Review

OS X Mavericks Review

It's here. Apple's yearly update to Mac OS X. With more features, app redesigns and some very significant performance enhancements, this is the best version of OS X yet. But with Maps data still poor, and some neglected stock apps, does it give everything it promises? Here we will discuss the additions, and ask if they are really successful, and noticeable in day to day use.

Originally announced at WWDC, Apple's annual developer conference in June, OS X Mavericks was marketed as a significant upgrade for power users, providing additions to Finder such as Tabs and Tags. Suddenly managing files becomes faster and more efficient. I personally have tags set up as 'To Share' and 'Unfinished' which saves me considerable time usually spent searching for files. The fact that iCloud documents appear here means that the lack of a proper file system in the cloud is less of an issue than it used to be; previously users would have to launch a specific app to access a file for that app, and that app only; now users can explore all relevent files in a tag no matter if they are local or not.

Tags are colour coded, and appear as a small dot next to file names, throughout the system. Unfortunately, there are only seven colours to choose from, leading to some confusion for users who juggle hundereds of documents all for different purposes. I've also found it not to be as fast at indexing as I expected, even waiting for a few seconds for a file to appear in the right place can be jarring and confusing for a few seconds. Fortunately, excellent search integration into the already excellent search in Finder partly makes up for the slight downfalls in tagging speed. Tags are something you live without, but once you've tried them, couldn't imagine not having them.

Finder Tabs also impress. Looking and working almost exactly the same to how they do in Safari, tabs reduce the amount of Windows needed, and keep your workspace far less cluttered. Dragging files from one tab to the other is fast, convenient and less finickity than the old method for moving files - drag to finder in the Dock, wait, then search for the windows when they are layed out as thumbnails. Then again, when using so many tabs, I find myself dragging the Finder window to a much larger size to accomodate them all, which wastes some screen space.

Apple greatly stressed performance enhancements in Mavericks, by listing and describing many of the advanced technologies they have added. Some may see this as marketing hype, but honesty, the difference is profound. Everything seems snappier, even on my 2009 iMac. I wasn't expecting much of a bump, but it really is impressive.

A new Energy tab in Activity monitor shows which apps are consuming more power, and which are using App Nap

One such notable feature is known as App Nap. 'If an app is hidden from view, then why should it use CPU?', Apple asked itself when developing this feature which slows apps down when they are behind other windows. App Nap is clever enough to detect if files are downloading or an important process is running, and App Nap won't initiate if this is the case. However, if you have a movie paused in Netflix, for example, which is using considerable CPU, once you cover it with a window, you'll have all that power to spare for the app you're currently using. The difference is not at all trivial, it is very obvious when it's working. You can check if an App is utilising this feature in a new Energy tab in Activity Monitor that graphs consumption. The battery saved with App Nap is significant, according to Apple, but we haven't had the chance to test this yet.

Apple have also built in features such as Timer Coalescing, which creates small periods of idol time in which the CPU drops into a low power mode to conserve battery, Safari PowerSaver to disable possibly unwanted flash elements until the user clicks them and Compressed Memory, to reduce the RAM footprint of inactive apps; Apple say this will make devices run 1.4x faster under load, and wake from standby 1.5x quicker. While it is not necessary to explain these in detail, from personal experience, they work together to make undeniable improvements all round.

Two new apps have been carried over from iOS to OS X in Mavericks: Maps and iBooks. Unfortuntately, while a native maps app that can send directions to your phone could be helpful, (and that feature in particular is) data, at least in the UK, is still completely diabolical. I speak to many people who have no complaints with Maps, but even overseas, in the US there are problems. For example, searching for a large town or country doesn't always search for the biggest, closest or most relevent place, it will often take you somewhere that you obviously don't want to go. Addresses are wrong, phone numbers missing, websites muddled up. It's a disaster. Then again, Flyover, Apple's 3D arial maps are as stunning as ever, and far ahead of the competition; its usefulness, however, is virtually non existant.

iBooks is a beautiful app, and performs impressively on Mavericks. At times it can be incredibly useful to have multiple books open at once - even textbooks can be open together for excellent studying. Then again, reading off a computer screen is not an ideal experience. Even so, iBooks shines in its syncing capabilities as annotations are mirrored over device. Kindle has had this capability for some time, but the polish which goes into the reading experience in iBooks is special. The UI can dissapear, leaving a floating page on the screen, or even filling the whole display with a full screen mode. It's super minimal, and extremely effective. 

