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OS X 10.9 is called Mavericks: What you need to know

By Dmitry Sheynin , Jun 11, 2013 08:31 AM EDT
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Apple unveiled OS X 10.9 at WWDC 2013, Monday, and perhaps the biggest surprise from the announcement was the fact that the latest iteration of the OS would not be named after a cat. Rather, the official name is "Mavericks."

"We do not want to be the first software in history to be delayed due to a dwindling supply of cats," joked Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple. 

Apparently, OS X Sea Lion was also considered as a possible name before the company settled on a new naming convention based on locations in California. Mavericks is a surfing spot located in Northern California where some of the most accomplished surfers in the world come to catch the waves (that explains the wave pattern in the X banner that decked the hall of Moscone Center).

As far as actual features go, OS X Mavericks packs a bevy of changes and updates. The Finder window now has tabs, each of which can be moved around and set to their own view mode. Finder can also now be full-screened. OS X 10.9 is also friendlier toward multiple displays. You can now go full-screen with an app on one display and the second display will continue functioning normally. The menu bar can now also be found on both screens.

Under the hood, Apple is rolling out a new compressed memory function that allows users to compress inactive memory and leverage it for faster load times for apps. According to Apple, the new feature offers nearly one and a half times better responsiveness than Mountain Lion.

"The Mac has consistently outpaced the PC industry and OS X continues to be the most innovative and easy to use operating system in the world," the company said in a press release. "OS X Mavericks is our best version yet and features new Maps and iBooks apps, Finder Tags and Tabs, enhanced multi-display support, performance and energy saving features, and an all new Safari."

Safari also received a fairly large overhaul, although most of this was also under the hood. Improvements have been made to JavaScript and to the way the browser allocates memory. The company now claims that it uses less memory than competing browsers. A sidebar has also been added with a number of functionalities, including a tool that shows what links your friends are sharing via Twitter and LinkedIn.

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