OS X Mavericks features big and small

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 29 Oct 2013


After announcing the new OS X Mavericks in June at WWDC 2013. Apple released this latest OS X version to the public last week. With this release, Apple introduced numerous additions that improve the overall experience of the OS. Read on as we take a tour through some of these top features.

Document tagging

Instead of remembering where you stored your files, you now can use tags to label and organize your documents.

New Apple Maps and iBooks apps

OS X features several new apps including a very useful Maps app that is filled with address information, city fly overs and driving directions. Another exciting addition is iBooks, which allows you to read your iBooks on the big screen of your MacBook, iMac or monitor-attached Mac Mini.

Sidebar and Shared links in Safari

Safari for OS X has a few new features that boost the usefulness of the app. First is a sidebar that gives you easy access to your bookmarks and your reading list. Also included in the side bar is a new “Shared Links” feature that pulls in links posted by the people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn. Top Sites has been improved, too. Now you can add sites from your bookmarks and organize them by dragging the them around the screen.


App Nap

App Nap is a power-saving feature that’ll slow down an app that is not being actively used. It’ll boost battery life, which could be handy if you are traveling and away from an power source. You can control which apps are being put to sleep by disabling the function. It is turned on by default, so you will need to open a Finder window and browse your applications folder. Right click on an application and select “Get Info.” You will see a checkbox that’ll allow you to turn off “Prevent App Nap” for that app.


Tabbed Finder windows

Just like most modern web browsers, OS X Finder allows you to open multiple tabs so you can work in several different folders at the same time.


Multiple display support

Improved support for multiple displays allows users to open apps in full screen mode on one monitor, while continuing to work on another. You can also work side-by-side in both windows. A handy feature allows each display to have its own menu bar.


Calendar improvements

The Calendar app has been overhauled with a fresh, new iOS 7-like UI. In addition to an improved week view, You can view your travel time and a map of the location of the event that you are attending. Facebook events will also show up in the Calendar, if you’ve approved this sharing of information.


Improved notifications

Notifications was updated with a new reply feature that allows you to respond to IMs, FaceTime requests or emails right within the notification screen. Type your response and send it on its way without opening an app. Besides responding, you can compose a new message from the notifications pane as well.  Notifications also made their way to Safari in a new features that allows you to receive notifications for certain websites.


Longer battery life

OS X Mavericks has some power optimizations that’ll help you grab another hour of battery life. There’s also a menu bar option that’ll show you which apps are using the most power.

Quickly add emoticons and other special characters

Press Cmd+Ctrl+Space to bring up a list of emoji that you can add to your emails, instant messages or other documents.


Sparkly stars show newly installed apps

Easily find a newly installed app by looking for the glistening, sparkly stars that surround the app’s icon in Launchpad.

Settings allow you to check which apps are gaining access to your location

Want to know which apps are accessing your location information? Then go to the Privacy pane in the Security & Privacy preferences. This settings feature will list all the apps that have access to your location data.


Automatic updates

Just like iOS 7, you can setup OS X Mavericks to automatically download app updates on your behalf.

Offline voice dictation

Mavericks improves upon voice dictation in OS X by allowing you to use the feature even when you are offline.

Do Not Disturb

OS X has a Do Not Disturb setting that allows you to turn off notifications if you don’t want to be disturbed by incoming notifications. All incoming notifications will still arrive, you just won’t be alerted.


Move Dashboard

The Move Dashboard is a Launch Control feature that’ll allow you to move your dashboards around so you can organize them to your liking.

Use Maps to send directions and other map information to your iOS device

Apple’s new Maps application allows you to look up directions on your Mac and then send them to your iPhone in just a few clicks.


Sync your iBooks reading progress between your Mac of OS X device

OS X now ships with iBooks, allowing you to read books from your iTunes collection on your Mac. One bonus of iBooks being on OS X and iOS is a new syncing feature that tracks your progress on any device so you can read on your Mac and pick up right where you left off on your iPad.

iCloud keychain

In OS X Mavericks and iOS 7, Apple introduced a new password and login manager that works on both OS X and iOS. The app will automatically fill in login details as well as credit card information on your behalf.


Share text shortcuts between OS X and iOS

iOS allows you create shortcuts to enter phrases and other text quickly and easily. If you use a Mac, these shortcuts are now synced between devices.

Have you upgraded to Mavericks? Let me know your favorite features.