I was in OS upgrade/update hell. Okay, maybe not hell, but hell adjacent.
I am of course referring to the latest Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks. The actual download was not so bad, if you don’t mind waiting for a 5.3 GB download that is, but the related app updates afterward got to be a little tedious and time-consuming. Especially when you get one that you’ve already done showing up again like the persistent iMovie 10.0 update. I’ve already installed the latest version, but for some reason the App Store wants me to install it again since it seems to be showing up with a different date even though the release number is the same. sigh. All in all, if you are doing the update, make sure you set aside a large block of time and LOTS of bandwidth/data. Maybe find someone with unlimited data from their ISP.
Speaking of updates, I lost track of the number of them and the size, but suffice to say the first time I connected my Time Machine backup to the updated MBA running Mavericks, there were over 65 GB of changes to be backed up. Thanks to a rather speedy Thunderbolt drive, it only took a couple of hours.
There were a few strange glitches after the Mavericks install. The first time I connected my iPad and synced it, the “finishing sync” lasted for an hour before I gave up and ejected it. Thankfully no harm done. Another was the mail app that didn’t want to fetch new mail, even though it was set to “automatically” retrieve it seems to be on it’s own schedule. I changed it to “every minute” and its working fine now.
I haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but the install went smooth for me (it’s always a crapshoot on a x.0 release so you may want to wait for the x.1) and speed seems to be good for opening programs. I’ve noticed that my fan on my MBA is not running as often, which makes me think they’ve done some nice behind the scenes work on power usage. To that end, in the battery indicator located in the menu bar, the “No apps using significant energy” is kinda cool. I’ll have to try to bring my little laptop to its knees with some graphic and memory intense apps and see what that readout changes to.
If you were already running the last version of OS X you may not notice a lot of changes on the surface, aside from some new icons for a few apps. Seems most of the big changes are behind the scenes. Maybe they are running low on major changes to the operating system, after all its been a decade now since OS X debuted.
Speaking of changes, I have to say, bringing the Maps App from iOS to the OS X version has made it much nicer to find and adjust your route on a larger screen and then have it automatically appear in your recent’s on the iPhone and iPad. Sweet. Also a welcome change was moving iBooks out of iTunes to become its own app and allowing it to be synced across all devices. Sometimes I like to read on my Mac, not just my iPad or iPhone, so for me it is a good thing. Depending upon your setup, you may not be as excited, but picking up where i left of on any device makes reading more accessible.
One thing that hit the news after the update was the fact people were seeing the latest iWork apps for free on some computers. Turns out if you had a trial version of certain Apple software on your Mac, the trial allowed you to update to the full version after installing Mavericks. I read a little about the issue and wondered if it still worked after the install was already done. As a proof of concept – you know, purely for scientific reasons – I tracked down an installer for the trial version of iWork ’09. It is still out there on a number of mirror sites if you hurry.
I installed the trial from the nearly half GB dmg file, and as soon as I opened Pages on my Mac I was greeted with the window telling me there was an update and asking if i’d like to install it. No “purchase now” tab, just “update” in the App Store. To ensure it worked, I of course installed it and yes, in fact, it is a full-blown version of Pages. Same thing happened with Numbers and Keynote.
As was reported from an Apple source on MacTrast’s website… “Rather than maintain separate updates for these in addition to the Mac App Store versions of each app, Apple has decided to eliminate their legacy software update system for apps entirely. Instead, when Mavericks discovers legacy apps installed on your Mac, it provisions them as a Mac App Store purchase using your Apple ID. It saves us a lot of time, effort, and bandwidth. After the provision is complete, it will appear in your Mac App Store history as though you have purchased the Mac App Store version of the app.”
Apple knows about the “glitch” and seems to be fine with it, figuring most people are honest and won’t abuse it. They are probably also hoping that not many sites will continue to host the iWork ’09 Trial, but I personally expect a resurgence in the popularity of that particular download.
There will always be small problems with any major update to an OS and if you are using your Mac for business you may want to wait a week or so until the 10.9.1 update comes out, but I for one am happy so far, especially with having a few new free iWork apps to play with. You know just to ensure they work.