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OS X Mavericks vs. OS X Yosemite: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 18, 2023
OS X Mavericks is the 10th major release of macOS, focusing on battery life and responsiveness. OS X Yosemite, the 11th release, introduced a redesigned interface and enhanced integration with iOS.

Key Differences

OS X Mavericks, Apple's 10th major update to its operating system, was introduced with a strong emphasis on improving battery life and increasing overall system efficiency. On the other hand, OS X Yosemite, the successor to Mavericks, was unveiled with a brand new look, taking design cues from Apple's iOS 7.
Mavericks brought features like Compressed Memory, which improved system responsiveness. OS X Yosemite, conversely, was known for its introduction of the "Continuity" feature, allowing seamless transition of tasks between Mac and iOS devices.
When it came to aesthetics, OS X Mavericks retained a similar look to its predecessors, with skeuomorphic design elements that mimicked real-world materials. OS X Yosemite marked a departure from this approach, adopting a flat, modern design with translucent elements.
Under the hood, Mavericks introduced improvements like Timer Coalescing for better power usage. OS X Yosemite wasn’t just about aesthetics; it also improved system performance and introduced the Handoff feature, which let users start a task on one Apple device and continue it on another.
Both OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite represent crucial stages in macOS’s evolution, with Mavericks emphasizing performance and efficiency, while Yosemite focused on design overhaul and greater iOS-Mac integration.

Comparison Chart

Design Philosophy

Skeuomorphic, resembling real-world materials
Flat, modern design with translucent elements

Major Features

Compressed Memory, Timer Coalescing
Continuity, Handoff, improved Spotlight search

Integration with iOS

Enhanced with Handoff, AirDrop between Mac and iOS

System Focus

Improving battery life and efficiency
User interface overhaul and Mac-iOS integration

Release Order

10th major release of macOS
11th major release of macOS

OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite Definitions

OS X Mavericks

An update emphasizing battery life and system efficiency.
Apple’s goal with OS X Mavericks was to boost the overall system efficiency.

OS X Yosemite

Brought features like Continuity and Handoff.
OS X Yosemite’s Handoff feature allowed users to seamlessly switch tasks between devices.

OS X Mavericks

Released in 2013 as a successor to OS X Mountain Lion.
OS X Mavericks followed OS X Mountain Lion, bringing with it many under-the-hood improvements.

OS X Yosemite

MacOS version that enhanced Mac and iOS device integration.
With OS X Yosemite, users could answer iPhone calls directly from their Mac.

OS X Mavericks

Known for its enhanced dual-display support and improved Finder.
Multitasking became easier in OS X Mavericks due to its advanced dual-display support.

OS X Yosemite

The 11th major release of Apple's macOS operating system.
OS X Yosemite was praised for its fresh and modern user interface.

OS X Mavericks

MacOS version with features like Compressed Memory.
OS X Mavericks introduced Compressed Memory, enhancing system responsiveness.

OS X Yosemite

Introduced in 2014 with a redesigned interface resembling iOS.
The design of OS X Yosemite was heavily influenced by the aesthetics of iOS 7.

OS X Mavericks

The 10th major release of Apple's macOS operating system.
After updating to OS X Mavericks, users noticed significant improvements in battery life.

OS X Yosemite

Known for its modern design with translucent visual elements.
The translucent menu bar in OS X Yosemite gave a more contemporary look to the desktop.


What is OS X Mavericks?

OS X Mavericks is the 10th major release of Apple's macOS operating system, focused on efficiency and battery life.

What was the most notable design change in OS X Yosemite?

OS X Yosemite adopted a flat, modern design with translucent elements, influenced by iOS 7's aesthetics.

What’s a major feature Mavericks introduced for better performance?

Mavericks introduced Compressed Memory, which greatly improved system responsiveness.

Was Finder improved in OS X Mavericks?

Yes, OS X Mavericks introduced tabs and tags to Finder, enhancing file management.

Did OS X Mavericks introduce any new design changes?

OS X Mavericks retained a skeuomorphic design similar to its predecessors, emphasizing real-world materials.

How did OS X Yosemite improve the integration between Mac and iOS?

Yosemite introduced features like Continuity and Handoff, allowing seamless task transitions between Mac and iOS devices.

Which macOS came first, OS X Mavericks or OS X Yosemite?

OS X Mavericks came before OS X Yosemite.

Did OS X Yosemite have any features to enhance search?

Yes, OS X Yosemite introduced an improved Spotlight search with a redesigned interface and richer results.

When was OS X Yosemite introduced?

OS X Yosemite was introduced in 2014 as the 11th major release of macOS.

What was the focus of OS X Mavericks regarding battery life?

Mavericks emphasized power efficiency, with features like Timer Coalescing to improve battery life.

How did OS X Yosemite enhance the Notification Center?

OS X Yosemite added a "Today" view to the Notification Center, showing widgets and information at a glance.

What was the goal of Apple with the release of OS X Mavericks?

With OS X Mavericks, Apple aimed to enhance system efficiency and extend battery life for users.

How did OS X Yosemite change the look of the Dock and icons?

OS X Yosemite featured a flatter design for the Dock and app icons, aligning them with the design of iOS.

How did OS X Yosemite change the way users could answer calls?

With OS X Yosemite, users could answer and make iPhone calls directly from their Mac.

Did OS X Yosemite offer any improvements in terms of cloud storage?

Yes, OS X Yosemite introduced iCloud Drive, allowing users to store and access files in the cloud more seamlessly.

In which year was OS X Mavericks released?

OS X Mavericks was released in 2013.

What's the significance of the name "Yosemite" for the macOS release?

"Yosemite" refers to Yosemite National Park in California, continuing Apple’s trend of naming macOS versions after California landmarks.

Did OS X Mavericks improve multi-display support?

Yes, OS X Mavericks enhanced dual-display support for better multitasking.

What did OS X Yosemite introduce in terms of aesthetics?

OS X Yosemite brought a modern, flat design with translucent elements and a cleaner look.

Were there any changes to the Safari browser in OS X Mavericks?

Yes, OS X Mavericks introduced a streamlined Safari design and improved performance.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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