Around the system, Apple have introduced many more enhancements, and redesigns of existing apps. To start, the Calendar app has been stripped of it's faux-leather ornamentation, in exchange for a cleaner look reminiscent of its counterpart iOS 7 app. It works extremely well, and includes impressive features such as the ability to calculate travel time and incorporate it into a day's schedule. This integration with Maps is extremely useful here, and make the otherwise disappointing Maps app slightly more bearable. This feature is missing on iOS 7 however, leading to some confusion and un-Apple like inconsistency.

Next, improved notifications. Now, alerts are interactive, so users can reply to an iMessage from within the notification itself, something iOS still neglects to include. When waking your computer from sleep, Mavericks shows a list of missed notifications on the lock screen and websites can now also send updates. Finally, and thankfully, the linen textured background to the list has been replaced by a simple grey gradient. Nevertheless, while improved, it still lacks a way to clear all notifications which remains frustrating to most users.

iCloud Keychain is Apple's take on LastPass or 1Password. Essentially, it's a password and identity manager, which security stores all your login details on iCloud. From anywhere, you can log in and have forms auto filled. The way it seamlessly integrates between iOS and OS X is impressive, yet it is, predictably, not cross platform so anyone who owns an Android or Windows device could never commit. Where it does work though, it works very well indeed.

Improvements to multiple display support is a welcome feature, giving users the chance to have full screen apps running on different monitors with the ability to move them around. But this is more of a fix, than a feature. Since full screen apps were introduced in Mac OS X Lion, if someone put an app into full screen mode, all other monitors would show a full screen of that aforementioned linen texture; they would be entirely inoperable. Finally this isn't the case, and each screen can also have its own menu bar. A fantastic addition, but one that has been necessary for years.

Mavericks is, as a whole, a solid, fast, and feature packed OS. It's not necessarily a feature packed update, but every addition is a noticible one. The performance enhancements are by far the best tweaks Apple have made for some time. What there is to complain about isn't detrimental to using the OS as a whole, most of what is bad can be avoided most of the time. It does look like have been a little lazy in places, for example they didn't redesign the skeuomorphic Reminders app, despite overhauling Calendar, but we expect the bigger UI tweaks to come in the future.

But what's best? Mavericks is free. It's a mindless update, especially as you can jump to Mavericks from Snow Leopard for no cost whatsoever.  It keeps your Mac fresh and feeling new, and does virtually everything it promises. Grab it right now.

Author's Note: Mavericks was tested on a late-2009 iMac. This isn't the newest or fastest machine ever made, and while Mavericks did perform really well most of the time, I couldn't judge if any issues I did have are simply due to the age of the computer.

Icons: Apple

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple announces new MacBook Pros and the new US-made Mac Pro

Next Story

Southwest Airlines tells Microsoft to remove its Windows Phone 'WebApp'

97 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

As the article states, Calendar had a notable redesign, and the linen texture found around the OS in previous versions has been removed. There are also hints of iOS 7 in Apple's newer apps, such as the version of iWork released yesterday. No visual overhaul though.

NathanLiu said,
As the article states, Calendar had a notable redesign, and the linen texture found around the OS in previous versions has been removed. There are also hints of iOS 7 in Apple's newer apps, such as the version of iWork released yesterday. No visual overhaul though.

Indeed. Actually aside from two new dock icons when my computer rebooted after the upgrade finished, I didn't notice a single difference visually.

Haha, I also already have a tag for "To Share". I bet that'll be a popular one. "Unfinished" is a pretty good one too. I think the tag concept is best used for these more abstract categories. "To Watch" might be a good one for TV series and movies.

