Apple OS X Mavericks Released -­ What Mac Owners Need to Know [Updated]

This week Apple released its latest desktop operating system – OS X Mavericks (10.9). For the first time Apple is offering the operating system for free when downloaded from Mac App Store.

What is different?

Mavericks offers improvements for Calendar and Safari. In addition to a new look, Safari has been given a speed boost and a new Shared Links feature. System additions include:

  • iBooks – syncs with books already downloaded to an iOS mobile device
  • Maps – look up destinations and directions then send them to your phone
  • iCloud Keychain - sync all your website usernames and passwords on your Mac and iOS devices
  • Multiple Screens – take advantage of every display at your  fingertips
  • Notifications – respond to pop-up notifications without leaving your current screen
  • Finder Tabs – keep organized and get to your files faster; and finally
  • Tags - attach a text keyword to any file for improved searching in Finder

Additionally, OS X Maverick boasts energy saving and performance boosting technology resulting in an hour longer battery life and an hour and a half longer battery life when watching iTunes content. In total the new desktop operating system has over 200 new features.

Should I upgrade now? – The ITS perspective

Since OS X Maverick has just been released, ITS has not yet had the opportunity to test its compatibility with all of Northeastern’s networks, applications and systems. Currently ITS cannot guarantee that those who upgrade will have a seamless transition.

For faculty and staff on NUnet-managed Macs – We caution against upgrading to OS X Mavericks at this time. We are working on testing the operating system with all of our systems and applications. The new operating system will be included in a future ITS Mac image configuration, due out in early 2014.

For those with unmanaged Northeastern-owned Macs and personal Macs - As with any new software release, there will likely be issues identified and addressed by Apple over the coming weeks. It’s always a good idea to weigh being an early adopter of a new technology with the risk inherent in any software upgrade.

What to do before installing OSX Mavericks

So you’ve decided to go ahead with installing OSX Mavericks…

First – as a precaution – back up all of your data. In general, you should be backing up your data on a regular basis.

Second – check to see if your machine and operating systems are compatible. The upgrade is available for users who have an iMac or MacBook from 2007 with Snow Leopard (10.6) or higher. Apple details a full list of eligible models and how to upgrade here.

For those who do upgrade please note that while this operating system is not currently supported, the Service Desk staff will try its best to be of assistance with issues that may arise.

Learn more

For more information about OSX Mavericks, please visit http://www.apple.com/osx/.

Related articles:
Top 10 New Features in Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks - PC Magazine
Tech Savvy: What to do before upgrading to Apple’s OS X Mavericks - Los Angeles Times

Posted in ITS announcements.