Apple to release OS X 10.9 with new power-user features, take more core features from iOS later this year

“OS X 10.9, which is internally codenamed ‘Cabernet,’ will focus on various ‘power-user’ enhancements and take core features from iOS, according to our sources,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “Unlike operating system updates such as OS X Leopard and OS X Lion, OS X 10.9 will likely not be an overhauled approach to how the operating system feels and functions.”

“The ability to keep a different “Space” or full-screen app open on a different monitor (in multiple monitor setups) is another important power-user feature coming in 10.9,” Gurman reports. “It is unclear if full Siri-support is still in the cards for OS X 10.9 or if the functionality will be glued to future hardware updates (for instance, iPhone 4 versus iPhone 4S).”

Gurman reports, “According to one source, Apple has been testing a new multi-tasking system for OS X that is similar to the quick-app-switcher function on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. The multitasking feature will be functional for applications in the background, according to this person. Additionally, Apple could use app-pausing technologies from iOS to pause background application processes in OS X. This is significant as full performance could be given to foreground apps, which could help optimize battery life on Apple’s notebook computers. ”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

20 Comments

  1. Multitasking “to pause background application processes in OS X” reminds me of pre-emptive multitasking in the early Mac days. Everyone complained that it wasn’t “real” multitasking. I guess its time has come. Or am I all wrong?

    1. I think you confused preemptive multitasking (used in OS X) with cooperative multitasking (used in System 5 through Mac OS 9).

      I lot of people missed the fact that cooperative multitasking had its pros and cons. One definitely pro was that it did mean that an application could take over the system and fully utilize the CPU (without advanced user intervention).

      This worked great for Macs that were being used for dedicated tasks. A lot of people were often confused because the ability for the computer to do other things was entirely dependent on the current application allowing moments of time for the Mac to process other things. A poorly written app could block your Mac from doing anything else. On the other hand, if you had to render something that was going to be extremely time consuming, the process was less likely to be slowed down because you had other apps running at the same time.

      iOS is preemptive multitasking, but it’s “smartly managed”. Apps don’t determine when the CPU can be assigned to other tasks, the OS still allocates this. However, the OS pauses apps in the background that don’t need to be running while allowing other apps to continue to run in the background (like playing music).

      I mentioned that an advanced user could intervene and dedicate the CPU to specific tasks. This can be done today on OS X in a couple of different ways. One simply way is to simply quite every app except for the one you want full resources for. And along those lines, you can go into the Terminal, and using the Nice command allow an app to be more (or less) prioritized. Additionally, a few apps today do have a pause mechanism in place. For example, Parallels has a pause mechanism so you can pause Windows when you aren’t using it right at that moment.

      While quitting and restarting an app today in OS X is supposed to allow you to pickup where you left off, and with enough inactive memory, it should be very fast at resuming, Apple may have found a way to make this a better user experience such that it more closely resembles smartly managed multitasking of iOS.

      1. It could be as simple as Parallels’ (and VirtualBox’s, too) Pause. It could also be a GUI that would let a savvy user ‘renice’ running processes, probably limited to processes that user spawned — that would be an interesting project to write…

  2. I have one of the newest iMacs. It was reported that users could NOT reinstall an OS, a bug discovered following the iMac’s release.

    – Has this been solved yet?

    – WIll the newest iMacs be able to upgrade to a new OS?

  3. Cabernet?…
    If they want to program “Merlot,” we’re working on Merlot. No, if anyone is programming Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT programming any f$%@ing Merlot!

  4. Damn it, I’m planning on buying a new MBP here soon and I DON”T WANT a computer OS with iOS crap or look-and-feel in it.

    As it is, I’ve already found a site the shows how to load 10.6 on newer macs and I plan on doing this when I get my new MBP. 10.6 is the best OSX IMO.

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