I'm glad it was free because I had access to the beta and then the GM and to be honest I never noticed much different. Nice review though.

Except that Apple will never (and I mean NEVER) let most ordinary PC users at this OS legally - and that is despite the massive hardware crossover as far as PCs running Windows Vista or later (if not XP or later in some cases). Also, there ARE some drawbacks compared to Windows (even compared to Windows 8, believe it or not, and mostly on the application and gaming front) - it's why BootCamp is hyperpopular on Macs, including MacBooks.

Vester said,
I wish i was trolling but i see nothing new here same old crap we have seen before time and time again.

So what killer features are they missing then exactly? Be as verbose as you like.

Well the new features should be stuff we would not have guessed something new. I cant list features they are missing as they should have invented some new crap to add not just follow the old flavour.

Better touch screen support and stuff would be a good start. Online PC so you can view PC files anywhere. Something like the Windows2Go. I dono like i said they should be inventing new crap and adding it. New stuff we have not seen before.

This OS is just the old one with some small updates and speed improvements nothing really new at all. This is what makes me one sad Panda. I respected apple when the iphone came out as they took an idea that failed and made it work. But they need to bring new stuff to the table things we would not guess. there own ideas.

Vester said,
Well the new features should be stuff we would not have guessed something new. I cant list features they are missing as they should have invented some new crap to add not just follow the old flavour.

Better touch screen support and stuff would be a good start. Online PC so you can view PC files anywhere. Something like the Windows2Go. I dono like i said they should be inventing new crap and adding it. New stuff we have not seen before.

This OS is just the old one with some small updates and speed improvements nothing really new at all. This is what makes me one sad Panda. I respected apple when the iphone came out as they took an idea that failed and made it work. But they need to bring new stuff to the table things we would not guess. there own ideas.

I understand what you're saying.. but Apple have never been about adding totally new stuff to their existing software - just taking existing stuff and making it work better. I think they do add powerful improvements but they just don't make them so obvious.

Touch support would be utterly useless - they have no touch screen devices in their Mac range, and to be honest it seems as though they feel about it the same way a lot of people seem to - I personally have zero interest in a touch display on a laptop, on my desktop PC.. this is why they have iOS and iPads & iPhones - all the touch stuff happens there.

I guess you could say there are many trains of thought about what Apple or Microsoft should deliver with each update - if I'm honest, I prefer the more gentle / incremental updates approach that Apple take rather than major redesigns like Microsoft did with Windows 8. Sweeping changes are such a gamble - you either stand to win some customers, or alienate your existing customer base - and arguably Apple doesn't have a large enough customer base in its desktop market to risk turning them off with some massive change to the operating system. Breaking out into new devices entirely (like they did with iPad) is probably a safer way of trying for a new paradigm - and evidently it's worked really well as they've sold over 170 million new devices in a market they didn't even exist in 5 years ago.

Vester said,
Better touch screen support and stuff

Desktops are not tablets. Apple has iOS for touch devices. Trying to combine an OS meant for two completely different devices is what gave us the abomination that is Windows 8.

All in all Mavericks is a pretty nice upgrade. It refines things rather than introduces big system wide changes. Personally I like it and hope Apple continue on this 12 month release cycle. Also making it free is great. I hope they stick to this in the future.

This may be a stupid question.... i don't know mac at all.

Does this give you everything that Snow Leopard gave you?
So what they really mean is, you can upgrade any machine which is already running Snow Leopard?

not you can upgrade any machine....

I'd place my bet on the next iteration for that. Apple took OS X devs to work on iOS 7 since that was such a big overhaul. There was probably little time for an equal work on OS X. I think OS X will look different within a year or two.

myxomatosis said,

Says the guy who loves his limited and useless Metro apps

I have to agree... it's kind of refreshing to see screenshots of an OS completely devoid of Modern UI. I might have to switch to a MAC!

for those of us that installed build 13A598 (the gm build) when will the update be released that bumps it to the version number released in the store, or is the store release same version number?

SpiKedPSU said,
for those of us that installed build 13A598 (the gm build) when will the update be released that bumps it to the version number released in the store, or is the store release same version number?

