Apple's watchers, including an eager press, are talking about what to expect from Tuesday's Apple event in San Francisco where iPad debuts and even the new Mac Pro will not be the only draw. Last but certainly not least is an anticipated announcement of the release date of OS X Mavericks, the next major release of the desktop operating system.
The OS release is a significant opportunity for Apple to excel and strengthen its desktop brand even more, to show that the release billing "as the next big release of the world's most advanced desktop operating system" is not just silly hyperbole. OS X Mavericks is expected to announce the general availability of OS X 10.9 Mavericks this week or next week.
Supporting talk of the release being just clock ticks away is the case of a second build that was pushed out by Apple and noticed over the weekend. The Gold Master version had been released already to developers in the form of a Gold Master (GM) edition. Then, according to reports, the GM got patches that resulted in another build. Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac noticed a build number change, saying "This weekend, Apple seems to have updated the OS X Mavericks Golden Master (GM) version to a new build."
The most recent build is for users installing OS X Mavericks GM for the first time, resulting in some users moving for a fresher copy, doing a clean install to get the update, as one could not update the earlier GM version.
Shipshape or Bust
Apple watchers concluded two things about the weekend build push. Apple intends to release a ripened OS in shipshape condition and, secondly, the second build hints that Apple is eager to release Mavericks for general availability quite soon and quite possibly at the Tuesday event.
Professional users of Apple desktops, meanwhile, have interesting features to look forward to when Mavericks does arrive. The Mavericks release carries features that will support research and collaborative tasks in office work and research environments.
Most notably, Mavericks gains iBooks, where books that the user downloaded from an iPad or iPhone can automatically show up on the Mac. As important, a manager, engineer or scientist gathering notes, highlighting passages, or adding bookmarks in preparation of a meeting or report can now have the iCloud pushing all that work to the user's other devices. All notes are synchronized across devices. Carrying a phone or tablet, the user picks up where the Mac at home or in the office left off.
Apple Maps on OS X Mavericks will allow the user to plan a trip on the Mac and the directions can be sent over to the tablet or phone running iOS 7.
As for the Safari browser, Shared Links in the new Sidebar will be helpful for work teams and personal users, showing links posted by the user's contacts on Twitter and LinkedIn, in keeping up with the latest shared content. Mavericks is also to deliver finder tabs and tags to make it easy to get to files and to pick up important data.
Another anticipated roll-out with Mavericks will be iCloud Keychain, to eliminate the constant juggle of passwords. The feature here is all about syncing and storing passwords across devices, using Safari. Mavericks will remember passwords and automatically fill them in. The passwords are stored, encrypted and entered automatically. This feature is to use AES 256-bit encryption. Passwords are stored only on the Mac and devices that the user approves.