Can Mavericks Multitask?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by marc55, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    I'm a PC user considering the jump to a rMBP, and read in a review that Mavericks does not multitask. I'm not sure what the pure definition of multitasking is, but here's what I call multitasking:

    I sometimes open two MS Word documents, or Word and Excel and work between them; I open two PDF's and compare; I also open two different web sites to compare products, prices, etc.; and lastly I open two folders and move files between them. Can that be done in Mavericks as easily as Windows 7?

    Thank you
  2. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Yes. You can do all of those things. I have no idea why a review would say such a thing. Link?
  3. marc55 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011

    Here's the link:

    Under the Multitasking header:

    Microsoft extends its lead over OS X with 8.1 by allowing users to run up to four apps on the screen at once. You can’t even snap two windows side by side on OS X Mavericks. Just as important, you can now snap two Modern apps side by side and have them both take up half of the screen. Before it head to be a 70/30 percent split. In desktop mode you can still peek at open programs by hovering your cursor over the app icon, something OS X doesn’t do.
    Multitasking on OS X Mavericks hasn’t improved much, which is a shame. Mission Control provides only a dashboard as to what’s open. You can’t close any apps from this view. Why not let users swipe up on an app to close it, as you can on the upcoming iOS 7? For the most part, OS X is best for unitasking because of its ability to run many apps at full screen. However, we like the improved multiple display support, which lets you see the dock and menu bar across screens. Winner: Windows 8.1. An improved Snap function makes Microsoft’s OS the better bet for multitaskers.
  4. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Yes, that is entirely possible. Essentially anything that Windows can do, then OS X can do this as well.

    The only thing that I could see about multitasking and a discussion about it stating it couldn't be done, would be if one were discussing the true merits of actual "true and pure" multitasking, in which then only such things as possibly a newer Cray, with parallel processing paths would qualify as a true multitasking system. In the true merits of multitasking, there are very few (if any) single systems available these days that would perform "true" multitasking (most are networked systems of dedicated computers and controllers). The rest are based upon cycle and time sharing on the processor and the memory. For "true" multitasking to occur there would need to be at a minimum of 2 separate processors and they would each need their own dedicated paths so that each could be addressing a different task concurrently, thus meeting the actual "multitasking" definition. In todays structures, this is not currently possible but the switching of process and thread handling happens so quickly that it appears as multitasking to us, even though in reality it is single cycle processing at a very fast rate.


    Great another uninformed user doing a review on architecture and multitasking when they are only reviewing the ability to display multiple open programs (which is not multitasking). It is these types of reviews that perpetuate the myths surrounding multitasking. With only one processor and one bus line, nothing available to the public these days is a "true" multitask system out of the box, no matter how much someone claims to have revolutionized the process, not Android, Windows, Unix, Linux, nor OS X, they are all single task systems with a time sharing and cycle system on the processor and bus line. Just because they allow side by side or in quad setup display, doesn't mean they are multitasking any better then overlapping windows, of which any OS these days can have several of this setup (intact without AppNap running on OS X, just like with other OS's the open programs in the bcd ground are sharing the processor, so thus they are still running, just not being easily displayed to the user).

    Thanks for coming here to get another perspective, because some really think that what they are doing with those 4 windows is "true" multitasking, but with only singles available (single bus line and single processors), multi is never truly possible.
  5. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    All that was supposed to mean is that OS X doesn't have the "Snap" feature of Windows that automatically resizes the window to fill half the screen. There are third party utilities that will do something similar if that is important to you.
  6. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012

    Mavericks can super multitask.

    I usually have several pdf files opened & switching between them, also Pages opened, also MatLAB open (an Engineering program that requires a lot of memory & power), usually a movie in the background (I like listening), Facebook, Mail, & Calendar opened.

  7. LV426 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2013
    Yes, a very poor article that steers well clear of the facts. Mavericks is very good at multi-tasking. But, to be fair, so is Windows. Both are modern operating systems.

    Something Mavericks introduced as a power-saving feature is that if you have lots of overlapping windows doing stuff, there's no point wasting a lot of CPU power updating the hidden windows - so they are automatically slowed down for you.
  8. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Oh lawdy I hate that "feature". I'm constantly moving a window just a hair too far and, snap! it goes. Argh.

    Actually, I suspect the reviewer was referring to Windows-based tablets vs. iPads, not vs. Macs. Apple does indeed limit what apps can do in the background of iDevices out of courtesy to the battery. it's one reason why iDevices get great battery life. Conversely, it's one reason why you see articles like "Why Does Windows Have Terrible Battery Life?"

    iOS's limited multitasking is not out of any architectural weakness (c'mon, Unix was multitasking back when Bill Gates was in short pants) but a very conscious decision for very deliberate reasons.

    Meanwhile, OS X multitasks brilliantly.
  9. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    As others have said, Mavericks absolutely CAN multi-task. Just earlier today I had VirtualBox running my VM and doing Windows updates in that VM while browsing iPhoto, listening to iTunes and reading the ONLY review of OS X anyone needs to read.
  10. marc55 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
  11. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    ugh. that article is awful.

    so adding a 50/50 snapping option in addition to 70/30 is lauded as revolutionary on the windows side, wherein a complete overhaul of osx's ability to manage multiple monitors each with multiple workspaces comprising of fullscreen and windowed applications (that you can arrange however you see fit) is considered "not improved much." not to even mention the ability to use an hdtv as an additional wireless display!

    i think their windows multitasking example of filling half the screen with a weather app pretty much sums up their lack of comprehension of real-world multitasking.

    long story short, the multi-monitor multitasking improvements alone had me more excited for mavericks than any OS release in the last few years.

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