June 10, 2013 at 1:28 PM ET
Apple ran out of cats, but not improvements for its OS X operating system; the company, after years of naming new versions for cats — Mountain Lion, Tiger, Panther among them — is calling its next iteration "Mavericks" and bringing with it the ability to improve a Mac's response time, and adding tags, finder tabs and other features.
The changes were shared Monday by the company at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, joked onstage about how the company had run out of cat names, and decided to turn to "our backyard," California, where Apple is based, for its next round of names. Mavericks, he said, seemed the perfect choice for the new version, Mac OS X 10.9.
It will be available this fall. Among the changes it brings:
_ Better power usage on a Mac, so that CPU activity is reduced by up to 72 percent, which should be able to improve overall response time, Federighi said.
_ Apple Maps is being added, with the ability to send directions from your Mac to your iPhone for voice navigation on the road.
_Improvements to Safari, Apple's Web browser, which has lagged behind others like Google's Chrome and even Microsoft's Internet Explorer when it comes to changes. The new version of Safari is also due to be faster and have a Bookmarks sidebar that includes Twitter and LinkedIn integration.
_ Users will get instant access to their iBooks library, so they can read on their Macs, making notes or highlights, then pick that right up on their iPads.
_ The ability to use tags, which can update in real time as soon as they're added to files or documents.
_ The addition of Finder tabs so you can work in the Finder with mutiple windows, drawing all the windows together in tabs.
It has been almost a year since Apple introduced Mountain Lion, its last major upgrade — and cat name — to OS X.