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Summary:

The early reviews have been dribbling out this week. Overall, they’re positive. But if there’s a theme, it’s that these are small ticks forward for its desktop OS.

OS X Mavericks logo

The latest version of Apple’s desktop OS, Mavericks, is still in beta. That tag implies it is still very much a work in progress. But Apple is apparently confident enough in it now that it’s been allowing some reviewers to post their initial impressions of the still-in-progress software before it’s technically ready for public consumption — that would be some time this fall. These reviews have been dribbling out this week. Overall, they’re positive. But if there’s a theme, it’s that these are small ticks forward, not a big leap. Here’s a taste of what they have been saying:

  • CNET said OS X Mavericks is “a Mac OS that remains familiar to its users, gives apps a cleaner look, fixes old bugs, and improves core technologies for power efficiency and responsiveness.”
  • MacWorld closely examines the new multiple-display feature of Mavericks. “What Mavericks will provide is more or less exactly what a multiple-monitor user like me was pining for: Two screens that act independently, each with its own spaces and its own full-screen mode,” Jason Snell wrote. He’s also done a separate hands-on review of the new Finder Tabs and tagging.
  • The Loop explained what it’s like to use most of the same features Apple introduced at WWDC, and is very complimentary. The one quibble is with the redesign of the productivity apps: “I find Calendar and Address Book a bit too stark for my tastes. It’s like loading a Web site without the CSS—it seems like there was too much taken away.”
  • Engadget has the most thorough run-through of all the main new features and is pleased with the additions Apple has added in the last year. However: “there’s nothing that’s likely to lure in anyone who hasn’t already made the jump from Windows,” Brian Heater said. Still, he said that are “certainly enough additions in here to make upgrading a no-brainer for Mac users when the final version hits in the fall.”

If you’re interested in the nitty gritty of Mavericks, be sure to check out our post on the smaller, subtler changes Apple made to OS X 10.9.

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  1. Eric Foster Friday, June 28, 2013

    I think it’s important for people to keep things in perspective. Apple needed to bring engineers over from the OS X side in order to help finish the revamp of iOS. iOS and OS X now look incredibly different; I’d expect to see a similar kind of overhaul in OS XI (or whatever it will be called, perhaps OS X Hollywood?). Just kidding. Most of Apple’s revenue comes from iOS devices, so it’s obviously prioritized when it comes to major changes. Now that Jony Ive is in charge of all human interface at Apple, expect him to put his stamp on Mac OS over the next year. It’s the only aspect of Apple left that he hasn’t made his own. I’m surprised reviewers aren’t taking this into consideration. Next year’s Mac OS, I’m sure, will be a sight to see.

  2. mjwbartlett Monday, July 1, 2013

    I’m not sure why anyone would be expecting a giant leap. Apple have managed OSX brilliantly by incrementally improving it year after year with small, inexpensive updates. What this means is that the software is continually improving, there’s no jarring user experience update (e.g. Win 7 -> Win 8) and there’s no massive release overhead where quality is significantly at risk (e.g. Vista).

    Testament to this is how quickly OSX users upgrade too whereas Windows users, for the most part, only upgrade when they get a new laptop.

  3. I’m running Maverick Beta 2, some third party still do not function and I have yet to locate iBooks. My MacBook Pro is running well, speed etc is okay, and I’m sure Apple will deal with the app situation.

  4. Anonymous Developer Sunday, July 28, 2013

    I have the Mavericks developer preview, and I honestly can’t see how so many reviewers say it is small. Sure, it doesn’t look much different, but it is almost literally twice as fast on my machine! I gave it half of my drive for it’s partition and loaded it up more than the other half, so you cannot say it is because of the size. Mavericks looks almost the same, but the performance makes it feel like a brand new, fresh OS. I also haven’t had to plug in for days now (yes, DAYS of heavy use and my battery is still at 40%). It is like my old, beat-up macbook is suddenly a super computer! I actually suspected that Mavericks increased clocking speeds on my GPU’s and CPU, but they are still the same. Apple improved OS X significantly with Mavericks. It’s just too bad they killed iOS 7…

  5. Exactly what I thought! I don’t have Mavericks but looking at the performance updates they are making seem huge to me since I like to multi-task and use memory demanding apps!

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