Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
OS X GUI Operating Systems Upgrades Apple

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review 222

Posted by Soulskill
from the installation-will-finish-before-you-get-through-the-article dept.
An anonymous reader writes "John Siracusa at Ars Technica has put together a comprehensive review of Apple's OS X 10.9 Mavericks. This is the first time a major OS X update has been free, and it works on any device that supports Mountain Lion. This suggests Apple is trying to boost adoption rates as high as possible. Siracusa says the following about Apple's move away from skeuomorphic design: 'Mavericks says enough is enough. The leather's gone, the fake pages are gone, the three panes are independently resizable (more or less), even the title bar is bone-stock, and it's boring?' On the other hand, he was a big fan of all the internal optimizations Apple has done, since the energy savings over Mountain Lion are significant. He found a 24% increase in his old MacBook Pro's battery life, and a 30% increase for his new MacBook Air. He also praised the long-needed improvements to multi-monitor support: ' Each attached display is now treated as a separate domain for full-screen windows. Mission Control gestures and keyboard shortcuts will now switch between the desktop and full-screen windows on the display that contains the cursor only, leaving all other displays untouched.' The 24-page review dives deeply into all the other changes in Mavericks, and is worth reading if you're deciding whether or not to upgrade."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @08:14PM (#45207903)

    App Store _is_ Software Update, now.

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @08:56PM (#45208157)

    I don't know what in hell you are talking about and apparently neither do you. There is no requirement for any info whatsoever to get security updates. I hit the apple in the top corner of the screen, scroll down to software update, it shows the updates and I hit go and it goes. My computer asks for my administrator login/password. That's pretty much it, a lot like updating my linux box. I get the idea you've never used an apple computer.

  • by Tim99 (984437) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @09:12PM (#45208241)

    even software update goes through the app store now, or at least certain components do...

    Try: sudo softwareupdate -l
    If you like what you see: sudo softwareupdate -i SomePackage-1.2.3

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @09:15PM (#45208249)


    You can actually see the difference in the Ars Technica article just from the screenshots (which likely means it's intentional, since you can screenshot the issue and clearly see it in the pixel colours). Look at the icons closely, and you'll notice that the majority of them seem darker and more saturated then normal. I'd link you to the ADF forum discussion about this exact same issue, but that's kinda pointless since you'll need an ADC account to view it.

    We've got a whole bunch of ultra high end Eizo monitors in the office that do self calibration and colour correction inside the monitor itself. These units are all configured to accept a straight sRGB IEC-61966-2.1 colour space, and nothing else. Since the monitor ASIC handles the calibration & correction for the panel, there's no need to use ICC profiles if you don't want. We've found this to be an insane boon when you're targeting the sRGB colour space for mobile app development and graphics design (where sRGB is basically the safest space to target if you want it to look decent on any handheld).

    Anyways, under 10.7 and 10.8- setting up OS X to use the sRGB IEC-61966-2.1 colour space resulted in a pretty perfect image on the monitor (which was configured for the sRGB colour space "mode" and self-calibrated). No problems there, or with any of the Cocoa APIs, or OpenGL stuff.

    Under 10.9, everything is basically "fucking whacked" (according to our IT guy). About 60% of the Mac OS X UI doesn't adhere to the sRGB spec anymore in that if you have an ICNS file that was generated from sRGB source material, it is no longer displayed as straight sRGB in the Aqua UI- it's being tinkered around with by Apple's bug and/or design decision. A lot of stuff being displayed through NSImageView is totally hit and miss as far as the colours go, even with an sRGB monitor profile (this is even worse on Apple's own computers that use LCD panels which are somewhere in-between a wide gamut and sRGB... The colour variances I've seen on our office laptops running 10.8 and 10.9 side beside are unbelievable). Even OpenGL is hit and miss now- before everything seemed to be uncorrected (which was fine, applications could implement colour management themselves if they wanted), but in 10.9 it seems like some stuff is completely whack and other things almost look partially colour corrected depending on the monitor profile. We think this is due to the GPU drivers and brand, but nobody knows for sure.

    In a nutshell, things are NOT as they should be.

    1) Their Aqua UI should assume that input images are in the sRGB colour space, and display them as accurately as possible according to the monitor profile
    2) NSImageView & friends should do the same thing for data sources that have no associated colour space
    3) OpenGL should preferably be totally uncorrected, since anything else would be totally ambiguous and up to the manufacture

    Our six 10.9 pilot systems were recently reverted to 10.8, which still has horribly broken colour management... BUT, at least on 10.8, if you tell it to output sRGB then that's precisely what it does (and this works well with our Eizo monitors). 10.9 seems to take this all one step further in that they fuck around with anything and everything at will, and it's just a complete nightmare to deal with as a user.

    TLDR; it is very evident Apple has no clue what they're doing in regards to colour management. This is becoming more and more apparent with each release of OS X.

  • by Alan Shutko (5101) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @09:26PM (#45208313) Homepage

    All I can find is this in the Apple Dev Forums (login required) [apple.com]. It seems that certain people in a workflow without a monitor color profile see differences without embedded profiles look differently. This does not appear to be a problem in a workflow where you regularly profile your monitor (and in fact, I don't see a problem).

