Apple’s most recent operating system update, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, has been immensely successful and critically acclaimed. Introduced last summer, Mountain Lion added a plethora of new features. But what can we expect from Mountain Lion’s successor, 10.9? Reports indicated more revolutionary features and closer integration between iOS and OS X. Let’s sort out which rumors are the most relevant and most likely.
Remember: OS X 10.9 news is constantly changing and we’ll be updating this post with new updates, so stay tuned!
1. We May See OS X 10.9 as soon as WWDC 2013
In past WWDC events, which is Apple’s annual developers conference, Apple has introduced major software and product updates. Just last year, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion was unveiled to the public at WWDC 2012. It makes sense for Apple to keep the same pattern of revealing major updates to OS X on a yearly schedule.
2. But It May Be Officially Released A Few Months Later
While we may see the new OS X 10.9 operating system in June at WWDC 2013, the official public release won’t be until a couple months later. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion was introduced in June, but officially released in late July. Developers usually get beta versions of the operating systems so they are able to engineer changes to their applications. The process usually takes a few weeks, so we should be able to actually download and use OS X 10.9 sometime in the summer of 2013.
3. We Have No Idea What OS X 10.9 Will Be Called
There are a bunch of posts on the Internet guessing what OS X 10.9 will be called, though most are hypothesizing that OS X 10.9 may be called “Lynx.” It makes sense, since Apple has named previous incarnations of OS X after jungle cats. It all started with Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah and then moved to Puma (10.1), Jaguar (10.2), Panther (10.3), Tiger (10.4), Leopard (10.5), Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), and, most recently, Mountain Lion (10.8).
4. It’s Already Being Tested
According to analytics charts from Apple Insider, there have been an increasing amount of computers that look like they’re running a version of OS X 10.9. If a summer release date for OS X 10.9 is to be believed, it makes sense for Apple to start using and testing a rudimentary version of 10.9 internally, to work out the kinks and find problems and bugs before it’s released to the public.
5. It May Have Siri
According to initial reports, Siri will be heavily featured on the new OS X 10.9. It makes sense, since Siri was such an important feature in the iPhone 4S and was heavily marketed by Apple. Siri has even gotten its own commercials, starring celebrities like Zooey Deschanel, Samuel L. Jackson, and Martin Scorsese. In addition, the Speech & Dictation feature introduced in Mountain Lion is essentially a basic version of Siri. Its clear that Mac computers are capable of understanding and comprehending speech, so the next logical step is adding Siri-like features to that ability.
6. It May Have Apple Maps
It’s less exciting than Siri, but Apple Maps on Mac OS X 10.9 makes sense. Apple Maps has caught a lot of backlash in the media for being ineffective, but Apple will sure to be improve the app for iOS 7 and Mac OS X, if it comes to our desktops. Apple has been hiring a lot of developers and engineers to work on the app, and it seems like some of them may be working on prepping Apple Maps for Mac OS X 10.9.
7. Expect Closer Integration With iOS
Like Mountain Lion, we can expect a closer integration between iOS and OS X once 10.9 is released. Mountain Lion introduced some key iOS features, like iCloud, iMessage, and the Notification Center. What exactly do we mean by closer integration? Well, we may see some new features that make it easier to transport information between your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and your Mac computer. iCloud handles a lot, but there’s the potential to do a lot more, like adding a file manager. Tim Cook has spoken extensively about the rumors of merging iOS and OS X. “We don’t subscribe to the vision that the OS for iPhones and iPads should be the same as Mac,” Cook told BusinessWeek. “As you know, iOS and Mac OS are built on the same base … Customers want iOS and Mac OS X to work together seamlessly, not to be the same, but to work together seamlessly.”
8. Expect More Changes to Existing Software
iTunes received a major overhaul a few months ago when Apple unveiled iTunes 11. Not only was it easier to use, but it was cleaner and aesthetically please. With Jony Ive in charge of software development, we may see similar changes to existing software. Apps like Calendar and Mail could certainly use a refresh; they’ve gone stale since they were introduced in past versions of OS X. With Ive’s touch, some key software apps could be refreshed in OS X 10.9.
9. It Probably Won’t Work On Older Mac Computers
Mountain Lion works on a plethora of Apple computers, but Mac OS X 10.9 probably won’t be as accommodating. The upcoming update could alienate some popular Mac computers, like the older white MacBooks. As the Mac operating system becomes more and more powerful, the internal chips in older computers — like the processors and graphics cards — won’t be able to handle the new operating system. So, if you own an older Macbook, you may need to upgrade before you can use Mac OS X 10.9.
10. We May See A New Spotify-Like Streaming Service
Apple has been reportedly working on a Spotify-like music streaming service, in addition to iTunes, which has become one of the most popular ways to download music (legally). A Spotify-like service seems kind of redundant, since Pandora and Spotify both work excellently, and that both Google and Amazon are apparently working on similar services as well. But, if Apple is indeed working on the aforementioned service, then OS X 10.9 would be a great time to unveil it.