Mavericks Beta

This is a discussion on Mavericks Beta within the Mac OS X forums, part of the Mac Software category; OS X Mavericks (named after a hot surfing spot in California) was released last week, and even though it may have been overshadowed by the ...

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Thread: Mavericks Beta

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    Mavericks Beta



    OS X Mavericks (named after a hot surfing spot in California) was released last week, and even though it may have been overshadowed by the iOS 7 announcement at the same time, there are bound to be some new things in the operating system we can tip you about.

    Remember, though, that as with all beta software, OS X Mavericks isn’t a final version–it’s meant to be used by developers to ensure that when it’s released this fall, all the devs with apps on OS X will have had time to make tweaks to their current Mac software, and start integrating Mavericks stuff into their next bits of software.

    That said, let’s take a look at how to enable the new Do Not Disturb toggle in OS X Mavericks beta.

    When you click on the Notification Center icon in the upper right corner of your Mac’s screen, you’ll see the familiar gray linen background from OS X Mountain Lion. If you’re looking for a toggle switch to Show Alerts and Banners, though, you’ll miss it until you scroll up with your mouse or trackpad.

    When you scroll up in OS X Mavericks beta, however, you’ll see Do Not Disturb, a feature that’s been on the iPhone since iOS 6. Clicking the Do Not Disturb toggle on your Mac will get rid of any lingering notifications that may have been sitting there, and will keep you from getting notifications on your Mac until the following day, assumedly at midnight.

    You may also notice that there’s no Facebook button up at the top of the Notification Center, as there is in OS X Mountain Lion. In the Mavericks beta, there’s a button to open your Messages app, instead.


    6-17-13

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    Mavericks Beta

    You’ll Need To Install Java On OS X Mavericks Beta [OS X Tips]






    As we continue to look at some tips for the new OS X beta this week, remember that OS X Mavericks isn’t a final version—it’s meant to be used by developers to ensure that their software will work with Apple’s latest and greatest.

    With that disclaimer in mind, let’s continue.

    If you need to use Java for any reason on your Mac, and you install OS X Mavericks beta on it, you’ll be sad when you try and run that Java-reliant bit of software.

    For me, it was setting up the Minecraft server for my kid after I installed the beta last night to take a look at things. When I went to run it in Terminal, I got an error, saying there was no Java installed. So, even though I’d had Java installed in Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the Mavericks install seems to have taken Java off my Mac. No worries; it was kind of an easy fix.

    Open up your Terminal app, and type java -version into the window. You’ll see the arrow, and then get a dialogue box that will send you to the Java download web page if you click the More Info… button. Do that, and you’ll get a download page. Scroll down and find the Mac OS X version of Java, and download the dmg file.

    Once it’s downloaded, double click on the package file after opening the disk image (.dmg), and enter your admin password to install Java. Once the install is complete, check to see if Java is now enabled on your Mac with the same command as above: java -version. If you’ve installed it correctly, you’ll see the version you downloaded.

    Now you can run your Java stuff without a hitch. My son is pretty happy he can run around our Minecraft server now with his little buddies, building and crafting to his heart’s content.


    6-18-13

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    Use Enhanced Dictation In OS X Mavericks Beta To Keep Your Speech Data Private



    Speech to text is the next new thing, with all devices we use, including our Macs, having the ability to listen to our speech and type what we say for us. What usually makes this magic possible are network-connected processing data centers, that take your speech and convert it to text, all somewhere other than your iPhone device, say.

    But what if you want to keep what you say to your devices private?

    In the new version of OS X, Mavericks beta, there’s a new option to do just that. It’s called Enhanced Dictation, and here’s how to enable it.

    Launch System Preferences in OS X Mavericks beta and click on the Dictation & Speech icon. Once in the preference pane, turn Dictation On with a click. You’ll see the following warning:




    If you have the space on your hard drive, and a decent enough WiFi connection, you can click the Use Enhanced Dictation checkbox and download a 785 MB file that will contain the processing that typically gets sent off to Apple data centers. Now you’re not relying on Apple to keep what you say to your Mac secret.

    Unfortunately, there’s still no way to do this on iOS, as the devices are smaller, space-wise, and have less processing power than a full sized Mac laptop or desktop computer.


