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All of the Apple-related focus may have been on the new iPhone models and imminent release of iOS 7 but it seems the OS X engineers are still beavering away in the background. With an expected October release time ticking away for the Mac software team to eradicate any reported bugs and glitches within OS X 10.9 and get it ready for the primetime, the company has taken an additional step to reaching that end-goal with the release of OS X Mavericks Developer Preview 8 which also includes an updated version of iTunes 11.1.

This latest release represents what is essentially an eighth beta of the in-test software and should hopefully focus on improving core functionality. It also represents a chance for the engineering team to directly focus on bugs and issues that have been reported by developers through the company’s bug reporting tool. Any developers currently in the testing process with a previous Developer Preview release of Mavericks should be able to head on over to the Mac App Store right now and update to the latest release through the usual update process.

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As mentioned above, Developer Preview 8 includes an updated version of iTunes 11.1 with improved apps manager. iTunes 11.1 is currently available as Beta on the Dev Center and is likely to be released alongside iOS 7 on September 18th.

iTunes11 (1)

Like iOS 7, there is a great deal of buzz and excitement around the release of OS X Mavericks. Unlike its mobile counterpart it doesn’t represent a major graphical and usability overhaul, but it does contain enough changes and improvements to make it a very appealing update. It was originally rumored that Mavericks would be release alongside a number of new Mac products as part of last Tuesday’s iPhone event. It now seems as though an additional media event will be held towards the back end of October that could feature this release as well as new iPad hardware.

OS X Mavericks is exciting not just because it represents the next-generation of OS X releases, but also because of the improvements that Apple are making with the software. The inclusion of a new and improved tabbed Finder application as well as enhanced dual-screen monitor support is something that users have been crying out for. The new Maps application also looks extremely powerful and as long as it doesn’t fall prey to the same issues that blighted Apple Maps on iOS 6 then it should be well received.

However, users of MacBook Pro and Air machines will undoubtedly be more excited about the advanced power saving features that are being introduced as part of Mavericks. When Apple eventually announces the speculated Intel Haswell powered MacBook Pro hardware it should represent a dramatic improvement in battery life for consumers. Head on over to the Mac App Store now if you are a Mavericks tester.

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