The 10 Best New Features in OS X Mavericks
The latest version of the Mac OS is no transformative update, but it includes several key changes that most users will like.
The first version of the Mac OS not to be named after a cat, OS X 10.9 Mavericks is no game-changer. If you use OS X Mountain Lion, you won't notice many of the changes. But some changes are truly useful, even if not immediately obvious. I've picked the most compelling ones.
Tabbed Finder windows: OS X Mavericks now lets you add tabs to Finder windows (you can also create new windows) by pressing Cmd-T. Tip: To move or copy items across tabbed panes, drag the file or folder icon from the current tab on to another pane's tab.
File tags:OS X has long let you assign color tags to files and folders as a visual cue for the file contents, such as for a specific project. OS X Mavericks extends that to include user-defined tags that you can add to files and folders in the Finder, Get Info window, and( for files) when you save them.
AirPlay display: In OS X Mountain Lion, you could mirror your Desktop to the Apple TV, such as for presentations. OS X Mavericks takes that to the next step, treating the Apple TV as just another monitor, so you can extend your desktop onto an Apple TV-connected TV or projector.
iCloud Keychain: It can now save credit card information entered on websites, so you don't have to keep re-entering that data. The other benefit is that your saved passwords and credit cards are synced across your Macs and iOS devices if they're signed into the same iCloud account and have iCloud Keychain enabled.
In-notification replies: In OS X Mavericks, you can respond to a notification within the banner. Hover the pointer over the banner and click the Reply button (or whatever it's called for that specific type of notification) to be able to respond immediately.
Safari bookmarks sidebar: I've long fumed about Safari not providing a sidebar for bookmarks. Neither having to go to a bookmarks page that obscures the current website nor having to use an easily crowded bookmarks bar meet Apple's usability standards. Safari 7, which debuts in OS X Mavericks, has a proper sidebar for bookmarks.
Shared browser links: This is my favorite new feature in OS X Mavericks. The Safari browser's new Sidebar has the Shared Links option. It lists all URLs shared to you via your social networks. Shared Links provides a handy list of all the Web pages that your friends and colleagues have been discussing or recommending.
Driving directions for iOS: OS X Mavericks adopts iOS's Maps app. But what's cool is the ability to get driving directions and send them to your iPhone or other iOS 7-based device. They show up in the iOS Maps app, ready for you to follow while driving or walking, and they remain in your bookmarked directions for access later if needed.
Map integration in Calendar: OS X Mavericks also integrates Maps with Calendar. If an appointment has a recognized address, Calendar shows a preview map of the location; double-click it to open the location in the Map application.
Automatic app updates: OS X Mavericks updates apps -- meaning those purchased in the Mac App Store -- for you, if you tell it to via the App Store system preference. (Security updates also auto-install by default, a feature introduced in OS X Mountain Lion.)