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Tags have also been added to Finder. These allow assignment of multiple user-defined categories to a file. For example, a document can be tagged as “draft” and “financial”. Then these tagged files can be pulled up by selecting the tags in Finder, Spotlight, or apps. Tags increase the productivity of the professional Mac user.
Notifications now allow for direct user interaction. When a notification appears, the user can reply to a message or email within the panel. A user can even accept a FaceTime call directly from a notification. Notifications sync with iOS. To some extent this was already true. If you make a calendar event in iOS, it will show up on your Mac. Now, virtually any iOS app can send a notification to your Mac, if you choose to do so. Mac users will also see notifications appearing on the screen when they wake their Mac. Once again, we see the convergence of iOS and OS X.
Mavericks adds amazing support for multiple displays. Each display is completely independent, instead of being a mere “extended” display. You can now have an app in full screen on one monitor, while using the other display. Mission Control, the menu bar and dock can be invoked on any display. You can even use Apple TV as a fully functional display. This goes beyond screen mirroring. Apple demoed this multiple display support with three monitors, one being an Apple TV. It is unclear how many displays Mavericks will support, but one user has a beta version running 6 displays.
Safari has a new look, as well as new features. The top sites view has a simpler look. I liked the previous concave 3-D mirrored design. Tops sites now shows your frequented sites in a grid of boxes, much like Google’s Chrome browser. Safari has support for managing shared links, which are links acquired through social networks. Reader has been redesigned. Instead of an overlay, it is a new page with a cleaner, easier-to-read font. It also features Twitter and LinkedIn integration, but is missing the other social networks.
iCloud Keychain is a feature which is central to Safari, but extends well into the Apple ecosystem. This is a re-invention of the MobileMe keychain. The new security technology can store your user name, password, credit cards, and even wi-fi authentication. Data are protected with 256-bit AES encryption, which is virtually unbreakable. The iCloud Keychain can also generate passwords with heavy-duty security.
Safari adds some under-the-hood improvements, in addition to the more visible features. Safari now uses less memory and energy. This is great for MacBook users. I don’t use Safari, but instead use Chrome for most of my browsing. However, if I were using a Macbook, I would probably go with Safari. Safari is a fast and elegant browser. It just doesn’t work well with some sites, such as Gmail, Google Docs and even my bank’s web site. (continue…)