    6-19-13

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    Access Special Characters In Any App With OS X Mavericks Beta [OS X Tips]



    Don’t forget that the OS X Mavericks beta isn’t a final version—it’s meant to be used by developers to ensure that their software will work with Apple’s latest and greatest. With that disclaimer in mind, let’s check out a new little feature in the beta.

    Many apps have had access to special characters before, like iChat and Messages. You’d simply click the little smiley face, for example, and get all the fun emoticons Apple has provided.

    If you wanted to type a special character in a text document, though, you’d have to remember that Option-8 is a text bullet, and Option-K is the degrees symbol, and Option-2 gives you the Trademark symbol.

    Now, though, in OS X Mavericks beta, you can see visually what special characters are available to you across all applications. Here’s how.

    When you’re typing in any application that can accept text, simply hit Command-Option-T (or ⌘-⌥-T) to bring up a\n extensive palette of special characters, including emoticons, emoji, and text widgets. Use the button bar along the bottom to choose the special character set you want, or use the clock icon in the far left to access recently used characters. It’s a lot like the emoji keyboard in iOS, only in any app on OS X Mavericks beta.

    Slick, right?

    Pro tip: If you click and drag the little pop up special character window, it will tear off from where you were entering text, and become its own window, letting you move it around on the screen.


    6-20-13

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    OS X Mavericks Developer Preview 2 Is Now Live In The Mac App Store



    After I started my Mac mini running OS X Mavericks Developer Preview, or beta, today, I visited the Mac App Store to see what was new.

    What greeted me there was a host of new software updates, all part of OS X Mavericks Developer Preview 2, as noted by Apple on the Developer page.

    As you can see in the screenshot above, there are quite a few of these little updates bundled together.

    The Developer website says the following, proving that this is the second of beta releases:

    “This is a pre-release version of OS X Mavericks. OS X Mavericks Developer Preview 2 is available as an update from the Mac App Store for Macs running OS X Mavericks Developer Preview.”

    There’s a new Airport Utility, some new HP Printer Software, iTunes 11.0.4, a Thunderbolt Firmware Update all bundled up into this new beta. If you’re running the first Developer Preview of OS X Mavericks, you should be able to see similar when you visit the Updates portion of the Mac App Store on your machine.

    - Moving around and using the OS seems much snappier and more stable

    - Minor UI tweaks in Safari

    - Tweaks to share/Message buttons in Notification Center

    - iCloud Keychain setup prompt

    - Migration Assistant now functional

    - Improved performance for select files viewed in Preview


    6-25-13

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    Create And Manage Tags In OS X Mavericks Finder



    In yet another addition to the OS X Finder in OS X Mavericks, you can now tag your files. This is a wonderful way to keep track of stuff, since unless you’re an obsessive folder and sub-folder maker, tags are much easier to define and apply on the fly, making the dynamic organization of your files easier and less permanent.

    OS X Mavericks tags seem a lot like Labels did, with a couple of differences. You can apply more than one tag to a file or folder, and you can sort your files by tag, as well. Here’s how.

    First up, open the Finder and find yourself a file. Right click on that file (Control-click or two-finger-click on a trackpad) and move your mouse down to the colorful tags. Click on the tag you want to add to the file. Go ahead, go crazy! Add two tags!

    Now, click on that tag in the left hand sidebar of your Finder window, and you’ll see that file there. Click on the second tag you added to the file and you’ll see it in that list as well. This way, you can use tags to your advantage, as many files may fit two or even three tags on your hard drive. You can’t do that with folders, without copying files or making aliases.

    Now, to rename the tags to something more useful. In the Finder, click on the Finder menu, then click on Preferences… Once in there, click on the Tags tab at the top of the preferences window. You’ll see a list of the color tags, and a few more at the bottom, like Work, Home, and Important. To change the color of a tag, simply click on the little bubble and choose a color. To change the name of the tag, click on the tag title, and type your new tag name.

    You’ll need to drag any new tags you create this way down to the favorites bar across the bottom of the tag window in Finder preferences to be able to use them in the right-click contextual menus. If you want to hide any tags from the Finder, simply click on the checkbox to the right of the tag name.

    Now you’re well on your way to creating the organization scheme of your dreams, right on your Mac running OS X Mavericks.

    Disclaimer: OS X Mavericks is a beta, a developer preview. Please don’t expect all these features to be present in the same way–or at all–in the final release of OS X Mavericks this fall.


