popular app into its operating system. When Mountain Lion shipped, for example, Smile Software saw some of its TextExpander features duplicated by the Shortcuts option.
That didn't, however, kill TextExpander touch, and AgileBits doesn't think iCloud Keychain spells the end of 1Password. When The Mac Observer asked AgileBits how they felt about the new Mavericks feature, a company spokesperson responded, "We're excited. Better security is a win for everyone. This is also a validation of what we've been doing for over half a decade."
1Password offers a tremendous amount of value in terms of supporting multiple browsers and platforms, multiple accounts, and securing much more than passwords and credit cards. We're a full security solution with incredible customer support and much more to come.
Notifications will be more interactive in Mavericks thanks to direct support for responding to messages and FaceTime calls, and delete email messages without jumping to the Mail app. It also supports website subscriptions for news and other alert notifications even when Safari isn't running.
When you're away from your Mac, Notifications continues to keep track of your alerts and displays a summary when you're back in front of your screen.
Mavericks will include an iOS-like Maps feature that lets users find locations, display addresses and phone numbers, get point-to-point directions you can push to your iPhone, display Yelp reviews, and more. It also appears as a built-in feature for Calendar, Contacts, and Mail.
Calendar and Contacts
Calendar and Contacts do away with the skeuomorphic stitched leather design from Mountain Lion, and go beyond that to add new features, too. The Calendar app, for example, can display weather information along with travel time to your appointments, and will even block out that time so you don't overbook yourself.
iBooks won't be limited to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch when Mavericks ships this fall. Books already purchased through the iBookstore will automatically appear on your Mac, you can keep multiple books open, and it can auto-add citations when you copy quotes from books.
Bookmarks, highlights and notes, and your current page all sync between your devices via iCloud, plus notes appear in a column along side book pages, too.
Mr. Federighi said Safari will get a boost in Mavericks, too. The new version of the Web browser app offers better performance compared to the current Safari version, pages render faster, shared links appear in a sidebar, and pages are displayed more intelligently so there's less of a hit on battery life for laptop users.
While OS X has always supported multiple displays, Apple ramped up what the feature can handle in Mavericks. Full-screen mode now supports multiple displays, users can access menu bars and the Dock from every connected display, full-screen apps can be moved between displays, and different apps can be displayed in full-screen mode on different displays.
Mission Control will show an overview for each connected display, and lets users drag-and-drop apps and documents between virtual desktops, just as it currently does in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Mavericks also supports using AirPlay with multiple monitors with an Apple TV, but instead of simply mirroring your main display, it lets you use AirPlay to add a television to your display setup as extended desktop space. Simply select the Apple TV you want to use as an extra display and Mavericks automatically adds it to your multi-monitor setup. Apple touted this as a great way to show a presentation on an HDTV while taking notes on your Mac
Mavericks also includes plenty of under the hood improvements to boost overall performance. That better performance, however, doesn't take a hit on battery life. According to Mr. Federighi, OS X 10.9 offers accelerated scrolling, App Nap, Timer Coalescing, OpenGL 4, and Idle hygiene -- a feature that improves performance by reducing how often your Mac drops into an idle mode.
The new OS uses compressed memory to improve performance, as well. Instead of requiring memory swapping through relatively slower hard drives, it swaps data in RAM. Mavericks handles recovery from sleep and standby mode about 1.5 times faster compared to Mountain Lion.
Apple's WWDC 2013 keynote is still underway, so be sure to check in with TMO for updated information and new announcements.
OS X 10.9 Mavericks will be available this fall, although Apple hasn't offered a specific release date yet. There also isn't any word on what Mac owners can expect to pay for the update.
[Updated with additional details about OS X Mavericks]