30 days with OS X 10.9 'Mavericks'

30 days with OS X 10.9 'Mavericks'

Summary: After 30 days with Apple's new operating system, I can sum up my experience in three words: It just works.


It's been a month since Apple released its tenth major release of OS X, version 10.9 Mavericks. The update was made available as a free update via Apple's App Store, so I grabbed it and downloaded it only my hardware.

OS X 10.9 installation screen
(Source: ZDNet)

I've documented my experience of the install process previously, so I won't go into too much detail about that beyond the fact that it was smooth and sweet, and that in less than an hour (including download time) I was dropped back into my Mac where even the apps I had open before I started the installation were reopened.

It. Just. Worked.

So, now that 30 days have gone by and the honeymoon period over, I thought I'd document a few of my observations about the new operating system.

Overall performance

Mavericks is fast. Very fast. After installing it on my MacBook Pro I felt as though I had a new system.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that installing Mavericks was like Tim Cook giving me an extra 4GB of RAM in each system. For free.

I'm also feeling that the new memory compression feature is helping to make switching between applications smoother, especially system resource heavy Adobe programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and After Effects. While most people will never touch applications that consume system resources like these can, Mavericks will give those that do a slicker, more efficient workflow.


Rock solid on all my systems, but that's no different to how previous incarnations of OS X behaved. I've not had any crashes or lockups over the 30 days at all.


One of the things that I really like about OS X 10.9 is how it feels in many ways like 10.8.

I want to use my systems for work, not futz around relearning an operating system, and Mavericks has been good to me on that score. Why? Because the operating system got out of the way and let me get on with what I needed to do. I didn't have to redo any settings, I didn't have to rearrange my dock, and I didn't have to go searching the web for new drivers.

Battery life

Much better. I'd say that I'm getting an extra 45 minutes from a charge, which isn't bad at all.


Yes, the Mail app is buggy if you use Gmail (but I don't use the Mail app, so this didn't bother me) and I've had a fee applications behave a little strangely until new updates, but on the whole I've not had any issues.

I expect the Mail bugs to be squashed in the OS X 10.9.1 update that I know is in the pipeline.

I've searched the web looking for problems that other people are claiming to have with Mavericks, and there seem to be a few, but many – such as the infamous "disk not ejected properly" – seem to be things that people were having problems with before mavericks came on the scene.

Note: I've seen that "disk not ejected properly" error on OS X and I've come to the conclusion that it is down to a hardware issue. For example, I have a Western Digital My Passport drive that will throw up this error when connected, but no other drive I have gives me this grief.

New features

I've got to be honest and say that I'm not blown over by the new features. Being able to tag files and folders is handy, and iCloud keychain is also nice. As for new apps such as Maps and iBooks, I can't say that I've noticed them. As I said earlier, what I like most about Mavericks is its ability to get out of the way and let me do what I want to do.

Bottom line

Solid upgrade. For people plagued by the Mail app issue, or are having problems with incompatible apps then the upgrade must have bought with it some headaches, but for me it was smooth and pain-free, and many me feel like I'd been given new hardware.

What more could I ask for when it only cost $0!

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple

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  • Works for doing no work

    Super buggy system. No support for mainstream office apps. Iwork is a joke. Proprietary software. Expensive hardware (with exploding batteries). Old style interface a decade old now. 7.5 market share full of mostly struggling artists.

    Anyway...glad you like it.
    Sean Foley
    • Really??

      As I write this on my work Mac that uses Microsoft Office just fine thank you very much. Oh, and what bugs do you refer to? Exploding batteries? Really? I think you are referring to Dell computers and not Macs.
      • Yep

        Windows Vista Beta is better for productivity than any Mac. And yes, the batteries on a Mac do explode (probably when trying to do something useful). Look it up.
        Sean Foley
        • And...

          I knew you couldn't provide facts, just useless drivel.
          • Take it easy

            User comments are mostly opinions my friend. People can agree or disagree with opinions. Sorry, but it looks like I got more Votes vs your Flags. -- hey there's a Fact for you.
            Sean Foley
          • Re: I got more Votes vs your Flags

            As expected. After all, Microsoft does employ their religious followers on these forums.

            You say anything even remotely negative for Microsoft, you get flagged.

            Just watch how many this post will collect. :)
          • Take it easy...

            Sean, shouldn't you be helping Tiger Woods with his swing? Why you posting here??
          • No. 20 > 7. Also a fact.

            "User comments are mostly opinions my friend."

            True. But but the opinion that your employers is paying to have trolled is of little interest.

            Have you ever used a Mac? I ask because its had to see why a user who believes that "Windows Vista Beta is better for productivity than any Mac" would have bothered to spend enough time using iWork on Mavericks, to gain an opinion.
            Henry 3 Dogg
          • Mac fanboi ignorance strikes again.

          • It's only special to you because it happens to Macbooks

            After all, you probably don't bat an eyelid when PC laptops burst into flame etc, yet when it's an Apple it is clearly the apocalypse in action and proof that Satan designs and builds Apple products.
          • The difference is...

            "It's only special to you because it happens to MacBooks"

            You don't see a bunch of fanatical PC fanbois going around telling us how superior PCs are to Macs. PC people understand there's nothing magical about their systems that make them better than everything else. Which is in stark contrast to Apple fanbois.
          • You don't?

            That's ironic - since you're downthread of a guy doing exactly that. It is like I said - you never call out the Windows guys who do it, only Mac guys.
          • I didn't say it never happens.

            I said you see a lot more of it from Apple fanbois. This blog is one such example.
          • are you kidding..

            I hear it here everyday.
          • I have no doubt you see it that way

          • You're a poster child for the fanatical PC fanbois stereotype ye

            But then that's hardly news to even the most hardened fanatical PC fanbois now is it.
          • You need to look up the definition of fanatical.

            As it's clear you have no idea what it means.
          • I see it all the time

            Maybe ur blind but I constantly see MS trolls saying how much superior Surface is to ipad and ipad is a toy ! ;-)
          • One doesn't?

            I think I have seen advocates for Intel processor packed boxes that come pre-sold with Windows opine the, if not superiority, but the equivalence of a Wintel PC.

            Then they point out price, and voila, superiority asserted.

            And, come on ye, just a few nodes up Sean Foley said a Windows Beta was more productive than a Mac. Granted, he did not use the word "superior" but I think the intent is clear.

            Not that it matters. People like what they like, value what they value, and overrate how their quibbles and name calling actually change people's opinions.
          • Again: I didn't say it never happens.

            "And, come on ye, just a few nodes up Sean Foley said a Windows Beta was more productive than a Mac."

            I said it's more prevalent with Mac fanbois. Here we have an author who has abandoned Windows based on the misnomer Macs. Just. Work. He write about his trouble free upgrade experience with Mavericks and, in that very writing, states:

            "I've had a fee applications behave a little strangely…"

            So much for "It. Just. Worked." That's the problem with Mac fanbois. They, like this author, faults Windows when things don't work yet the completely ignore the same types of problems with OS X. Seriously?