WWDC 2013: Apple shows off OS X Mavericks
Apple executives are live on stage at WWDC 2013 in California, where they just unveiled OS X Mavericks.
Apple's Craig Federighi highlighted the new OS X, and its new non-cat name, starting with tabs in Finder and tagging capabilities. Tagging items, for instance, will allow users to categorise and search for files more easily.
The tenth iteration of Apple's OS X system, which replaces OS X Mountain Lion, also features enhanced multiple display support and the ability to have Apple TV work as a full-powered display. In other words, Macs users can convert their HDTV into a second display with the set-top box.
Mavericks further features new iBooks and Maps apps, iCloud keychain functionality for password management, auto-updating apps, as well as a redesigned Safari alongside compressed memory and an improved battery life. In addition, a Mission Control update will allow easy transfer of apps between displays
Safari will chiefly offer a new bookmarks bar and "massive performance improvements", and it will use less energy than Chrome and Firefox. There's more under-the hood improvements, such as the sidebar - which contains the browser's Reading List feature - that now lets users browse bookmarks and share links. Users can also navigate through reading list articles without having to back out and select the next link. As for performance, Safari can now dedicate a full process per tab.
Apple also introduced more Notification Center features for OS X Mavericks like the ability to receive mobile push notifications on the desktop. Notifications for the iOS lock screen will appear on the desktop, so users will be able to quickly reply to iMessages, e-mail, and Facetime calls by clicking on the appropriate notification.
Apple's improved mapping service will now come to Macs and feature Street maps, 3D flyover data, and turn-by-turn directions, and the company will also allow users to send map locations from the desktop to the iPhone. The updated mapping service will release with OS X Mavericks at launch.
Apple will introduce iBooks to the Mac as well, with direct access to content available in the iTunes Store. Features will include bookmarks, a night mode and access to embedded multimedia elements.
Apple also introduced a redesigned Calendar user-interface with a new flat look. The entire look of Apple's new OS X is quite similar to previous version, but it is missing the iconic faux-stitched leather and other skeuomorphic aspects found in Mountain Lion.
Apple has brought many aspects of iOS to its Mac operating system in recent years, and many reports had indicated Apple would showcase more of the same this year. Circulating rumours even claimed Apple wouldn't show off any major design changes, but that the company would add iOS's app switcher, tabbed browsing within the Finder, the ability to tag things in Finder to make searching easier, and an improved Safari back end.
WWDC is a time for surprises and the usual refreshes. The annual conference is generally for software developers and the latest improvements to iOS and OSX, but Apple also has a history of launching hardware updates just to make things more exciting.
Much of the speculation surrounding plans for this year's conference has been guesswork primarily. However, Apple's patterns at previous conferences combined with circulating reports have suggested a redesigned iOS 7, new "iRadio" service, updated OS X and MacBook refresh would unveil.