/// Five Key Features of Mavericks, Apple’s New Operating System for Macs

October 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital

Big cats are out. Big waves are in. I’m referring, of course, to Mavericks OS X, the new operating system for Mac computers. It’s Apple’s 10th OS X operating system and it’s the first one in many years without a large-feline moniker, named instead after famously formidable surfing waves off the coast of California. More notably, Mavericks — or OS X 10.9 — is free for Mac users to download. In fact, there’s a lot of free software being thrown out there by Apple. (The hardware will still cost you plenty.) Since the OS is a free upgrade, this column is not about whether the upgrade is “worth it.” Instead, I’ve focused on a handful of key features that consumers can expect with Mavericks. Some of them are really useful. Others feel obvious, because, in some cases, Apple is playing catch-up. [ See post to watch video ] To start, Apple says that Mavericks will only run on machines from 2009 and later, though it might work on some computers from as far back as 2007. You’ll also need at least two gigabytes of RAM, and two hours of your time to complete the Mavericks install process. In my experience, the installation on my 2012, 13-inch MacBook Pro took closer to two and a half hours. Battery Optimization Okay, you’ve installed Mavericks. Now what? Well, Apple claims you can expect better battery life while Web browsing or watching an iTunes movie. At a launch event last week, the company used words like “timer coalescing” and “compressed memory,” which is enough to make any non-techie’s head hurt. Basically, this means that the new software groups tasks together so the processor can remain in an idle, low-power state more often. I ran three battery tests using AllThingsD ’s usual method, which includes setting the display to 100 percent brightness, playing iTunes music on a loop, leaving Wi-Fi on, running a Mail client, and never allowing the computer to sleep. My 2012 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion lasted five hours and 13 minutes. Then I installed Mavericks, and started again.

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Five Key Features of Mavericks, Apple’s New Operating System for Macs

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