At WWDC today, Apple announced Mac OS X 10.9, which adds long-awaited features including Finder tabs, tags and multiple display enhancements. Come and check out all the cool new stuff in the next version of the Mac operating system.
A long-time feature in alternate file browser Path Finder and plug-in TotalFinder, OS X 10.9 brings tabbed browsing to the OS X Finder. Since OS X 10.5, rumour sites and news outlets have speculated that Apple would add tabs. Now, it finally has.
Apple had added another feature we’ve seen in everything from web to desktop apps for years. Now you can add tags to documents, folders and other elements in the Finder to easily find what you’re looking for without the need to keep all relevant files in a specific folder. Instead, you can browse by tag.
Multiple Display Enhancements
Using multiple monitors with OS X became problematic with the introduction of version 10.7. Now taking an app full screen doesn’t force other displays to have a useless grey background. You can put multiple full screen apps on multiple screens. While this feels more like a fix than a feature, OS X 10.9 allows you to use your Apple TV as another display. Not a bad deal if you have a TV but no extra monitor for work.
Battery Life Improvements
We’ve only seen incremental improvements in battery technology recently, so Apple decided to reduce CPU utilization in OS X 10.9 to improve power usage. One technology called App Nap improves battery life by suspending CPU tasks that you don’t need. For example, if you have a CPU-intensive web site running in Safari and you cover it with another window, OS X will suspend that task so it doesn’t drain your battery when you’re not using it. When you uncover the window, it will resume. Apple added several other technologies behind the scenes that will help developers save battery life through their apps.
Password management solutions such as LastPass and Dashlane save your passwords and sync them amongst your devices. Apple has decided to get in on the act with iCloud Keychain. This will remember passwords for sites Wi-Fi, and credit card numbers. Everything syncs with iCloud, and Apple encrypts all the data to keep it safe. This will be potentially useful, though given iCloud’s variable performance and Apple’s mixed record in services, proceeding with caution might be wise.
Actionable and synchronised notifications
Now you can get notifications in OS X and actually do something with them. Instead of just clicking them to get to the app, you can reply to a message or answer a video call directly from the notification. You can also update your apps in the background via the Software Update notification as well. iOS notifications will sync with OS X so you don’t have to go between devices to see everything.
Calendars, Maps, iBooks
The skeuomorphic design for Calendars, Contacts and other apps which imitated real-world interfaces have been replaced with a much cleaner look. Apple has also added a new Maps application where you can look up directions and send them straight to your iPhone. When you unlock your iPhone, you get sent straight to navigation. Apple also created an iBooks application so you can read your iBooks on your Mac. The feature set seems on par with what you’ll find on an iPad.
OS X 10.9 goes out to developers today; everyone else will be able to obtain a copy later this year. Apple hasn’t yet specified an upgrade price.
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