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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

Tags isn't the only thing new addition to the Finder. There's also Finder Tabs. (Yes, this may be confusing at first.) Finder Tabs work just like tabs in a Web browser, allowing you to group multiple Finder windows together in one. As in Safari, the Command-T key combo allows you to create new tabs, with each tab retaining its own view settings. You can drag and drop files between tabbed windows, and you can pull tabs out to create their own separate windows in the Finder.

Tabs is a welcome and overdue feature. My only problem is that I have grown so accustomed to the Finder not having them that I keep forgetting to use them, even though using tabs would be easier. Old habits die hard.

Finder Tabs work just like tabs in a Web browser, allowing you to group multiple Finder windows together in one.

Spaces, the desktop and Calendar
In previous versions of OS X, whenever you used Spaces on multiple monitors, switching to another Space shifted the view of every display. In Mavericks, you can finally control each monitor's space independently of the others. Go to one monitor, swipe away that Space, and those on the other monitors stay just where they are. Like Finder Tabs, this is another "it's about time" feature, though it means users will have to relearn how they use Spaces.

The menu bar, which has been limited to the main display since the Mac was first designed, now extends through all of your screens. That means no more mousing back to the primary display just to access a menu item.

Another change allows the Dock to shift between primary and secondary displays; it's accessed by moving the cursor to the bottom of the screen on any of the displays — at least, theoretically. The problem? It didn't always work for me. I've moused to the bottom of the screen on many occasions while the Dock stubbornly refused to move to the new monitor. That's pretty annoying, and clearly something that needs a fix when 10.9.1 rolls out.

Conversely, one new feature I love — and one that works as billed — is the AirPlay Display. iPhones, iPads and Macs can already beam music, video or the entire screen to an AppleTV-equipped HDTV. With Mavericks, you can now use that HDTV as an extension of your monitor, not just as a mirror of what's on your laptop or desktop machine. The extended desktop is fully supported by Spaces and Mission Control. Obviously, the refresh rate isn't as fast as a built-in monitor, so fast-moving images and intricate effects won't look as good on the TV. But it's perfect for things that don't require fast refresh rates like email, twitter feeds and even surveillance feeds from security cameras.


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