What reviewers are saying about Apple’s evolutionary OS X Mavericks

The latest version of Apple’s (s AAPL) desktop OS, Mavericks, is still in beta. That tag implies it is still very much a work in progress. But Apple is apparently confident enough in it now that it’s been allowing some reviewers to post their initial impressions of the still-in-progress software before it’s technically ready for public consumption — that would be some time this fall. These reviews have been dribbling out this week. Overall, they’re positive. But if there’s a theme, it’s that these are small ticks forward, not a big leap. Here’s a taste of what they have been saying:

  • CNET said OS X Mavericks is “a Mac OS that remains familiar to its users, gives apps a cleaner look, fixes old bugs, and improves core technologies for power efficiency and responsiveness.”
  • MacWorld closely examines the new multiple-display feature of Mavericks. “What Mavericks will provide is more or less exactly what a multiple-monitor user like me was pining for: Two screens that act independently, each with its own spaces and its own full-screen mode,” Jason Snell wrote. He’s also done a separate hands-on review of the new Finder Tabs and tagging.
  • The Loop explained what it’s like to use most of the same features Apple introduced at WWDC, and is very complimentary. The one quibble is with the redesign of the productivity apps: “I find Calendar and Address Book a bit too stark for my tastes. It’s like loading a Web site without the CSS—it seems like there was too much taken away.”
  • Engadget has the most thorough run-through of all the main new features and is pleased with the additions Apple has added in the last year. However: “there’s nothing that’s likely to lure in anyone who hasn’t already made the jump from Windows,” Brian Heater said. Still, he said that are “certainly enough additions in here to make upgrading a no-brainer for Mac users when the final version hits in the fall.”

If you’re interested in the nitty gritty of Mavericks, be sure to check out our post on the smaller, subtler changes Apple made to OS X 10.9.