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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

You can authorize and de-authorize computers to use iBooks — just as you do with iTunes. You can also have content download automatically to your computer and set parental controls to disable the book store or restrict explicit content.

Centered underneath the iBooks title is a toggle for five views: All Books, Collections, Authors, Categories and List. On the upper right is a Full Screen view button and a search field for finding new titles.

The Collections view allows you to group reading material together in individual libraries. Click on the plus sign in the lower left corner of the iBooks window to create a new collection and then drag items over to it. Voila! You now have a collection.

There are three themes for iBooks: white, sepia and night view. You also have seven fonts from which to choose, can adjust text size and decide whether iBooks should display one or two pages at a time. When you mouse over a book and move the cursor toward the top of the window, a menubar fades into view, giving you access (in the upper left corner of the iBooks window) to your library, the book's table of contents and notes and (in the upper right corner) to Appearance, search and bookmark menus.

As you'd expect, you can bookmark, highlight and add notes by highlighting text and then right-clicking on the mouse or tapping with two fingers on a multitouch trackpad to get a popup menu. The same menu lets you define a word or phrase, look it up via the Web or Wikipedia, and even share the text to Facebook and Twitter. There are also options to message or email the highlighted text.

One cool note: If you want to close your eyes, you can choose to have the book read to you in any of OS X's creepy built-in voices.

A smarter Safari
Safari doesn't get a major makeover in Mavericks, but it is now more smartly integrated with the operating system. For instance, when you log into certain social media sites, it will offer to add your login information to Internet Accounts in System Preferences. This then gives any authorized app access to that information, so you don't have to keep re-entering it.

Safari is also integrated with Twitter, displaying tweets from people you follow in the new Sidebar Shared Links section. This allows you to keep an eye on Twitter while you surf, though the list doesn't seem to update dynamically; it only updates when you close the Sidebar and reopen it. The Sidebar also has Reading List and Bookmarks buttons, which give you quick access to sites you've marked for later reading and to your bookmarks.


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