Apple's new OS X 'Mavericks' available today, free

Apple's new OS X, Mavericks, is available for download now, for free.
Apple's new OS X, Mavericks, is available for download now, for free.

The newest desktop operating system from Apple, OS X 10.9 or "Mavericks," will be available to download Tuesday — for free. 

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president for software engineering, announced the details at an Apple special event on Tuesday

Craig Federighi shows off the new Maps app in the Mavericks Mac OS at an Apple event on Tuesday.

Apple first showed off "Mavericks," its latest version of OS X (and the first to be named after a killer waverather than a killer cat) at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The OS has a few new security and power-saving and energy efficiency features, but the big change is how the system blends the edges between the iOS and OS X experience, porting in apps like Maps and iBooks. 

Apple says there are 200 new features crammed into this update. Here are a few you can look forward to: 

  • Maps:Directions, searches, restaurant and attractions reviews and phone numbers, and more can be accessed on your desktop, in the regular maps view, or a 3D "Flyover" view. When you're done, you can sync your search with the Maps iOS app on your mobile device. 
  • Notifications: Mountain Lion introduced notifications for Tweets, Facebook, iMessages, Calendar Alerts and more. In Mavericks, you can reply to emails, answer FaceTime calls, and more without moving away from the app you're using. In addition to messages and social networks, new posts from websites you follow will also appear as notifications. 
  • Power efficiency: Apple promises a more efficiently running CPU and a longer battery life, after reorganizing the way apps run and inactive memory is saved and compressed. "On a 13" Macbook you'll get an hour longer web browsing on a single charge," Federighi said on Tuesday. 
  • iCloud keychains: All your app, website, and Wifi passwords are saved and synced across devices. Apple says it's got your info encrypted while it's stored in one device and pushed to others.
  • Tags and Tabs: The hyper-organized among us can rejoice: Documents and files can be flagged with tags that appear in the Finder sidebar. Tags sync with iCloud too. Multiple Finder windows can now be opened as tabs inside a single one. 
  • Safari: The Web browser now shows you links that your friends have shared on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. The Reader view has also been brushed up. 
  • iBooks: Textbooks and books that you could see on your iPhone can now be synced and viewed on your Mac. 

Nidhi Subbaraman writes about technology and science. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+