Apple Mavericks’ missing features: we look at iOS omissions in Mac OS X 10.9
Why are some iOS 7 features like Siri not working in Mavericks?
When will Mavericks get Siri, Control Centre and iOS AirDrop support
Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks is an impressive update with an irresistible raft of new features: especially given that it’s a free update. New services like Apple Maps and iBooks display continued updates that improve the Mac every year.
But there are a few major missing features. And it pains us to see them absent. Here we take a look at four features that are present in iOS but missing from Mavericks...
Mavericks missing feature 1: Siri
We might as well kick off with the big one. Where the hell is Siri? Apple’s voice technology was introduced over two years ago and has gone from strength to strength on the iPhone and iPad.
iOS newcomers and those people who didn’t give up on Siri in the early beta days will know just how improved it is. Siri these days does an amazing job of translating what you say into quick instructions. For creating reminders, events, setting alarms and accessing apps and now settings, Siri on iOS is unrivalled. It’s even getting a lot better for messages and emails.
You can dictate messages on the Mac using the voice dictation technology, but it’s the integrated app and search support that makes Siri so magical.
It might be that Siri for the Mac could place a strain on Apple, or that Apple has tested it and it simply doesn’t fit as well on the Mac as it does on iOS. But we are looking forward to the day we can say “Hey Siri” to our Mac and here a ba-ding noise.
Maybe in the next update?
Mavericks missing feature 2: iOS AirDrop
Apple introduced AirDrop to the Mac in Mountain Lion and brought it to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with iOS 7; so it’s not completely missing. But for some bizarre reason you can’t AirDrop files and items between Mac OS X and iOS. They both work independently.
This strikes us as frankly bizarre. It would be superb to be able to drop files from our Mac to our iPad, and we’re not wholly sure why we can’t. It might be that AirDrop requires quite specific Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology that isn’t available on a wide enough range of Macs. Or that it’s inconsistent on the current range of Macs and is pending hardware updates. It could be that there is a security risk to iOS once Mac OS X (with its more open system) can get access to AirDrop. These are all guesses though, to be honest we’re really not quite sure. We hope Apple brings AirDrop support between the two devices soon.
In Maps there is a current workaround and you can send directions from Mac OS X straight to an iOS device. It’d be great to be able to do this with photos, media files and documents.
Mavericks Missing feature 3: Flat design
Mavericks does sport a different look, but you’d be hard pushed to describe it as new. In some ways it’s really just the way Mac OS X probably would have looked if it didn’t diverge down the iOS “faux leather and wood” path for a while. iOS has eschewed this kind of realistic design (involving shadows and realistic buttons and known as ‘skeuomorphic’) in favour of a new type of style called Flat Design. (See: Flat Pixels: the battle between flat design and skeuomorphism.)
While we’re relieved to see the new-look Calendar and Contacts apps, it doesn’t really seem to have the same ‘wow’ factor as iOS 7. We’d love to see the flat layers approach taken from iOS 7 and translated to the Mac. Mac OS X is a great looking operating system but an iOS-style refresh would have been brilliant. Again, next year perhaps?
Flat design (left) versus Skeuomorphic (right)
Mavericks Missing feature 4: Control Centre
We’ve got Notification Centre, so why not Control Centre? Apple has consistently brought new features from iOS to the Mac in the form of Launchpad, App Store, Notifications, and recently Maps and iBooks. We’re pretty sure that control Centre can’t be far behind.
Control Centre actually makes a lot of sense on the Mac. Especially if it was just a tiny bit more detailed. Say you could choose and change Wi-Fi hotspots through it, as well as turn it on and off. At the moment these features are all packed into the Mac OS X Menu bar, which does an admirable job but is a little small, fiddly and packed at times: Control Centre will be a much better solution when it (hopefully) arrives on the Mac.