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Having been announced all the way back at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, OS X Mavericks — Apple’s first break from the series of "big cat" releases of the desktop operating system — is now ready for public consumption. Available as a free download to those starting from OS X Snow Leopard all the way to Mountain Lion, it brings quite a few changes from last year’s release of OS X Mountain Lion, and if you’ve been waiting for the update following last month’s release of iOS 7, you can now go ahead and get started with Mavericks.

Apple has, over the past couple of years, switched to annual updates of OS X, and rather than coming through with drawn-out, significant changes, has instead sought to maintain the flow by keeping alterations subtle and productive. Mountain Lion was perhaps a more significant update in that it brought a handful of iOS-like features to the fore with iMessage, Game Center, Reminders and the Notification Center, but there are still plenty of goodies to be enjoyed with Mavericks.

OS X Mavericks

Strictly speaking, the Mavericks update is free for everyone, and this is a first for OS X in general. The fee Apple charged for Lion in 2011 and Mountain Lion in 2012 was meager at best, and by offering a free update, users will be inclined to adopt as quickly as iDevice users seem to have with iOS 7.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of OS X and iOS, took the opportunity to offer an even better insight into the new system. We already know about the new tabbed navigation, helping users better organize their folders and such when navigating through the operating system, and Federighi also explained how the new system can adjust its memory based on the specific task in hand. This means, in no uncertain terms, that OS X Mavericks is the most efficient release thus far, and will make better use of your Mac’s resources moving forward.

overview_what_is

There is also, as we previously learned, iCloud Keychain support, Safari Push Notifications, and with a plethora of other new and exciting features besides, Apple looks to have done a good job in keeping Mac users happy with OS X Mavericks.

As far as compatibility goes:

Mavericks Compatibility

Download OS X Mavericks from here (Official Mac App Store link).

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