Never, you'll have to install the 13A603 over your 13A598 build.

The 13A598 isn't very different than the previous DP. It will not get automatically updated to the final build.

SpiKedPSU said,
for those of us that installed build 13A598 (the gm build) when will the update be released that bumps it to the version number released in the store, or is the store release same version number?

Yes, just get the store version and let it install from within Mavericks 13A598. When it's finished, you will be at 13A603 and all apps / settings intact.

incendy said,
Apple is playing things way too safe, it is boring.

Yeah because the 'risky venture' Microsoft has done with Windows 8.x has turned out to be such a winning strategy. /s

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Yeah because the 'risky venture' Microsoft has done with Windows 8.x has turned out to be such a winning strategy. /s

But you can't pin declining PC sales solely on Windows, can you?

Shadrack said,
But you can't pin declining PC sales solely on Windows, can you?

But the lack of a competing OS that can go toe to toe with Android or iOS is something that is Microsoft's fault. Maybe, just maybe, people aren't going for Microsoft products because they don't have to buy them like they did in the case of desktop and laptops.

I wouldn't say the Maps app is useless. It's handy for looking up an address, and then sending it to your iPhone or someone else's with the share button.

Eh, you could already do that, though, the iPhone will auto-link addresses. And on your own iPhone it's just as fast to have Siri get the directions.

Hate to bring complaints about microsoft or windows into this article but I have to say that it saddens me how microsoft gave the traditional desktop a much lesser priority in windows 8/8.1 than their Modern UI efforts and didn't include enough new features despite the possibility of new exciting features that windows still lacks. Pause-able file transfers and some UI refinements are nice to have but they are not enough to have a significant improvement to productivity. (such as windows 7 superbar for example, which makes dealing with separate windows MUCH easier that it's a nightmare to return to older means)

Okay, I don't see how MS does not give the desktop a priority. It has undergone more changes going from 7 to 8 then any previous new Windows since 95.

By desktop I meant the whole "non-modern" UI. including taskbar..etc, There is hardly any major changes in windows 8 as there were in 7 or vista.
For example: vista introduced a much improved local search, 7 introduced the superbar as I mentioned above, both features I personally can't live without now, nothing of the changes in 8 (desktop-side) seems to be in the same category.

You can clearly see it's not their current focus.

Also, I'm not so sure what to add to desktop anymore. Desktop pretty much has most of what's needed by most users.
So what are you proposing for the next desktop innovation?

If you cant live without that, then don't use the start screen?
Make a toolbar from the start menu folder on the task bar. Disable hotcorners through regedit and add another reg entry for boot to desktop (win8 only) and without any 3rd party tools you basically have a Windows 7 like Windows 8.

improved local search is just implementing Windows Desktop Search (or before MSN desktop search or something) into the OS. Existed well before Vista came around.
Superbar is just an evolution to the task bar. No drastic changes, biggest one was with Vista, the preview. Other than that it became buttons of icons with some more features.

And Windows 8 still came with more improvements for the desktop. Or the battery of new windows keys, dual task bar, ISO mounting, ribbon, CPU accelerated desktop, hot corners (which I personally find a welcome addition) and the dozens of other little doowackies. Compared to the 'powerbar', new window options (winkey+arrows or mouse+snap), GPU accelerated desktop, glass and a bunch more little features.

Its about all the little things, and Windows 8 gives us a lot more 'little' things over the few 'bigger' things Windows 7 gave us.

jesseinsf said,
Um, Windows 8.1 allows "Boot to Desktop" and it allows to disable "Hot Corners" without doing any hacks. :-)

Shadowzz said,
. . .another reg entry for boot to desktop (win8 only). . .
Shadowzz said,
(win8 only)

Just to clarify, I like the start screen and the Modern side of things (pretty rare, I know ) but the problem remains is the lack of new features that are truly interesting to productivity users, the small changes are nice to have as Shadowzz mentioned. But they are not enough to feel like that "desktop" is not being thought of as "legacy".

