Apple’s next version of OS X, 10.9 is on the way, according to 9to5Mac, and will offer an improved multi-monitor experience, finally allowing users to run fullscreen apps on one monitor and access different desktop spaces or other fullscreen apps alongside those. That’s a big plus for power users, but most of the other additions planned seem to be under the hood improvements instead of a dramatic amount of new features and UI changes.
The report cites anonymous sources and claims that what 10.9 will bring is more about iterating than overhauling, which is in keeping with Apple’s recent development strategy with OS X. Some highlights include enhancements to Finder to bring it in line with third-party tools that add things like tabbed browsing and tags for content organization, as well as a brand new Safari that should provide a generally improved browsing experience. The fullscreen thing has been a problem since the introduction of the feature, and there are also said to be a number of improvements to core apps and functionality, which will make for better overall system performance.
A new version of OS X could also include some app switching and pausing tricks borrowed from iOS, which would make for CPU and battery life usage improvements, especially for more casual users who don’t need multiple apps running fully at the same time. Depending on how effective it is, it could even make for true worry-free all-day computing.
Apple’s next-generation OS X is probably going to at least be previewed by the Worldwide Developer’s Conference coming up in June, so we won’t have long to wait to find out what’s in store. The event will probably focus primarily on software, in fact, based on comments made by CEO Tim Cook during Apple’s most recent earnings call. But if that’s the case, it sounds like it will also be showing off primarily evolutionary changes from OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Macs are an increasingly small percentage of Apple’s overall revenue picture, however, and the company has actually been lucky in that Microsoft’s last major OS overhaul, Windows 8, seems to have mostly met with consumer disappointment and confusion. Taking Mountain Lion, and improving it where it most needs it, might be the smartest approach to take at this point.