    So, if you depend on OS X for color accurate work, and if you are working exclusively with untagged images that are to be assumed to be sRGB, and if you have a monitor which does its own sRGB calibration and you're depending on the bits from the image being sent directly to the monitor without adjustment, then you might see problems. I don't know how big of a community that is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:39PM (#45208975)

    I am really curious what power optimizations were done?

    You are in luck. An article about that is the topic under discussion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @12:00AM (#45209059)

    Your information is out of date. I'm running 10.8.5, and clicking on the Apple menu at the top left then "Software Update..." loads the App Store application. Apple then asks for your credit card number with three or four digit security code and your billing address and phone number.

    It's a shame that Apple refuses to provide security updates unless you give them all of that information.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @04:07AM (#45209983)

    In case you don't want to read the 28 page article.

    Timers of all programs are synchronised so they are fired right after each other so that there are longer periods processing and longer periods of idle. This means that frequency throttling up and down happens a lot less often.

    Also for invisible and inaudible applications (obscured, or minimised, and not producing or recording audio) they reduce the rate of the timers, so less screen redraws and other things are done.

    When showing the battery menu it will show power using/abusing applications, this will probably yield calls to support for those application developers hopefully pushing them to make their applications more power efficient.

    This is all done by default on old applications, as a user you can opt-out on a per application basis.

    If the developer uses the new SDK the user can no longer opt-out, because they expect the developer to know what is going on. The new SDK includes changes to the timer API to set not only the period but also the accuracy of the tick. For developers they show the power usage of your application during debugging.

    During the WWDC they had many sessions about how to reduce the power of your app. This includes letting your application work more bursty, using all the cores for a short while. Using the performance math APIs, and grand central dispatch.

  • by mrxak (727974) on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @09:01AM (#45211313)

    John Siracusa's reviews of OS X over at Ars Technica have always been in-depth and informative, and while John Siracusa himself may be a fan of OS X, he doesn't shy away from being very critical when it does something not-so-great, or he sees a problem with Apple's direction. This year he (rightfully) railed against several UI elements that are pretty bizarre. It's hardly a puff piece. It's more educational, than anything.

    In general, I find his reviews much more about explaining how things work, than actually praising or criticizing. It's a review, in the sense that it's an overview of the new operating system, rather than some sort of grading of the operating system. He's not comparing it to anything except the previous versions of OS X, and then only in objective technical respects. It's not about competing views of different products, it's to tell existing OS X users what they can expect if they upgrade.

    Mostly Siracusa talks about under-the-hood workings of the operating system and computer hardware, and past Siracusa reviews have even included code examples to explain new APIs to developers interested in the platform, and users who may be the beneficiaries of developers using new APIs. This year it talks quite a bit about race-to-sleep and other technical issues that apply to computing as a whole. It's exactly the sort of review somebody would want to read if they were technically-inclined, like the Slashdot audience. I would say a Siracusa OS X review is entirely appropriate, here. If you're just looking for some kind of Windows vs. Mac (vs. Linux) argument fodder, it's not the review for you. I wouldn't want or care about those sorts of reviews on Slashdot.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @09:36AM (#45211581) Homepage

    You are correct. What people don't realize is that there are actually two different update mechanisms behind the "App Store" updates. When you check for updates, Apple displays the updates for applications purchased from the App Store along with updates for the OS-- but the fact that they're displayed together doesn't mean that they behave exactly the same way. The updates for App Store apps are downloaded from the App Store and require you to have an App Store account, but the system updates are downloaded from a different location, and no account is required.

    I administer these things as part of my job. You definitely don't need an account to download system updates.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@[ ]f.net ['wor' in gap]> on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @11:36AM (#45212863)

    I hope this isn't a silly question, but why on earth do you care about accurate colour matching on mobile devices? Given that they have screens of very variable quality and no decent colour accuracy themselves it seems that putting much effort in will be wasted.

    Just because you use Android doesn't mean people don't care.

    The iPhone 4s was about 90% sRGB (mostly due to a faulty blue filter that lets in a little green), the iPhone 5 (and 5s, 5c, and associated iPods) are actually a little over 99% sRGB. And Apple calibrates every display as they come off the line. tests done on the displays have shown excellent calibration with very little variability between devices.

    While Androids have better screens, the AMOLED ones, especially Samsung Pentile variants tend to be far worse - the OLED display is nice but oversaturates for the most part. LCD Androids may or may not be calibrated as well - some devices exhibit such wide variations in color accuracy and error that they're effectively uncalibrated screens, while others do calibrated them to an extent during manufacturing (usually the flagships).

    The modern smartphone and tablet display is a far cry from early mobile LCD displays - they're often very good (especially Apple displays - if you need color accuracy on a portable, you're pretty much limited to Apple) and people do expect their photos to be somewhat like reality.

    If you want to see what crap looks like, check out a cheap digital photo frame, then look at a modern smartphone or tablet display and you'll find they're much nicer.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long