Here you have a little short history of OS X and the different releases during the years. This is a brief history where you learn about the major milestones with every release.
Mac OS X Public Beta
Released September 13, 2000. This version allowed people to get a preview of the next big operating system from Apple. Also at the same time developers could start developing applications before it was released as a final version.
Mac OS X 10.0 – Cheetah
Released March 24, 2001. This was the first big release of Apple¥s operating system. A big change compared to the older classic operating system. This version got some criticism due to missing features and issues regarding performance. Still it was given good reviews when taking into account that this was a completely new operating system.
Mac OS X 10.1 – Puma
Released September 25, 2001. The second major release of Mac OS X featuring some improvements like performance enhancements. DVD playback support, better OpenGL performance and many other fixes. This version also got some criticism because of lacking features and bugs.
Mac OS X 10.2 – Jaguar
Released 23 August, 2002. The third major release of Mac OS X where it got some good reviews re- garding better stability and speed. But not everything was fine, some still experienced issues with the user interface being slow and a pain to work with. This version also introduced iChat. Adaptive spam filter in Mail.app amongst many other new features and fixes.
Mac OS X 10.3 – Panther
Released October 24, 2003. Fourth major release of Mac OS X featuring new applications like iChat AV. Now you can use iChat with audio and video conferencing. Panther also introduced the new web browser Safari. And not to forget: Expose. There was also some improvements to Xcode providing faster compile times, increased PDF rendering with Preview to name a few of the 150+ new features.
Mac OS X 10.4 – Tiger
Released 29 April, 2005. This was the fifth major release of Mac OS X where it introduced many new features like Spotlight, a system you can use to search for files fast. Dashboard providing you with mini- applications called widgets. Automator to help you create workflows that does repetitive tasks automatically. Many other features and improvements. According to Apple Tiger was the most successful operating system in the history of Mac OS X.
Mac OS X 10.5 – Leopard
Released 26 October 2007. The sixth major release of Mac OS X providing even more features, fixes and improvements. For example Boot Camp, a software that will assist you in installing other operating systems on your Mac. Easy and automatic backup system with Time Machine. Spaces, where you can create virtual desktops. Quick Look that makes you able to preview a document without having to open it. This was justa a tiny bit of some of the new features in Mac OS X Leopard.
Mac OS X 10.6 – Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard was announced on WWDC June 9, 2008. This version mostly focus on improving per- formance, and reducing the size while maintaining and increasing the performance. There are some new interesting features like Open CL where developers can take advantage of dual core CPUs and GPUs. Being able to code applications to take advantage of the Graphics Processing Units without actually having to code a graphical application. Grand Central Dispatch is also one of the new nice features. Making it easier for developers to make their applications take full advantage of multi-core CPUs.
Mac OS X 10.7 – Lion
Lion was released July 20 2011, first time the OS is mainly distributed via the Internet. This release borrow a few ideas and some design from iOS. It is now possible to use applications in full screen mode. Launchpad is something they borrowed from the iPad. It is an interface for all of your apps. Mission Control is a new kind of exposÈ. The mail application is redesigned and lets you work in full screen mode. There is no longer a specific server version. You just buy the server app for $49.99 and you get all server features.
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion was released on July 25 2012, one year after the previous version. As the one before this version is also distributed via App Store. Getting more features from iOS like iMessages replacing the iChat client. Airplay mirroring that enables you to mirror your comuter screen to an Apple TV. Gatekeeper giving a new layer of security just to name a few of the new features.
The ”Mac” is removed from the operating system naming scheme. It is called OS X now.
OS X 10.9 Mavericks
“Mavericks” is a new naming scheme for the OS X version released in 2013. Apple did run out of cats eventually and they had to change the name.
This release introduces tabs in the finder. Something a lot of people was waiting for. Many new energy saving features.
Tagging of files, making them easy to find no matter where they are stored. New calendar, syncing passwords with iCloud and many other new features.