Apple is about to launch a new Mac operating system in October – Mavericks. How does it compare to Mountain Lion, the current operating system?
The release of Mac OS X Mavericks (version 10.9) is set to bring more than 200 new features to Apple Mac computers. And as Apple continues to dominate the mobile space there’s deeper integration with iOS, the operating system used on iPhone and iPad.
There’s a lot about Mavericks to look forward to, so upgrading to Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks seems like a no-brainer to many Apple fans. Every time Apple launches a new operating system it’s exciting. And Mavericks promises to bring a raft of new Apple technologies for us to play with.
Apple Mavericks: Price
Apple has been steadily dropping the price for upgrades over time for a while now and we expect Apple Mavericks to cost around the same as previous updates. Indeed the upgrade from Mac OS X Lion to Mountain Lion wa just £13.99 at launch ($19.99 in the US). So we’d expect Mavericks to come in at the same price, or maybe even less. So price shouldn’t be a barrier to upgrading.
Apple Mavericks: the new look
One reason for updating from Mountain Lion to Mavericks would clearly be the new look and style. While it doesn’t have the same leap that we’ve seen in iOS 6 to iOS 7 there is a striking new set of features.
See: iOS 7 review
Apple is clearly moving away from the highly detailed skeuomorphic effect. Apps like Calendar and Contacts have had a makeover, and everything from Safari to Mail and FaceTime has the new standard UI elements.
Appel Mavericks: New features
Another reason to upgrade would the be the new features:
Apple has added several new Finder features. As Finder is pretty central to the entire Mac experience this is good news Finder now goes full screen and Finder windows can merge, but the most notable new finder features are Tags and Tabs.
Once you’ve installed Mavericks you will be able to utilize both screens in fullscreen mode and it will also be possible to drag fullscreen apps between displays. In Mavericks each display has equal worth, and features it’s own Dock and Menu bar.
With Mavericks, those with an AirPlay connected TV will be able to treat it as an extra display (currently you can only mirror the display). After you’ve upgraded it will be possible to drag windows from your Mac display to your TV screen via an Apple TV, complete with menu bar and Dock.
A new iCloud keychain will store your passwords, credit-card numbers, and personal contact information and syncs them between devices running Mavericks or the also-forthcoming iOS 7.
Safari has had an overhaul and a new sidebar contains bookmarks, history and the new Shared Links tab. This enables you to view your Twitter stream as links inside Mac OS X: it looks like a great way to look for things to read online.
Maps and iBooks
Mac OS X Mavericks brings two new apps to the Mac from iOS: Maps and iBooks. Maps will enable you to plan journeys and then bounce the plan to your iOS device (handy for sat-nav directions); iBooks will enable you to read books from iBooks cloud, as well as add notes and bookmarks.
Mac OS X: System requirements
According to Wikipedia: As of its beta release, OS X Mavericks is compatible with all Macs that are capable of running OS X Mountain Lion.
The full list of compatible models:
iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
Xserve (Early 2009)
Mac OS X Mavericks third-party app compatibility
One key question about the upgrade is “will my programs work in Mavericks”. There’s no overall answer, you just have to check what Apps you’ve got.
To check your installed apps do the following:
Click Menu and choose About This Mac
Click the More info button
Click the System Report button
Choose Software > Application from the sidebar
Go through this list and make a note of those you need and use on a regular basis, especially those that are vital to your job. Last year Roaringapps did a roaring trade in listing apps that were, and weren't compatible with Mountain Lion. but this time around there seems to be little in the way of an online database, and they have no information on Mountain Lion. Hopefully this will change as we approach the launch date.
In the meantime the best bet is to check with the information and support found provided by the developer. Check if their system requirements have been updated to include Mac OS X Mavericks and do a web search to see if anybody has run into any problems.
The jump from Lion to Mountain seemed fairly uneventful with major apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite running fairly smoothly. But it’s always a concern if you're running key software in a commercial environment we’d advise you to hang on for a few days until you’ve had your major programs confirmed.
Should I upgrade to Mac OS X Mavericks?
For many users upgrading to Mavericks will be a no brainer. It offers a slightly slicker interface, and a range of new features. If you use Mac OS X in a commercial setting then it’s usually a good idea to wait until key software programs have been checked against it. But for the low upgrade price it’s generally worth the cost.