OS X Mavericks tips and tricks you need to learn

OS X Mavericks

Whereas Apple used to be all about OS X, the success of the iPhone and iPad means that we now live in an iOS world. That's not to say that Apple isn't making interesting moves on the OS X front. On the contrary, OS X Mavericks launched just a few weeks ago, and in an effort to ensure widespread adoption, Mavericks is the first iteration of OS X that's completely free.

There are a lot of cool new features in OS X Mavericks, so here's a rundown of some of the more interesting features and cool tips that you may not yet be aware of.

OS X Mavericks
Send navigation directions directly to iOS

Now that OS X has its own dedicated Maps app, Apple has made it easy for users to look up directions on their desktop and magically send them right to their iOS device. To do so, simply go to the File menu, select Share and then select "Send to Device." Of course, users are also given options to send directions via Email, Messages, AirDrop, Twitter, and Facebook.

OS X Mavericks
Find out which apps are draining your battery

A great new feature in Mavericks is that you can find out if any apps in particular are exacting a heavy toll on your battery life. If you go to the battery icon in the menu bar, you'll see that Mavericks now informs you which apps are currently using a significant amount of processing power.

Note that if you click on an app, you’ll be whisked away to the Activity Monitor utility, where you can get even more information about the application’s CPU usage.

OS X Mavericks
New Finder Tabs

This feature got a lot of cheers when it was first introduced at WWDC this past summer. As the name implies, Mavericks finally adds support for tabs in the Finder. This makes perusing through various folders from within a single Finder window extremely easy and, more importantly, convenient.

You can easily launch a new tab in a Finder window by pressing Command + T. Another cool tip is that you can select a file in one Finder tab and drag and drop it into another. So long, cluttered desktop.

OS X Mavericks
Use Safari to view links from people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn

With OS X Mavericks, Apple continues its trend of increasing social networking integration. In the latest version of Safari in Mavericks, there is now a sidebar view capable of displaying all of the links from a user’s Twitter and/or LinkedIn stream. To bring up Shared Links, tap the Bookmark icon in the upper left portion of Safari and a three-column Bookmark view will emerge. Shared Links is located all the way on the right.

Before accessing this feature, you must go to System Preferences > Accounts where you can enable both of the aforementioned social media accounts.

OS X Mavericks
Retweet Shared Links

Once you've got shared links up and running, retweeting articles to your own followers is a breeze. Simply click the Retweet button located at the top of the webpage and you’re good to go.

OS X Mavericks
Automatically install app updates

Borrowing a page from iOS 7's playbook, OS X Mavericks now gives users the ability to have their apps update automatically in the background. To make sure this setting is toggled on, simply go to your System Preferences > App Store. Note that enabling this setting will also ensure that security
updates are also downloaded to your machine automatically.

OS X Mavericks
Enhanced Dictation

With Enhanced Dictation in OS X Mavericks, you can now dictate on your machine even when you’re not connected to the Internet. To enable this functionality, go to System Preferences > Dictation & Speech. Note that to take advantage of this feature, you will have to download an approximately 490MB file to get started.

Once enabled, you can begin dictation from within an app by going to a text field and then going to Edit > Start Dictation.

OS X Mavericks
Viewing Facebook Events in Calendar

This is a handy feature if you're a heavy Facebook user. In order to have your Facebook events show up in your Calendar app, simply enable Facebook integration by either adding your Facebook account in System Preferences or going to your Account preferences from within the Calendar app via Calendar > Preferences > Accounts.

OS X Mavericks
Respond to notifications without leaving your current app

Notifications in OS X Mavericks are more powerful than ever. You can now respond to notifications without even having to leave the app you’re currently in. You can respond to emails, iMessages and even FaceTime calls, all while keeping an eye on your main task at hand.

OS X Mavericks
Push notifications from websites

OS X Mavericks now lets users decide if they’d like to receive push notifications from websites they like visiting. If you happen upon a website that supports such functionality (as it stands now, not many websites support this), a dialogue box will appear asking if you’d like to allow push notifications from the website to be sent to your machine. If you click “allow,” you are good to go.

This is a convenient way to stay on top of items like breaking news and sports scores without having to refresh on a continual basis. Even cooler, notifications will appear on your machine even if Safari isn’t running.

OS X Mavericks
While you were away

One final notification feature to be aware of - OS X Mavericks now lets you view any missed notifications (i.e messages, emails) directly from the lock screen.

OS X Mavericks
Access flyover effect in OS X Maps

Accessing the cool and stunning flyover feature in the Maps app in Mavericks is pretty simple. If you’re looking at a map location that has flyover data, simply press Command + 0 and you’ll be greeted with a spectacular view. You can also access flyover imagery by tapping the Flyover icon in the toolbar.

OS X Mavericks
Enable text-substitute shortcuts

Borrowing yet another feature from iOS, Mavericks now supports text-substitution shortcuts. For example, you can configure your system so that anytime you type "teh", it will replace it with "the". You can also create your own custom substitutions, such as "OMW" for "On my way," or whatever else you can think of.

You can enable this feature by going to System Preferences and then going to the Keyboard utility. Once there, go to “Text”. Next, hit “Add” whereupon you’ll be prompted to type in the text to be replaced along with its replacement. You can also customize which apps will incorporate your text substitution changes.

OS X Mavericks
Quickly access Safari sidebar

Earlier, we mentioned how you can access the Safari sidebar by clicking on the Bookmark link. You can also access the sidebar by pressing Command + L.

OS X Mavericks
Re-arrange how websites in Top Sites appear in Safari

For the first time, OS X Mavericks lets users adjust the layout of how websites are listed in Top Sites. In order to move sites around, simply drag and drop individual windows around to your heart’s content.

OS X Mavericks
View traffic in OS X Maps

Once you have directions pulled up on your Maps app, viewing real-time traffic conditions is just as easy as clicking on the View menu and selecting "Show Traffic." You'll now be able to see how traffic is flowing, view traffic alerts, and even zoom in on road signs.

Note that you can click on roadwork and accident icons to glean more information about road conditions.

OS X Mavericks
Navigate between different Maps views with the keyboard

You can easily navigate between the three Map views (Standard, Hybrid and Satellite) simply by pressing Command + 1, Command + 2, and Command + 3, respectively. Note that traffic data is not visible when in Satellite view.

OS X Mavericks
iBook integration

With OS X Mavericks, Apple has finally brought iBooks to the Mac. If you have an iCloud account, you can enjoy seamless iBooks integration across your Mac and iOS devices. When you take notes or read a few chapters in an iBook title on your Mac, for example, those changes will be pushed to iBooks on your iOS device. iBooks in Mavericks also lets you view two iBook titles together at the same time.

OS X Mavericks
Configure which external monitor displays the menu bar

Multiple displays in Mavericks are handled so much better than they've ever been before. One cool feature is that you can now configure which monitor displays the OS X menu bar. To do so, simply head over to System Preferences, click on Displays, and then on Arrangement. Note that you can also configure the menu bar to appear on all external monitors.

OS X Mavericks
Installing app updates "later"

One of the more convenient new features in Mavericks is that you can now schedule apps to update at your convenience. From within the Mac App Store app, you'll find a drop-down menu from the "Updates" button which appears at the top of the screen. From there, you can select if you'd like your apps to update "now," "in an hour," or later at night. You even have the option to have Mavericks remind you to update your apps at a later date.