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OS X Mavericks ‘Official’ Pre-Review Roundup: Faster, Stronger, and Downright Impressive!

OS X Mavericks ‘Official’ Pre-Review Roundup: Faster, Stronger, and Downright Impressive!

Aside from unveiling OS X Mavericks during their WWDC keynote, Apple also sneakily handed out preview copies of the upcoming version of OS X running on a MacBook Air to a number of prominent journalists. The first Apple-sanctioned hands-on previews have begun hitting the web in force – and pundits all seem to agree, this is one OS X update you won’t want to miss.

OS X Mavericks

Early Apple-authorized previews have consistently praised a number of features in particular – like the improved support for multiple displays, revamped Mission Control, overall stability (especially for an early preview), Maps for OS X, and more. The previews have been almost universally glowing – that much can’t be denied.

Here’s what many of the leading pundits had to say about the future of OS X!

Jim Dalrymple, The Loop:

After Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference ended, Apple supplied me with a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a copy of OS X Mavericks to evaluate and post my thoughts on The Loop. […] I’ve been using Mavericks as my only computer, doing my daily work on the web site, preparing The Loop Magazine for publication, interacting on social networks, listening to music and everything else I would normally do in the run of a day. For me, this was the only way to truly evaluate what the operating system could do.

I have my workflow down to a science now and I don’t really like to deviate from that too much. While this first look isn’t about third-party apps, I did want to note that I have not come across a single app that would just flat out not work under Mavericks. It’s an important consideration when looking at an operating system, so I thought I’d mention it.

[…] We use Apple products because they make it easy to access our information no matter where we are—on our MacBook, iMac or on the go with an iPhone or iPad. Everything syncs, everything is the same no matter where you are, and that’s important.

Apple’s ecosystem and infrastructure are things that it’s competition are trying desperately to replicate, but haven’t quite been able to do. Apple’s continued integration of information will continue to set it apart moving forward.

David Pierce, The Verge:

The 10th version of OS X, Mavericks, felt like an afterthought in the midst ofApple’s radical overhaul of its mobile operating system. In this case, rather than completely overhaul the look and feel of the entire platform, Apple has instead picked its spots, removing and adding features in particular places while all the while tuning for performance and efficiency throughout. I’ve been testing a very early version of Mavericks (it’s due out this fall) on a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and I appreciate what Apple’s done here: it’s systematically fixing what was broken, without tampering with the parts it got right.

For the most part, Mavericks looks and feels just like Mountain Lion, and Lion before it. There’s a new background, but everything from the dock to the menu bar to how you use your computer will feel completely familiar. The changes here have less to do with how you do things than what you use to do them: Apple’s hoping to obviate some of the App Store’s best offerings, instead giving you better versions of its core apps and a few new ones besides.

These are still early days for OS X 10.9, and Mavericks will likely change and shift much more before it’s released this fall. It’s clearly not going to be the total aesthetic overhaul iOS 7 is, though, and that’s okay. It’s a simple, familiar operating system, even less of a change than Mountain Lion, just with nips and tucks and a whole lot fewer sheets of weirdly torn paper.

[…] Again, it’s still early, but it seems like Mavericks is going to be a must-have update for Mac users of all shapes and sizes, whether you want the new features or just a big performance boost.

Vincent Nguyen, SlashGear:

Apple promised us a software-rich WWDC this year, and the company delivered. While iOS 7 looks set to be the biggest change in the company’s mobile offering since the original iPhone, OS X Mavericksteased the latest refinements to Apple’s desktop platform. Not so flashy as iOS 7, perhaps, or as sweeping in its changes, but no less important as Apple continues to join together the dots between its platforms. Mavericks is still a work-in-progress, but Apple provided us with a recent build of the new OS X to get to grips with the highlights – and pick out the key changes – ahead of its full release this fall. Already, there are signs that Mavericks will be another must-have OS X upgrade; read on as we get to grips with the new heart of Mac.

[…] Mavericks isn’t due to be released until this fall. Nonetheless, in many ways it already feels ready for primetime. We’ve not encountered a single bug or crash, despite the fact that this is officially beta software, and all of the third-party apps we’ve come to rely on, like Skitch, Evernote, and Drobo, have worked without a hitch.

Many of Mavericks’ real improvements are under the hood; you don’t see them happening, only reap the rewards in everyday use. Things like better sandboxing for some of the processes we’re more used to seeing crash, like Flash and Java, which is just as useful as, say, the offline voice-to-text support that has been added. Again, this is a preview release, and so we won’t be doing anything more quantitative until final software is ready, but already the signs are good.

Apple saved the revolution for iOS 7 this year. The smartphone and tablet platform was overdue a refresh, and that’s just what Apple has delivered. In contrast, the changes in OS X Mavericks feel solidly evolutionary, and while that has often come to be interpreted as a criticism, in fact it’s exactly what the Mac needs. Apple is poised between its existing users and those fresh to OS X, with iOS often the point of entry. In that sense, Mavericks’ drawing together of the ties between desktop and mobile makes perfect sense.

Brian Heater, Engadget:

Apple is committed to OS X. What that means, in the long run (naming scheme aside) is that changes to the desktop will probably continue to be gradual. New features will be added and things will evolve over time. Like other recent versions of OS X, version 10.9 Mavericks follows the lead of iOS, culling from its most successful features — though there’s nothing on the order of iOS 7’s dramatic redesign in store. But while the iPhone operating system seems to have taken the lead in terms of innovation, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of feature crippling in Mavericks, which some feared would come with the mobilization of the OS.

In fact, there are a number of welcome upgrades here — things like folder tabs, tags and a more interactive Notification Center will likely improve the workflow of many Mac users. Built-in apps like Safari and Calendar have gotten nice facelifts, as well. We’ve spent a few days with the most recent build of OS X and are ready to give you a peek at what you’re in store for, come fall. Still, knowing Apple, the company’s likely still got a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

All told, Apple’s promised 200 features with this release. As ever, that number includes large and minuscule additions alike. It’s a list that includes some really nice additions like tabs and tagging. Again, there’s nothing that’s likely to lure in anyone who hasn’t already made the jump from Windows. For the foreseeable future, OS X’s growth will continue to be gradual. But there are certainly enough additions in here to make upgrading a no-brainer for Mac users when the final version hits in the fall. And in the meantime, hopefully Apple will reveal even more reasons to give it a try.

I’ve had the chance to spend a few days with the preview as well – and I can say that I’m more impressed with Mavericks than any previous OS X update I’ve seen before. It’s smooth, solid, and packed with great features – and I use many of those features now on a regular basis, such as Reminders and Finder Tabs.

We’ll update this with further previews as we come across them – but for now, it looks like OS X Mavericks has proven its worth as a seriously solid update to OS X, and a sign of Apple’s continued strong commitment to the Mac.

OS X Mavericks sports over 200 new features, according to Apple, and is due out sometime this Fall. Sounds like a pretty essential update!