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OS X Mavericks: Different name, looks the same

Michael deAgonia | Oct. 23, 2013
Apple's new desktop and laptop OS builds on its predecessors, applying polish where needed

After setting up iCloud Keychain, I chose the first option, which allows me to approve any changes to my iCloud status from another device. As a result, when I used another Mac running Mavericks, I was asked to allow that machine to have access to my keychain data. After that, the other Mac had the same access to my info as my own laptop.

One note: While the iCloud keychain setup worked fine for me, a Computerworld editor who tried to do the same thing ran into trouble verifying his account. Your mileage may vary.

Tweaks to the Finder
When the desktop, Dock and menu bar load, you'll notice that Mavericks looks pretty much like Mountain Lion. The big change, if you can call it that, is that the Dock has a translucent background when pinned to the left or right side of the screen and there are a slew of new desktop wallpapers to choose from. Mavericks lacks the major user interface (UI) overhaul that made iOS 7 such a hot topic when it rolled out last month. Instead, Mavericks unifies the themes used in earlier versions of OS X, removing (as I mentioned before) the last remnants of skeuomorphic elements. That's not a bad thing. The Notification drawer (accessed from the upper right corner of the menu bar) now lacks the "linen" backdrop, the Dashboard has a new background, and apps like Calendar get a new UI to match the other apps.

The Finder does get something new: Tags. Like Labels before it, the Tags feature lets you highlight and organize files with different colors. Tags have more support than Labels throughout the operating system. First, tags can be synced with iCloud and onto your other devices, so that the tags remain consistent across your various Macs. Documents stored in iCloud and tagged retain that tagging whether you're using Pages for Mac, or Pages for iOS.

You can tweak Finder Tags to suit your needs in the Finder > Preferences area.

The Finder sidebar now includes an area for tagged shortcuts, which automatically groups similarly tagged items for quick access to related files. Every Finder window also gets a new button — located to the right of the Share button — that lets you tag selected files. Tags can be added to files in the Save dialog box, which is located under the File menu.

You can edit the labels for your Tags under Finder > Preferences > Tags. From here you can rename the existing tags, delete them or assign them a different color. You can also drag favorite tags to the bottom of the Tags window, which sorts the order they're displayed in other areas of the OS.


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