Gary Bacon

OSX Mavericks’ New Features

The little details really add up to an overall great experience. These are my favorite new features in OSX Mavericks. Be sure to upgrade, you can’t beat the price: free.

Calendar

Holidays calendar used to live in the Downloads section of Apple’s website. It quickly became outdated and required the user to have to understand what it took to subscribe to a calendar in iCal. Now, the newly redesigned Calendar app allows you simply check off “Show Holidays calendar”. Just go to Calendar > Preferences > General and look towards the bottom.

Holidays Calendar

The add calendar sheet has also been revised. Makes it incredibly simple to add a new Exchange, Google, or even Facebook calendars.

Add Calendars

Contacts

One feature that really excites me, is the Auto-complete for information in Contacts. You simply paste an address into one line and it populates that information in the proper areas. For instance, if I copied the following text:

123 Mylife Drive
Apt 12
Sunnyville CA 57370

Then pasted it into the home address field in Contacts. I would get the information populated into the correct corresponding fields as shown:

Autofill Address

The improved Google Contacts support was a nice touch too. When you add or edit a Google contact it will sync properly with the service.

Dictation

Annoyed by the delay experienced previously in Dictation? It has to be manually turned on, but now with enhanced dictation you can convert speech to text with no Internet required. The text will instantly convert as you speak so you can see the changes instantly.

Dictation

Just click on  “Use Enhanced Dictation” illustrated above to enable this feature.

Finder

New to the platform, tabs in Finder. I’ve been using TotalFinder for awhile now so that isn’t huge for me. However to some it may result with a “finally!”. Personally, I’m going to stick with TotalFinder as it is Mavericks compatible and I like it’s split view.

Finder Tabs

Also, a nice UI touch. The “date modified” and other columns are in a light grey while the file name remains a deep black. Helps keep the focus on the file name.

Notifications

In System Preferences > Notifications > Do Not Disturb there is a new feature that I was happy to see: “Turn on Do Not Disturb when mirroring to TVs and projectors”. Such a great little detail that saves you a bit of time when quickly making presentations on the go.

Notification Preferences

 

Also bundled in Notification Center is the ability to send iMessages, Tweets, or Facebook updates. In the screenshot below, I’m sending a text message to another iPhone via Notification Center. You can also reply to those inline when you receive them. Saves time in the day to day use and no need to pick up my phone.

Notification Center - iMessage

 

Also when receiving text messages via Notification center in Messages app, you can now turn off previews.

Show Message Preview

For those times when your boss is over your shoulder and you would rather he not know you need to pick up milk after work.

App Store

Mac App Store Updates

Just like iOS7, the Mac App Store can now update apps automatically. But even better, it can update them for all users on your Mac, while you sleep.

Multiple Displays

Life of Pi

Now you can finally use your HDTV as a second screen with Airplay and an AppleTV. Not only that but you can now make apps full screen on a secondary screen, including iTunes. This means you could stream a movie to the TV via your laptop and continue to use it during the stream.

Energy Impact

In the Activity Monitor app there is a new Energy tab that shows you which apps are using the most energy at the time. With the new app nap feature most apps should stop using memory when not in use.

Activity Monitor: Energy

Also by just click on the battery icon in the top menu bar you can see which apps are using the most battery. Much quicker than opening up Activity Monitor.

Battery Menu

New Mac for Free

Overall, OSX Mavericks makes my machine feel new. Not just from new features, and there are over 200 of them, but the speed has been incredible. You can definitely tell that this update was about performance, battery life, and the finer details. It all shows. The update is well worth it.