Apple's newest version of its OS X operating system has hit Gold Master. OS X 10.9, also known as Mavericks, is rumored to be launching this month. Previous versions of OS X have hit Gold Master in the month of their release, so Mavericks is looking pretty good for an October release. The "Golden Master" label on this build means it's the final version that will be shipped to the public save for any last-minute issues that need to be ironed out.
Announced at WWDC back in June, Mavericks isn't a massive departure from OS X Mountain Lion. This is Apple's tenth release of OS X and brings the desktop OS closer to iOS with the introduction of Maps and iBooks to the Mac. Maps brings mapping technologies from iOS to the Mac, including vector graphics, 3D view and interactive Flyover. With Maps you can plan a trip from your Mac, then send it to your iPhone for voice navigation on the road. Maps integration throughout Mavericks gives users maps from within Mail, Contacts and Calendar.
iBooks now works across devices, so you can read a book on your Mac, make notes or highlights, and then pick up exactly where you left off on your iPad or iPhone.
Other new features include Finder Tags and Tabs, enhancement of multi-display support for power users, new core technologies for power efficiency and performance, and an all new version of Safari.
You can easily tag any file in the Finder, in iCloud, or when saving a new document. Tags appear in the Finder Sidebar to enable you to view files by project or category. Finder Tabs reduce the clutter on the desktop by consolidating multiple Finder windows into one window with multiple tabs.
New core technologies in OS X Mavericks improve energy efficiency and responsiveness. Timer Coalescing intelligently groups together low-level operations so that the CPU can spend more time in a low-power state, saving energy without affecting performance or responsiveness. App Nap reduces the power consumed by apps not in use. When your system's memory begins to fill up, Compressed Memory automatically compresses inactive data. When these items are needed again, Mavericks uncompresses them.
Additional features in OS X Mavericks include:
▪ iCloud Keychain, which safely stores your website login information, credit card numbers and Wi-Fi passwords, and pushes them to all of your devices so you don't need to remember them. Information is always protected with AES-256 encryption when it's stored on your Mac and when it's pushed to your devices;
▪ an updated Calendar, which adds integration with Maps, continuous scrolling so you can zip through weeks or months, and a new Inspector to simplify event creation and editing;
▪ interactive Notifications, allowing you to reply to a message, respond to a FaceTime call or even delete an email without leaving the app you're using. Websites can now use notifications to keep you up to date on the latest news, scores and other information. While You Were Away Notifications make sure you see what happened while your Mac was asleep; and
▪ Xcode 5, with powerful, intuitive new tools for developers that measure every aspect of app performance and energy use, as well as app testing.