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Free Stuff Friday

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Apple OS X Mavericks

At its event earlier this week Apple announced that the next version of its desktop operating system, OS  X Mavericks, would be a free upgrade.

The new operating system has a number of added features, and redesigned core features that enable more efficient operation when it comes to using processor, memory, or battery resources. Apple stated that a new Macbook Air 13-inch running OS X Mavericks will have up to 1-hour more battery life by upgrading to the new software.

In the past Mac owners had to have the most recent version of Mac OS X before upgrading to a new version, but with Mavericks Apple is pushing to have as many users upgrade to the new operating system, thus making it free. It is also encouraging adoption of the new OS by making it available to users of older versions of Mac OS X, including 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

The free update will be available from the Mac App Store. Clicking “Free Upgrade” will start the download – a 5.16GB file – and the installation will upgrade your existing OS in place.

If you want to know why you should upgrade check out our in depth review of Mavericks.

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All new Apple iLife and iWork software suites now available for free

Along with new Macs, iPads, and a new version of Mac OS X, Apple also updated its own productivity and creative software suites, iWork and iLife. Both packages are available for both Mac OS X as well as iOS, where it’ll run on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

iWork, which is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Office, includes Numbers (for spreadsheets), Pages (for word processing), and Keynote (for presentations). All three applications have been updated with 64-bit support for Mac OS X Mavericks, and have added features. Users who buy new Macs and iPhones will be also to get the applications for free.

Another freebie from Apple is iLife, its creativity suite. There is a new version of highly popular music making app, Garageband, as well as updated versions of the iPhoto photo manager  and iMovie video editor. Each has received design tweaks to fit with OS X Mavericks’ slightly more modern look, as well as a handful of features. The iLife apps are free for all iPhone and iPad owners who have purchased their device after September 1st 2013.

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Plants Vs Zombies 2 for Android

The long-awaited sequel to Popcap’s smash hit game Plants vs. Zombies was released on iOS in August, and now it’s finally available to Android users. As with the iOS version of the game it’s free to download and play with microtransactions to speed up progress for those too impatient to play it through. Users running Android 2.3 or higher can download it now from Google Play store.

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