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Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Mavericks, the namesake for OS 10.9. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Apple has run out of cats. While the past 8 iterations of Mac OS X have been named after big cats, the company decided to start naming new versions of the operating system after their favorite places in California. First up: Mavericks.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, took the stage to announce major changes to Apple’s desktop operating system. Here are the quick hits:

Changes to Finder

The finder sidebar now features a “Tags” tab, and users can tag files, which will place them into their own area of the sidebar.  In a move that should make power users happy, the Finder is now built to support multiple displays. It will be possible to have both a menu bar and a separate instance of the Dock on a non-primary display.

Performance Enhancements

Mavericks is slated to include new tech that reduces power and CPU consumption across the board.

Notifications

In Mavericks, notifications received through Notification Center can now be acted on right when you receive them, rather than having to open whatever app or online service they came from.

Calendar

Potentially as a sign of things to come, the Calendar app has received a complete makeover. Gone is the old leather-and-paper look, and it has instead been replaced with a clean grey user interface reminiscent of iCal. Federighi cracked a smile when he said: “Absolutely no cows have been harmed in the making of this user interface.”

iBooks

Finally matching the capability of Amazon’s Kindle, Mavericks will see the arrival of iBooks on the Mac. Any book a user is able to get on their iOS device will also be available through the desktop app, and users will be able to purchase new books straight from the desktop app, without having to go through iTunes.

Maps

Users will be able to use Apple Maps straight from the desktop, and then send any directions they get straight to their iOS device.

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