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For OS X Mavericks, the best is yet to come

Serenity Caldwell | June 14, 2013
Not impressed by what we've seen so far in Apple's preview of OS X Mavericks? Don't panic. Associate editor Serenity Caldwell thinks the big wave is coming. We just haven't seen it yet.

Dig into Apple's website a bit, and you can find hints of app redesigns not shown at Monday's keynote. A small shot of Contacts in the Multiple Displays section shows a book-less app with no pages and ribbons to be found. And dark linen seems to have been universally erased from this timeline, with a simple grey background to replace it.

Mac OS X Mavericks
In the left corner, you can see a potential Contacts redesign, with the same lighter title bar as iBooks's note view.

But if the Dock's icon design in the keynote is anything to go by, this preview is still living with green felt in Game Center, day-planner leather in Reminders, and note paper in Notes. We don't know whether they'll see any of the features and design found in iOS 7. And we've heard nothing about any Mail changes, aside from a quick demonstration of OS X's smoother scrolling.

Also, as Macworld'resident slide over-analyst, I find it odd that we didn't see one of those feature-collection slides Apple loves so much (you know, like this one) for OS X. In fact, the only slide that even remotely resembled it was a list of all the features Safari had implemented over the years.

There are people who would look at this information (or lack thereof) and chant the oft-familiar "Apple is doomed," or "See! Apple doesn't care about the Mac." But I don't see it like that at all.

If we haven't heard about app improvements, and if OS X's design doesn't even seem close to feature-complete, that doesn't mean the Mac is doomed. It means that Apple showed off what it thought developers needed to see, and there's far more cooking to do behind Cupertino walls before OS X's release. I doubt that we'll see quite as large an overhaul in OS X as we have in iOS. But I can't imagine Cupertino shipping an OS with mixed-up styling. Can you really see Ive saying to his team, "It's okay, guys. I think our users can live with a little green felt"?

The vaguery of fall: Which OS will we see first?
In an interesting move, Apple's decided to release both of its major operating systems in the fall, breaking with the pattern of the past three years. Since Snow Leopard, OS X has typically been released in the late summer months; bumping it back to the fall further suggests that there's still a significant amount of work to be done on the Mac OS. Given that iOS 7 is also scheduled for the fall, however, it presents an interesting question for Apple: This year, which OS goes first?


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