Apple OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Multiple Display Support

I’ve been playing with this particular feature most of the weekend while finishing up this review. Apple finally got this right. Coupled with Mission Control, you can get access to all of the apps running on all of your connected monitors. Mavericks puts a Menu Bar on each display connected to your Mac. You can even access the Dock from each display if you wish. You can get access to all of your extensions, programs and program menus no matter which display you’re working on. There’s no primary display any longer. Working on multiple displays was never so easy.

Multi Display-02

Mavericks allows you to run windowed apps on one screen and run another in full screen mode on another display. If you have an Apple TV, you can turn your HDTV into an additional Mac Display a lot easier than you could with Mountain Lion. Mavericks is truly made to work with more than one display at a time if you have it.

The biggest problem I’m having is physically connecting two EXTERNAL displays – like a Thunderbolt Display and a widescreen VGA monitor – to my Early 2011 MacBook Pro at the same time. I should be able to do this, as both displays work with my Mac, but getting them both on at the same time is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

The problem is the lack of a thunderbolt pass through on the mini-display port to VGA adapter or lack of a display adapter that split the signal to allow for both at once. I’ll have more on this over the next couple of weeks as I dive into this with a couple different support sites, including Apple. Please watch Soft32 for more on this particular feature and topic.

iCloud Key Chain

Every computer, every computer and online service has a password that you have to remember. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of passwords. You can’t make the all the same, either. If you do, and someone figures it out, then they have the keys to your entire world. This is a huge problem, and its one that every Mac, PC, iOS and Android user faces every single day.

iCloud Keychain-01

On a Mac under OS X Mavericks, maintaining passwords just got a little easier. Mavericks incorporates iCloud Keychain which remembers all of your passwords and the associated websites for you. The cool thing about iCloud Key Chain is that it also works with every iDevice you own, at least ones that run iOS 7 or later.

ICloud Key Chain has 256-bit AES encryption, and keeps your passwords up to date on each synchronized device. When you’re surfing and need the information, iCloud Key Chain automatically fills them in whenever and wherever you need them. The new Password Generator suggests unique, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts.

If you bank online, you can count on iCloud Key Chain working with all of your banking and credit card sites too. It also works with online shopping, so checking out works with credit card information too.

There are a number of password wallets out there for both OS X and iOS. The fact that iCloud Key Chain is built into the OS makes this really easy to set up, use and carry with you no matter where you are or what iDevice you’re using. This is really something everyone should at least try on their Mac and iDevice. The sync between the two platforms helps make the ecosystem that much more useful and convenient.

Notifications

Apple introduced Notifications in Mountain Lion. It’s a cool feature that’s gotten a nice update in OS X Mavericks. Now you can interact with your notifications. You can reply to a message, respond to a FaceTime video call, delete an email, etc. right from the Notification as it slides on to the screen.

You can also get notifications from your favorite websites. You can get breaking news, updates to the score of the game, auction alerts, etc., even if Safari isn’t running. If you’ve stepped away from your Mac, you’ll get a summary of the events you missed while you were gone, when you come back

Notifications-01

Notifications are much more useful in Mavericks than they previously were and the feature has matured nicely. I’d much prefer if the interaction feature worked with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as these are the three social networking sites that I really interact with. Unfortunately, for some reason, clicking on any notification from these sites doesn’t open Facebook on Safari and take me to that notification. It should, and this is a serious shortfall on this feature. I’ve played with the options, and if this is out there, I haven’t found it yet. Apple needs to do a bit more here. If you’re getting notifications from sites that are integrated into the OS, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, then you should be able to fully interact with them.

This is better, but there’s more work to be done here. I’d like to see it come in a Mavericks update, to be named later rather than OS X 10.10, or what ever the next version of the desktop version of the Mac OS is.

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