Sorry, cats and kittens. After years of naming its operating systems after big cats, Apple’s looking into its own backyard for inspiration and a new naming muse: the state of California.
The shift was, perhaps, inevitable. “We do not want to be the first development team to be delayed by the lack of big cats,” said Craig Federighi, the company’s senior vice president of software engineering.
For the first California-themed release, the company decided to take the name of Mavericks, a popular surfing location in northern California, announcing OSX Mavericks at its developers conference Monday.
Federighi described Mavericks as a redesign really meant for power users, adding smoother support for multiple displays and adding organization features such as tabbed browsing in the Finder and the ability to tag files.
Tagging works much like it does in the online world. Users can give files any sort of designation they want, such as important, in progress, presentations, etc., and can search for files using those tags.
Federighi also highlighted several features within the new system aimed at reducing power consumption, to extend the battery life on its computers. For example, non-active apps are put into a “napping” mode that reduces background computer activity and, therefore, power drain.
The company has also added a feature that allows users to search through links to stories that their friends on Twitter and LinkedIn have shared, he said, and users are able to scroll easily between stories in their offline Reader.
“No virtual cows were harmed in the making of this interface,” Federighi joked, referencing the company’s decision to drop the faux-leather look that graced its old calendar program.
The company is also bringing in a few more features that had been mobile-based to its Macs, including the iBooks program and Apple Maps, which Federighi noted the company has worked hard to improve.
The system will be available to developers as a preview Monday. Consumers will have to wait a little longer — until the fall — to download the system.
In his remarks, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared that Mac sales are up 100 percent vs. an 18 percent increase in the PC market in the same period of time. He also noted that Apple users tend to adopt its newest operating system more quickly than Windows users — taking the opportunity to get in a little dig about the low adoption rate Microsoft has seen for its Windows 8 system.
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