At Apple’s “A lot to cover” special event today, the company paraded out an hour and a half’s worth of new products and updates, including the release of OS X Mavericks, the new iPad Air and iPad Mini, Mac Pro, updated 13 and 15-inch MacBooks, and an updated suite of iLife apps.
OS X Mavericks
The operating system is free, and it’s available today. Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi prefaced the release with, “This one is a doozy.”
Available with a single-step upgrade from Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion or any MacBook dating back to 2007, Mavericks has a slew of new features. Its new compressed memory feature allocates graphics memory based on usage to optimize performance. The capability allows 6GB of data to fit into 4GB of system RAM.
(Beta feedback and a complete list of features: Users poke around OS X ‘Mavericks’)
Mavericks’ OpenCL uses memory sharing to move tasks running on the CPU to the GPU, taking advantage of the GPU’s greater computing power to complete tasks 1.8x faster, and 2x faster for image tasks.
A new finder window allows projects and documents to be labeled with multiple tags for easy search and organization. Click the title bar of any document to add one or more tags, or select a tag from a list.
In Safari, Mavericks introduces enhanced notifications, allowing users to respond within the pop-up bubble without leaving an application. It also adds website notifications when new content is posted. The new Safari Top Sites view generates a feed of shared links from followed users on social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
There’s also a new reader view, allowing user-accelerated scrolling directly from one article to the next without clicking out.