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Getting to know Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks (pictures)

The newest version of Apple's desktop operating system upgrades the look of many of the core apps.

Lynn La, Antuan Goodwin, Jason Parker
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1 of 22 James Martin/CNET

Enhanced notifications

At the Apple event on October 22, 2013, Apple revisited Mavericks, first announced at WWDC in June. In addition to the features previously announced, we were shown updates to the notification system. Users can, for example, respond to messages from the notification pop-up, without having to switch apps.
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2 of 22 James Martin/CNET

Compressed memory

Also at the October event, we got a few more details about what's under the hood in Mavericks. The new Mac OS boasts a feature called "Compressed Memory," which Apple says allows the OS to cram up to 6GB worth of data into as little as 4GB of physical RAM.
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3 of 22 James Martin/CNET

Better video memory managment

Mavericks is also smarter about how it splits shared memory between the CPU and GPU. Rather than using a fixed 512MB allocation, like previous OS X versions, v.10.9 can adjust the GPU's share of available RAM. When processing video streams, for example, the GPU can get as much as 1GB of RAM to work with.
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Faster performance

Other under-the-hood tweaks mean that computers running the latest version of OS X can see major performance jumps, running apps and processes up to 1.8 times faster.
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More battery life

Mavericks is also more efficient when sipping battery power. For example, Apple pointed out at the October event that upgrading the current 13-inch MacBook Air to Mavericks nets the user up to an hour more Web browsing, and up to 1.5 hours more iTunes movie playback.
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Available for free, available now

In probably the most welcome Mavericks announcement at the October event, Apple stated that it was going to "revolutionize pricing" by offering the newest version of Mac OS X as a free update for current and past Mac users. Even if you've got an iMac from 2007 (running Snow Leopard), Apple claims you'll be able to run and benefit from OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

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Apple unveils OS X Mavericks

At WWDC 2013 in San Francisco, Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi announced OS X 10.9 Mavericks, an update to its desktop operating system. The new software includes face-lifts for iCal and iBooks, file-tagging capabilities, and iCloud Keychain.

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8 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Tabbed browsing

A lot like Safari, the Finder in OS X will feature tabbed browsing. To add a new tab, click the plus symbol button, and you can drag and drop tabs in other windows.

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9 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Tagging your files

Users can tag files with certain labels such as "Personal" and "Work" to make searching for files easier. These tags show up in Finder's sidebar.

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More functionality across displays

The new OS X supports menus across multiple displays. You can summon the Dock, and when you enter full-screen, other displays are left untouched. You can also pan between spaces on each display without messing with the others.

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New look for top sites

Safari's home page for top sites will include bookmarks, a reading list, and shared links. You'll now be able to rearrange your Top Sites, and you can drag and drop a bookmark from the sidebar to keep a favorite site handy.

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12 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Safari's new sidebar

Safari features a new sidebar, which includes a reading list and bookmarks as well as social-media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

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13 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

A better reading experience

Safari Reader can load up the next article when you get to the bottom of the one you just finished, and you can jump to articles within Reader alone.

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iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain generates Web site log-ins, credit card numbers, account information, and Wi-Fi passwords.

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15 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

The new look for Calendar

There's a new look for "month view" for the Calendar app that goes along with the new "flat" design aesthetic.

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16 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Exploring Apple Maps

The Maps app has come to the Mac and it's much like the iOS version. Users will get 3D flyover, POI search, info cards, and turn-by-turn directions that they can sync with their iPhones.

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Send directions to your iPhone

Routes set up on the Mac can also be sent to an iPhone.

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18 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

We'll always have Paris

Several cities have been mapped for a complete 3D Flyover experience. In this shot is a 3D map rendering of the Eiffel Tower.

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19 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Info cards for businesses

Info cards of restaurants and businesses are displayed in Maps.

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20 of 22 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Event Inspector in Calendar

With the Event Inspector in Calendar, you can get an estimate of how long it'll take you to get to your destination, and you can view a map.

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We must go deeper

iBooks also gets a face-lift. Here, users can zoom in on a plant using the trackpad.

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Making notes in iBooks

You can also make annotations and highlight text within iBooks.

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