Undoubtedly, both of Apple's latest and greatest operating systems have their positives and negatives. Mavericks seems like more of the same; iOS 7 is new and shiny. As most reviewers have pointed out, you would be hard pressed to find differences between Mavericks and Mountain Lion at-a-glance. In fact, after installation Mavericks left me asking what the hell my Mac had been doing for the past couple hours. There was simply no shock and awe visually speaking, or any real feeling of anything new or substantially new.
This is the polar opposite of the feeling elicited after installing iOS 7. Though many things are fundamentally the same, the visual differences are striking between iOS 7 and iOS 6 once you get past the familiar grid layout. Proportionally, based on types of user interaction with the OS, more functionality has changed in iOS 7 from its predecessor as well.
So why do I hands-down prefer Mavericks to iOS 7 as an upgrade?
Well, "change" for changes sake makes no sense to me. My preference for Mavericks is probably due in large part to the fact that Apple mostly built Mavericks without too much outside influence from the few people on the Internet with a bullhorn. OS X.9 carries more refinement, it is more efficient, very smooth and stable, and it is noticeably faster. I cannot say these things about iOS 7 (currently installed on my iPad 3 and iPhone 5). With iOS Apple seemed to listen much more to the cacophony of the Internet, only deciphering the word "change" from tech journalists and unappeasable fan boys alike, who mostly only ever want the next new thing. These people would trade a solid companion, for whoever the world claims is that years "most-beautiful-person," who is usually not so beautiful as they are popular at the moment.
Sure, one can argue that Apple listened to the uproar over supposedly too much skeuomorphism, which was likely blown out of proportion by reviewers and geeks. However, its all but settled that a battle had been brewing over skeuomorphism within Apple long before it snowballed on the Internet.
Speaking of skeuomorphism if there was ever a time I wondered why Apple could not give the user the option this was it. So many people love the level of abstraction provided by digital shredders and a music player that looks like an old recorder in this increasingly digitized world. Also lets remember, that many of the gentlemen folk complaining about skeuomorphism wear the skinniest-of-jeans and so do not understand the ways of a loose-panted-man. Most people believe it or not are loose-panted. Most people love icing. Skeuomorphism has always been icing on the graphical user interface. My parents and many non-geeks love so-called skeuomorphism; they do not yearn for all layers to be removed and to simply be one with the dead-flat-content on their tablet screen. Where as I want to turn of all animations, they love the folder bounce when an app opens, and the leather on their calendar.
Mostly Mavericks is Apple’s idea and the positives of that idea come shining through over time.
Johnny Ive is a brilliant designer, but I somewhat miss Scott Forstall and his whizbang interfaces. I wonder if he is laughing hysterically or in the fetal position crying. I can’t help but think iOS 7 may have been a bit more polished on its initial release if Forstall was at its helm, especially for iPad. It is still a great OS (even more so after 7.0.3), and I am not convinced that Android is better for me or for most consumers. For example, check out Paul Stamatiou ‘reasons’ why he switched to Android. Sounds like he switched because he works at Twitter, unlike most people. As Paul relays, its a lot about a bigger screen. While Android does some things better than iOS, it’s just not better over all at its core, no more than Windows is better at its core that OS X.
I usually get the thing where someone qualified to do so, took a little longer at the design table before laying it on me in all its reality. I typically don't get anything simply because it is different. Adhering to this tenet, if I had to pay for Mavericks or iOS 7, I would get Mavericks in a heartbeat, a far superior upgrade when compared to iOS 7 relative to its respective predecessor.