OS X Mavericks is available as a free download

Apple surprised everyone when they announced that OS X Mavericks would be released for free to Mac users, and that download is now available from the Mac App Store.

Don’t forget to prepare your Mac for the Mavericks update, but if you’re impatient, at the very least you need to start a Time Machine backup manually before installing the OS X 10.9 update. This insures that your important documents and data will be backed up in the unusual event that something goes wrong during the updating and installation process.

When you’re ready and you have at least 8GB of hard disk space available, you can grab the download right from the App Store:

Users can update compatible Macs directly from OS X Lion, OS X Mountain Lion, and even OS X Snow Leopard.

The download itself weighs in around 5.3GB and arrives as a self-installer app in your /Applications/ directory. If you intend on installing Mavericks on other Macs without having to re-download it on each machine, you will want to copy that installer outside of /Applications/ before attempting the installation, otherwise the self-installer will remove itself upon completion.

OS X Mavericks Creating a bootable install drive for Mavericks is an option as well for any USB drive that is over 8GB in space, but again you will want to start that process before completing the install on the Mac it was downloaded to.

OS X Mavericks has over 200 features and improvements, ranging from revised power management and memory efficiency, to Finder tabs, Maps, iBooks, Finder tagging, iCloud Keychain, improved multi-monitor support, and much more.

Separately from the Mac, mobile users can also now get the iOS 7.0.3 update on their compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Users who are interested in using the iCloud Keychain feature will need to have 7.0.3 (or later) installed on their devices to do so.

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