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Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks review

It's free, compatible with old devices, and delivers a slew of useful features
Tue Oct 29 2013, 16:18

SOFTWARE DESIGNER Apple released its Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks operating system last week, and surprised users by making it available as a free download. 

Beyond kicking off Apple's new location themed naming strategy, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks is not the most exciting upgrade, delivering incremental updates to Mac computers such as improved battery life, Notification Center tweaks and a number of reworked applications. 

Still, not only is Mavericks free, it also works with Apple computers dating back to 2007, and we're reviewing it on a four-year-old Macbook Pro from 2009. The update took approximately 60 minutes to download and install, and we experienced no difficulties during the installation process. 

Design
There's not too much that's new in the way of design. Beyond the colourful new desktop wallpaper, Apple's latest Mac OS X operating system doesn't follow in the footsteps of the firm's iOS 7 with a complete user interface overhaul.

Mac OS X Mavericks home screen

In our opinion, the lack of redesign brought forward with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks looks like an oversight. While some applications, such as the new Apple Maps, feature a flat design, other application icons, such as those for Calendar and Safari, haven't seen a makeover, which means they no longer match their iOS counterparts. While this isn't the end of the world, it does make Apple's Mac OS X and iOS operating systems seem somewhat fragmented, despite the firm pushing for more convergence between the two.

Most Mac OS X applications have been redesigned on the inside, though, which we'll cover in more detail later in this review.

Notifications
Notifications is perhaps the feature that sees the biggest and most welcome change in Mac OS X Mavericks.

While before Apple's notification bubbles did little more than notify, you can now interract with them. A notification for an incoming iMessage, for example, lets you reply to the message from the bubble. You can also do this for Twitter, Facebook, Mail and Skype notifications.

You can be notified about more things, too. Safari is now supported, which means you can set up alerts from certain websites to be notified about things such as when an item you've been eyeing up goes on sale or when the next Apple product is announced. Of course, these bubbles can get irritating depending on how many services you have set up, but they can be switched off using Apple's new Do Not Disturb feature in Mac OS X Mavericks.

Next: Finder and Safari. 

 

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