In arguably one of the biggest surprises during Apple's keynote event last week, Apple not only demoed the new OS X Mavericks, its highly anticipated operating system (OS), but also announced the OS would be available as a free upgrade.
Although the new OS has plenty to offer consumers, business users are in for a treat with a better, more streamlined computing experience that leaves users more time to run a business, with less time spent fussing with technology.
Here are seven OS X Mavericks features business users can look forward to the most.
Better performance and battery life
Under the hood, Apple's most powerful OS X ever was designed to "work smarter, not harder" by giving users improved capabilities without compromising battery life. Features such as Timer Coalescing, App Nap and Safari Power Saver significantly reduce CPU usage, while Compressed Memory automatically compresses data and frees up memory from inactive apps. This means your business apps will get a boost in responsiveness, which also conserves battery life if you are on a laptop.
Keeping track of your busy schedule is easier than ever with the refreshed Calendar app. In addition to a cleaner, more modern look, the interface also streamlines integration with Facebook events and Google calendars for easy event syncing, sharing and management. Additional features include the ability to view map locations, travel time and weather data for the event, as well as notifications that will alert you when it's time to leave, based on current driving directions.
For the first time on a Mac, OS X Mavericks brings the Maps app, which has the same features and sports the same clean look as the iOS 7 version that appears on iPhones and iPads. While the Maps app offers nothing new on its face, business users can look forward to one feature: the ability to sync directions to an iPhone running on iOS 7. Have a lunch meeting at a restaurant you've never heard of before? Find the event on your Calendar app, get your route via Maps, and then send it off to your iPhone— your directions are ready to go when you are.
Just like the Maps app, OS X Mavericks further emulates the iOS 7 experience on a Mac with the Notifications feature. This productivity- and time-saving feature is available on the Mail, Calendar, Messages and other notifications-enabled Mavericks apps.
An added bonus is that OS X Mavericks' Notifications feature helps users save time by allowing them to perform tasks directly on the desktop. For instance, if you get an email notification while working on a presentation, you can reply directly from the notification without having to navigate away from your work to open up Mail.
It's also worth noting that notifications and replies are delivered virtually in real time, as demonstrated in a recent LAPTOP test using Google Talk, iMessage and FaceTime. LAPTOP also pointed out that Notifications gives FaceTime users three options to respond to the call — answer directly on your desktop, set a callback reminder or reply on iMessage. This ultimately helps users better prioritize and manage their time. And just like your phone, you won't miss any notifications when you're away. As LAPTOP found, Mavericks will automatically display any notifications as soon as you wake your device.
The iCloud Keychain
For enhanced security, OS X Mavericks now has a way to encrypt and store passwords, credit cards, Wi-Fi authentication and other personal access information across devices via the iCloud Keychain.
This feature is also integrated into Safari, saving you time by automatically filling in your information. As Macworld points out, however, although iCloud Keychain will fill out your credit card information for you, as an extra precaution, you will still need to enter your security code for each card.
Other security features include a random password generator to ensure you have strong passwords for your accounts, device authorization and AES 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe in the cloud.
Document tagging is a useful tool for business users who juggle multiple projects or otherwise keep a treasure trove of documents on their computers. Instead of creating folders with subfolders upon subfolders, users can efficiently tag files on Macs and in iCloud. For instance, if you have multiple files associated with your business plan, such as financial forecasts and marketing strategies, you can simply tag and color code them for easy categorization and retrieval.
Although users could label documents by color in OS X Mountain Lion, LAPTOP said the Document Tagging feature adds more functionality by enabling multiple tags and the ability to search for a tag in Spotlight and tag a document directly when you save it.
Safari Shared Links
The new Safari browser offers several enhancements, such as memory- and power-saving technology that could give you up to an extra hour of Web surfing compared to other browsers. The feature avoids wasting battery life on webpages you have open but aren't using; in addition, each webpage runs on its own, meaning if one page crashes, it won't affect the whole browser.
Safari's new Shared Links feature stands out in particular. This social feed displays Twitter and LinkedIn updates from the people you follow. By limiting updates strictly to posts that contain links, Shared Links cuts out all the noise and time-wasters from your timelines. Shared Links also streamlines the link-browsing process: on the left of the browser is a single column listing links shared via Twitter and LinkedIn, and on the right is the actual webpage for each link. Just scroll to navigate from one story to the next, eliminating the need to click on each link or clutter your browser by opening up a new window.