The update places emphasis on battery life, Finder enhancements, other enhancements for power users, and continued iCloud integration, as well as bringing more of Apple's iOS apps to the OS X platform. Mavericks marks the beginning of a change in the naming scheme of OS X, departing from the use of big cats and moving to names based on places in California. Following the new naming scheme, the current version of the operating system is named Mavericks, after the surfing location in California.
OS X Mavericks was announced by Apple during the company's 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, held on June 10, 2013. iOS 7, a revised MacBook Air, the sixth generation AirPort Extreme, the fifth generation AirPort Time Capsule, and a completely redesigned Mac Pro were also announced during the keynote. During a keynote on October 22, 2013, Apple announced that the official release of 10.9 on the Mac App Store would be available immediately, and that unlike previous versions of OS X (which however, have had progressively decreasing prices since 10.6), 10.9 would be available at no charge to all users running Snow Leopard (10.6) or later.
On October 22, 2013, Apple offered free upgrades for life on its operating system and business software.
OS X Mavericks is compatible with all Macs that are capable of running OS X Mountain Lion; as with Mountain Lion, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of available storage, and OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or later are required.
Quicktime 10 does not support many older video codecs and converts them to the ProRes format when opened. Older video codecs cannot be viewed in Quick Look.
Reception for OS X Mavericks has generally been positive. Mac users welcome the fact that updating to OS X Mavericks is free of charge, and users who purchase the new Macs with pre-loaded versions of OS X Mavericks are able to get Apple's iWork productivity suite for free as well.
One complaint is that Apple removed the "local sync" services which forces users to get iCloud to sync iOS devices with the desktop OS.
Issues specific to OS X Mavericks
During the first few weeks after OS X Mavericks was introduced, a substantial number of Western Digital external hard drive users complained about data losses (and corruption) when they upgraded to OS X Mavericks, especially when the hard drives were used in conjunction with Western Digital's proprietary disk management software. This forced Western Digital to take down a few of its apps such as WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare and issue statements urging its users to delay upgrading to OS X Mavericks and to stop using the Western Digital software for the time being. An upgrade for WD Smartware introduced on 25 November 2013 has supposedly resolved the issue.