Well, I know I keep saying there should be more exciting features without mentioning any, off the top of my head I can think of built-in desktop grids for example. But the thing that I seriously hope we could see in the future is a robust start screen-desktop applications integration. (I know this is not exactly unrelated to "Modern UI"), with applications providing info to live tiles that can be synchronized with your phone, giving you a glimpse for example of what your pc is currently doing when you are on the go (downloading a file..etc). I will try to explain myself more in a topic as this already got a bit too off-topic. Thank you guys for your replies.

There's one thing that Apple have done right with Finder in this new OS X that Microsoft should have
done with File Explorer in Windows 8 ... Tabs. But no, the idiots at Redmond give us a stupid ribbon!

DJGM said,
There's one thing that Apple have done right with Finder in this new OS X that Microsoft should have
done with File Explorer in Windows 8 ... Tabs. But no, the idiots at Redmond give us a stupid ribbon!

I use an app called "Clover" to bring me tabs for Windows Explorer. It works pretty good. I'd prefer MS implement their own solution. MS was late to the party with IE tabs too. I'm not sure why they're so stubborn with what just about everyone recognizes as a productive UI element.

Shadrack said,

I'd prefer MS implement their own solution. MS was late to the party with IE tabs too. I'm not sure why they're so stubborn with what just about everyone recognizes as a productive UI element.


because
Because MS believes the task bar is where tabs should be. Also why it took until IE7 before MS added tabs to it.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
But then you can just open multiple file explorer menus, its not an incredibly big deal!

I find that there is a lot of convenience and time savings when I don't have to manage "juggle/resize" on multiple Windows Explorer/Finder windows.

You get used to it, like you would have had to get used to them being on the right hand side when you first came across that. I don't have an issue with it when I jump from Mac to Windows.. the main confusion I get sometimes is with scrolling. If I scroll up on on the Mac is scrolls a page downward... as it follows the direction of the wheel movement. You can change it but I prefer it that way.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
That's so weird to have the three min, max and close buttons on the left hand side of the windows. I would not like that at all.

I know! I went to brother's house and used his iMac... I mostly click the buttons on the right but on his iMac.. I moved the cursor to the right side, I went like 'dammit!' then moved it to the left then click one of the buttons.

This upgrade definitely helped with my base config macbook air with only 4GB of RAM.

I couldn't say no at $999 when they went on sale, and couldn't justify $200 for an upgrade to 8 Gigs.

If only it could have added another 128 GB of disk space

You can still upgrade the drive yourself if you want. Its not too bad. I seen videos where its possible to upgrade retina and air system SSD's.

They are no 3rd party alternatives for the PCI-e SSD's. Which means even if you can find an official one, it'll cost a fortune.

Hopefully the new MacBooks use the same, and we'll get some cheaper aftermarket SSD's in a year or two.

Binary said,
This upgrade definitely helped with my base config macbook air with only 4GB of RAM.

I couldn't say no at $999 when they went on sale, and couldn't justify $200 for an upgrade to 8 Gigs.

If only it could have added another 128 GB of disk space

My wife is currently fighting her 64 GB of disk space . It's so measly I don't even know why it was ever an option. I wasn't involved with her purchase, but I would have argued more for at least 128GB.

The "Please, give Apple a break" guy writing an article that has some criticisms in it?

Please, give Apple a break, Nathan.

haha! I feel like I've secured my legacy here now.

It's fine to criticise, just rationally, was my real point, not to not criticise them at all!

If they had of asked for an upgrade price, you would have been paying for the ability to breathe new life into your 1-5 yr old computer.

So, maybe $20 instead of buying a new $1000+ computer.

Honestly. I don't get why people feel entitled to freebies, just because they can't *see* the changes.

A dramatically faster OS, which also allows low RAM/Graphics equipped computers to run smoother/faster should be worth at least the $20 they charged for prior upgrades.


