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Developer previews

Apple seeded the seventh developer preview of Mavericks last week, suggesting that it is moving forward with the development of the new version of OS X.

The new release points to a section on Apple's website that it not live yet. It may well be set to go live after the 10 September event.

Comments from developers suggest that the new operating system is not ready for the general public yet. 

Other indications that Apple is gearing up for launch of Mavericks are news that Apple has asked developers to get ready for OS X Mavericks Safari Notifications and the fact that a compatibility warning regarding iBooks textbooks suggests that iBook textbooks require: "A Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later". 

What is OS X Mavericks?

Mavericks will be the tenth major release of OS X. For those new to the Mac, OS X is Apple's operating system, the X is read as "ten". The first version of OS X launched in March 2001. It is Unix based and is designed to run exclusively on Macs. The core of Mac OS X came from NeXT, the company run by Steve Jobs after he left Apple. It was Apple's decision to purchase NeXT in 1996 that ensured Jobs' return to the company he founded in the 1970s.

Apple previewed the new Mac OS X at WWDC in June and developers have been assessing the beta version of the software ever since.

What does Mavericks mean to me?  

When it launches OS X Mavericks will mean that you get even more battery life out of your current laptop.

The new Mac operating system will offer a dramatic reduction in power consumption thanks to new under-the-hood software technologies. For example, Apple will exert more control over the way apps run to increase the time that CPUs spend idle, throttling down apps that are not being actively used, and even compressing memory to reduce swap disk access.

According to Apple, these changes could boost the average MacBook’s battery life by as much as 50 percent. This news, coupled with the recent introduction of Intel’s new low-power Haswell chipset, suggests that we could soon get a whole days battery life from our Mac laptops, without ever having to plug in.

Currently Apple claims that the MacBook Air can offer 10 hours of battery life – that number is only going to go up once Mavericks ships.

The other result of this is that it will have a positive effect on the environment, not just that, these power-saving features will cost you less in your own energy requirements, and you will be able to benefit from more battery life without upgrading to new hardware. 

Why did Apple call OS X Mavericks

Apple had called all recent versions of OS X after big cats (initially these were just code names, but the cat names stuck and became part of Apple's marketing). Mavericks is the first version of OS X to take a name that is associated with California, where Apple is based. It goes some way to emphasize Apple's American foundation.

Mavericks is a famous surfing spot in California.

What are the new features in Mavericks

There are more than 200 new features coming in OS X Mavericks this autumn.  We discuss many of them in our OS X Mavericks Preview.

You can expect a new look interface that bears the hallmarks of Apple's design guru Jony Ive as well as certain elements of iOS 7.

The Finder will get more attention than it has had in almost a decade – Apple is completely redesigning the Finder, adding new features including Tabbed Browsing and Tags to make navigating the files and folders on your Mac even easier.

Also new to Mavericks is a feature that makes better use of Multiple displays. You will be able to run two applications in full screen mode over two screens – currently only one application can be run in full screen mode. This feature will also work better with the Apple TV, so you could run an application in full screen on your TV via that device.

Another new feature is iCloud Keychain. This will make it easier than ever to manage multiple passwords – basically you won't have to, Apple will remember your passwords for you, and even suggest strong passwords for you.

Safari will get a number of changes, such as the Favorites Bar which will house the Sidebar (which includes Bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared Links) and Top Sites. Shared links is interesting. That's where links to content that friends are sharing on Twitter will appear.

Safari Reader also gets a makeover, you'll be able to scroll on down to the next story in your list, for example.

Mavericks will also gain Maps. Hopefully a better implementation that we saw when Maps launched in September 2012.

iBooks is also coming to the Mac with Mavericks. This is good news for book lovers and students alike.

Mavericks will also include some advanced technologies that will have an impact on battery life, the use of RAM and power consumption. These new power features were a particular hit with the developers we spoke to after the new Mavericks operating system was announced at WWDC. The developers were pleased that a significant number of changes in OS X are geared towards power users and also that Apple appears to be putting resources into changing software so that it uses battery life more efficiently. 


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