Jumping into Mavericks? Not so fast!
Apple has made upgrading to the new OSX so simple and now free (Yeah!) that the distinction between a minor app upgrade and a complete OS upgrade is blurred to the point that many people aren't realizing what they are getting into until they've pulled the trigger. For some, no big deal, a few new features, a few annoying bugs. Others have called saying the installation didn't complete and access to their Mac is gone and they didn't have a backup to roll back to!
Is it right for you? Consider these points.
- Is your Mac "Mission Critical?" If this is your only Mac, and you need to be productive, hold off on upgrading, at least until we are on version 10.9.1, if not .2 or .3.
- What are the features you need/want? Remember how Snow Leopard wasn't much of an outward change, but nearly every little piece of the OS received attention and got little improvements that made everything easier? Alas, Mavericks isn't one of those upgrades. So far it feels like its about paving the way for apps to communicate better between OSX and iOS. Here's the scary story there: The OSX apps have been dumbed down to achieve feature parity between the iOS and web app versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Hold off on upgrading those too!
- Do you have a complete, up to date backup? Don't attempt this upgrade without plenty of time and a way to start over if necessary.
- Are your apps ready? Go to roaringapps.com to check if your apps are compatible with Mavericks.
- Run Software Update and accept everything before starting. Be sure all the apps and supporting parts are ready before your install. This is especially important if you are upgrading from Lion or Snow Leopard or, (yes you can!), Leopard.
- Have enough time. Leave yourself time for:
- Download (it took me about 4 hours, YMMV)
- Install (about 1 hour - don't believe the time remaining - the "less than one minute remaining" alone took about 10.) Once rebooted, there was another install progress bar before I got to the welcome screen.
- Upgrades many of your apps will need newer versions, iPhoto, Aperture, and Mail (at least) need to upgrade your libraries before they can launch for the first time.
- Check everything make sure all the apps you rely on still work.
- Go back if necessary. Should something important not work, or should some error in install cause things to go horribly awry, you'll need time to roll back to your backup. You made a complete backup before you started, remember?