But I'm definitely not complaining at free. Nor should anyone else.

xWhiplash said,
Except you can get it for free running several versions old (from Snow Leopard)
Can you update Mac OS X from 2007 for free? No, and you probably have to buy new hardware too. Also, it's not for every OS X 10.6 and higher system. You'll need 64-bits EFI, and that's not supported by Core Duo and Core 2 Duo Macs.

Funny, it's downloading to my Core 2 Duo Macbook at the moment.

It's been EFI64 since 10.8, the few Core 2 Duo Macs not included are from 2006.

Can I upgrade to Windows 8 (EVEN IF I PAY) using a computer that has a processor without PAE, NX, and SSE2? No. So what is your point exactly? I can pay for Windows 8 for an incredibly old system yet it will not be supported.

To go from 7 to 8 you have to pay. 8.1 is only free if you have 8.0. Mavericks is free even if you are running very old OS versions. That was my point, and it is a fact.

xWhiplash said,
Can I upgrade to Windows 8 (EVEN IF I PAY) using a computer that has a processor without PAE, NX, and SSE2? No. So what is your point exactly? I can pay for Windows 8 for an incredibly old system yet it will not be supported.

To go from 7 to 8 you have to pay. 8.1 is only free if you have 8.0. Mavericks is free even if you are running very old OS versions. That was my point, and it is a fact.

Actually, you can install Windows 8/8.1 without NX/PAE/SSE2, requires editing a file on the ISO that disables the check.

Tony. said,
Actually, you can install Windows 8/8.1 without NX/PAE/SSE2, requires editing a file on the ISO that disables the check.

Which misses the point.

xWhiplash said,
Can I upgrade to Windows 8 (EVEN IF I PAY) using a computer that has a processor without PAE, NX, and SSE2?

PAE == 1995
NX == 2003
SSE2 == 2001

And your point? You guys said you cannot upgrade OS X due to some hardware limitations. I proved the same thing happens with Windows. EVEN IF YOU PAY FOR WINDOWS.

I have a Dell I got in 2004 that I cannot upgrade to Windows 8. But it runs Windows 7 fine.

Your question was:
»Can I upgrade to Windows 8 (EVEN IF I PAY) using a computer that has a processor without PAE, NX, and SSE2? No«
1. Yes you can
2. Every PC since 2003 supports these features, so the better question would be: can you upgrade an 2003-era Mac to Mavericks?

How (without modifications)? I can't just put in the Windows 8 disc and it will work. If I run into support issues and need to contact Microsoft, what will they do if I am running on unsupported hardware?

I am pretty sure people got newer versions of OS X running on old Intel chips too. You need to modify some things just like getting Windows 8 working on processors without those features.

But, again, you miss the point. To upgrade from Windows 7 costs money. It does not matter if the system is this year or not.

Studio384 said,
.......

Ok this is totally the reality distortion field at work.

Apple:
We don't support upgrading more than six year old hardware.
Fans, Cheer!

Microsoft:
Drops support for a hand-full of 10 year old AMD processors.
Everyone loses their damn mind.

Still think MS have the hardware ecosystem support decades ahead of any other vendor, simply for the NT's HAL.

It has enabled them to become the swiss army knife of software.

xWhiplash said,
You are forgetting the shift from PowerPC to Intel. Do you know how much it would cost to support those processors still?

Well it's not the consumer's fault that it took Apple 2 transitions to finally move to the "right instruction set"™…

As I just posted in another thread......

My two cents…

As a long time supporter of MacBook and OSX, I have been running Mavericks since DP1 and most recently installed GM 2 weeks ago. As I used it I am often asking myself “Where is the upgrade?”…..If they charge for it….What I am paying for…? I just don't see it….My opinion…Mavericks is a service pack at best…And should be free.

Free? Per another users comments on Apple profit margins and OSX not being a big part of it….Yes, I think we all know the iPhone and iPad are the biggest players for Apple profit…But saying OSX doesn't make Apple money…..have you ever purchased a Macbook Pro….This is my third 15 inch Pro with Intel I-7, 16GB RAM and Samsung EVO SSD disk, etc, etc…$2000…..An equivalent PC would cost less than half…..Since OSX is “Mostly” bound to a Apple Mac product (VMware Fusion 6 just started allowing OSX installs)…..I can only assume that the cost of OSX development is built into the price I and others pay for these “premium” devices….. So FREE?!?!....I think not….Something tells me I have already paid for this Mavericks upgrade and then some…..