    6-25-13

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    Scroll Continuously Through Your Calendar In Mavericks Beta



    In the OS X Calendar, at least up to OS X Mountain Lion, the way to move from month to month, or week to week, is to hit the right or left arrows near the top of the calendar window, a fairly typical mechanic among calendar apps, really.

    In OS X Mavericks beta, however, you can move through them much more intuitively. Here’s how.

    Launch Calendar on your Mac running OS X Mavericks beta, and bring up the Month View. Now, instead of hitting the right or left arrows to move one month at a time, simply scroll up and down to continuously see the next or previous weeks.

    The name of the month you’re viewing will still show up on the right side of the Calendar window so you won’t get confused, and the current week will have a red line across the top of it as an easy visual cue.

    Leave it to Apple to keep refining and updating even basic apps like Calendar.


    6-27-13

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    Increase The Size Of Your Mouse Pointer In Mavericks Beta



    It used to be that if you wanted to increase the size of your mouse pointer, you’d hop into the Universal Access pane in the System Preferences and then click on the Mouse & Trackpad tab to find the Increase Cursor Size slider.

    With OS X Mavericks beta, if you go looking for the Universal Access preferences pane, you’re out of luck. It’s called Accessibility now. However, if you know that much, and drop into it, you won’t find a Mouse & Trackpad tab.

    So, in OS X Mavericks beta, if you want to increase the size of your mouse pointer, here’s what you have to do.

    Launch System Preferences as before, and then click on the Accessibility icon there to access those preferences. Click on the Display icon in the left-hand column, under the Seeing section. Now, click and drag on the Cursor Size slider, moving it to the right to increase the mouse pointer size, and to the left to decrease the size of the mouse pointer.

    Now you won’t have to search through endless preference panes trying to find this newly hidden feature like I did.

    I use the enlarged mouse pointer on my Mac mini, which is connected to my HDTV in my living room. I found that even with the resolution turned up a bit to help me see the Mac screen items from across the room, I was still losing track of the cursor. Having the ability to zoom it up, independent of the rest of the screen zoom, has really helped my productivity.


    7-2-13

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    Manage Your Newsstand Subscriptions In The Mac App Store With Mavericks Beta



    One of the lesser talked-about features of the upcoming OS X Mavericks system is that of Mac App Store subscriptions. In iOS, developers are able to charge users on a recurring basis, like a subscription. Magazines in Newsstand do this fairly easily, and I have several subscriptions to magazines there.

    This wasn’t available to OS X apps until the release of OS X Mavericks, and you can manage your subscriptions from the Mac App Store right now if you’re running the new Mavericks beta on your Mac right now. Here’s how.

    Launch the Mac App Store, click on the Store menu, and then select the View My Account… menu item. Sign in with your iTunes ID and password, and you’ll get the account summary screen. Down near the bottom, just like in iTunes, you’ll now see a Subscriptions area, with the number of subscriptions you have.

    So far, all I’m seeing in my account is the Newsstand subscriptions, but I assume that as other Mac apps build this feature in, we’ll see more and more of them along the way.

    Good progress, of course, and I’m looking forward to seeing how those clever Mac app developers put this new Mavericks feature into practice.


    7-3-13

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    See The Apps That Use The Most Power In Mavericks Beta



    When you’re galavanting about with your MacBook Air or Pro, it’s important to manage you battery power. It just wouldn’t do to show up for an important meeting or interview with a dead battery, let alone not being able to watch a movie on the airplane, now would it?

    Knowing which apps are sucking up the most juice is key to this effort, of course, and OS Mavericks beta makes it severely easy to know which ones are the most power-hungry. That way, you can quit the apps that are using up too much battery in order to leave enough power for the important stuff.

    Here’s how it works.

    All you really need to do to see which apps are using the most power is to click on the little battery icon in the upper right hand corner of your Mac’s screen.

    You’ll now see a new section, labeled “Apps Using Significant Energy,” showing the top energy-using apps that are currently running on your Mac.

    If any of these apps in the list aren’t apps you need right at the moment, quitting them should significantly decrease your Macbook’s power drain, letting you spend just a little bit more time using it for that important presentation or document for your boss. Or even that next game level you’re trying to beat. You know, whatever.


    7-5-13

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