Apple announced that the next release for OSX would be entitled Mavericks. With moving from Animals to places around California (Mavericks is a surfing locations west of Silicon Valley) this brought many new features, as well as some tweaks under the hood, improving battery life and better memory compression. Many of the tweaks under the hood have to do with when an application is put to the background, the application will nap until it is the focused application. Another benefit to all of these new battery saving features is the ability to watch iTunes HD videos without the fear of draining your battery.
A feature that has always been something many people wanted was Finder Tabs. The majority of people had to download a third party modification in order to do this, but now that Apple has include it in Mavericks, it is a welcomed addition. Finder Tabs works the same as any modern web browser, instead of having multiple windows open everything is condensed to one screen. This should help with ease of use and also gives the ability to easily drag and drop files to other folders, or other computers if one of your tabs is AirDrop. Since the addition of Tabs to Finder, you are now able to make Finder fullscreen due to the fact you should only have one Finder window open at any given time.
OSX Mavericks is bringing iBooks to the desktop. Any books you have downloaded on an iPhone, iPad or iPod will be available on iBooks for Mac. iBooks will use iCloud to keep in sync what page you happen to be on in a book, sync any notes you happen to make on a page, and will keep track of any highlighted passages or bookmarks. The same iBooks store that is found on your mobile device will be available on your desktop.
With Apple choosing to not retain its partnership with Google for its Maps application, it was a matter of time before Apple would port its mobile Maps applications to the desktop. While I won’t go too much into detail about Maps, some of the features that intrigue me are the Sending Directions to iOS and how well its integrated into other applications. Using the Share button on the application will allow you to send directions that you have looked up directly to your phone. On your phone, you proceed to get a notification on the lockscreen which will then open up the application with the directions pre loaded. Only thing that I am not 100% sure of is if both devices need to be on the same WiFi network in order to do this, or if it can be sent when your phone is on cellular and your desktop has an ethernet hooked to it. Maps has integrated itself into other applications as well, for example, when you create an appointment in Calendar, it can auto generate the location based on what you have entered. You are also able to set on how you will be getting to your appointment and will also set travel time.
Mavericks finally takes advantage of every display you have connected to your Mac. Before you would only be able to set what was your primary screen and secondary screen. The primary screen would have the Menu bar and the Dock. With Mavericks, every screen will have its own Menu bar and the Dock can be sent to any screen you are currently working on. Another feature that has been added is the ability to have multiple windows of the same application on different screens. So if you are working in Final Cut Pro, you can have your timeline and everything on one screen, while your second screen has a display of what you are exporting. With Multiple Displays and AirPlay, you are able to use your AppleTV which could be connected to another TV in the house as a monitor as well.
Notifications have been updated to allow you to reply to a Message or an Email right within the notification. This also gives you the ability to delete an email from a notification or respond to a FaceTime video call. If you have put your Mac into sleep mode or locked the computer, you will get a summary of all notifications that have happened while you were gone right from the Lock Screen. Another feature that has been added is the ability to get updates from websites via something that is very similar to an RSS feed. Examples of what you can get website notifications from is Ebay, if you have won an item or been outbid, or Sport scores from ESPN. I think that these are a welcome addition as it always felt with Mountain Lion that the Notifications was just a tacked on feature rarely used by applications.
Tags have also been incorporated into Finder, which allows you to tag any document or file on your computer and then find them on the left hand side of your Finder window. This also brings the functionality of being able to search for a file within a tag, which should lead to people becoming a bit more organized with files. Tags doesn’t require a separate application to add them, when saving a file, it will ask you to add any tags from within that same window.
OSX Mavericks is available today for Developers, with a release date of later this fall. No word on pricing or bundles with current Macs or Macbooks.