Yes I remember when I bought my Ferrari thinking if they don't upgrade this bitch every few years I am going to be mighty ****ed off..... our sense of entitlement these days is amazing

Mavericks does have some very notable and very important improvements, especially for laptop users and users of older, slower machines. Its an excellent upgrade, and all these improvements are described in this very review.

And your comment makes no sense, you complain that its a service back and that it should be free, and then go on a non-sensical ramble about how its 'not really free'.

Its about as free as it can get, no one was charged for updating their mac to mavericks.

There wasn't much in Mavericks that interested me, some under-the-hood changes and file system tags (and the re-themed Calendar app). $0 seems to be a more than appropriate price.

The under-the-hood changes are pretty notable though; some are getting half an hour to an hour better battery life, or able to exceed installed RAM by a gigabyte without requiring swap.

Northgrove said,
The under-the-hood changes are pretty notable though; some are getting half an hour to an hour better battery life, or able to exceed installed RAM by a gigabyte without requiring swap.

My battery indicator last night on my OLD 2009 MBP was indicating 10.5 hours left (up from 4-5 hours before Mavericks). I don't think I trust it, but any increase in battery life is welcome.

Mavericks was a pretty significant upgrade. Everything is way snappier and I love all the new features. If I were to complain about anything it would be that some apps didn't get a facelift. The Reminders app, for example, looks out of place.

ThunderRiver said,
@Shadrack, so how much battery life do you actually get out of it?

Standby. I haven't determined that yet. The real test will be Flash based video which gave me at best 2 hours before...

The indicator seems way off though. No way I'll get 10 hours on this thing lol. But if I do, hats off to Apple.

ThunderRiver said,
@Shadrack, so how much battery life do you actually get out of it?

To be honest, if its there it is slight on my 2009 MBP. I think it was overestimating initially but now seems to be showing ~5-6 hours on a full battery depending on what task. It will drop to indicating about 3 hours if I'm on a full battery and streaming Flash video from a web site. Both of those were consistent with what was indicated with ML.

I have yet to put it to the test.

@Shadrack, yep, in my mid-2010 15" MBP, I am not seeing any major battery life improvement over previous two releases (Lion/Mountain Lion). It is also around 3 to 4 hours mark., kind making me miss the 6+ hours mark with Snow Leopard. Or maybe it is almost time to buy a new MBP (not a big fan of retina on 15")

ThunderRiver said,
@Shadrack, yep, in my mid-2010 15" MBP, I am not seeing any major battery life improvement over previous two releases (Lion/Mountain Lion). It is also around 3 to 4 hours mark., kind making me miss the 6+ hours mark with Snow Leopard. Or maybe it is almost time to buy a new MBP (not a big fan of retina on 15")

I too can't justify a purchase of a Retina. My wife LOVES her MacBook Air. When I pick it up, I must admit I am quite jealous of its portability. It packs quite a power punch performance wise as well as awesome battery life. Also, her PPI is quite a bit higher on it than my 15" MBP, but I still have a slightly higher resolution.

Retina would be more of a sell for me if HiDPI support was more ubiquitous but it really isn't... I have no doubt that I would see a big improvement in image quality with that high of a PPI, but it would make just for a more pleasurable computing experience and not necessarily a more productive one.

Notes was re-designed, and reminders isn't really that bad. So they have paper texture, they do in iOS 7 also.

Oops, fixed. Thanks

(Next time, report an issue by hovering on the name of the author at the top of the article and we'll get sent an email to guarantee a quick fix)

Binary said,
Notes was re-designed, and reminders isn't really that bad. So they have paper texture, they do in iOS 7 also.

What I find interesting is that it is no longer in the dock by default when you do a clean install - are they eventually going to kill it off? it always seemed to me like a strange application that some what straddled the world of calendar and memos for no particular reason.