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Although you may have just installed a fresh copy of Lion, there is a good chance that you don't have the latest and greatest Apple software running on your Mac. Apple routinely offers updates to not only its operating system, but other applications such as those in the iLife and iWork suites. It also issues security updates that are important to help keep your Mac secure. For these reasons you should run the software update as soon as you install Lion, and here's how you go about it. The Apple menu is the easiest way. Just click on the Apple menu and choose Software Update.
You could also go to System Preferences, click Software Update, and click the Check Now button. Your computer, which has to be connected to the Internet, will then search Apple's update servers. Up pops a message indicating that there are indeed some updates. I always check Show Details, because I want to know what Software Update intends to install on my Mac. In this case we've got a few iLife updates plus there is an update to OS X. One thing to notice about that update to OS X is this little triangle next to it.
That indicates that when you install this update, you are going to have to restart your Mac. So whenever you see that triangle, understand that at the end of the update you will be asked to restart your Mac. Now in this case, I am not going to update them right now. You can also update things directly from Apple's website, and you do that by selecting the Update menu and then Go To Apple's Downloads Page. That will launch Safari. It will take you to the Downloads page and then you can choose the updates that you'd like to download.
But what's the advantage of doing this if you can use Software Updates instead? Let's suppose that you are working in a business where you have a really fast Internet connection and at home you have a really slow Internet connection. Well, as long as you have approval from your boss naturally, it would be a wise thing to download a huge update on your work computer and then copy that update to a hard drive or a key drive or something and they take it home and perform the update there. This way not only can you can use your company's bandwidth, but it happens much faster. We are going to quit Safari, because we are not going to do it that way.
Now note that when you install an update, if there's an application that's running that's going to be updated, you are likely going to be prompted to quit that application. Now maybe that after you've installed updates, there are more updates for you to install. So what happens is Software Update will run, it will download the latest stuff and then it will check again to make sure that there isn't something else you need. So in some cases you may download a security update for example and then another application will become available to you because it needed that security update to be in place.
Software Update isn't the only place that you can find updates for your software. So we are going to quit Software Update, and I will get out of System Preferences and we are going to take a look at the App Store, which again is found under the Apple menu. Now you know that you download Lion from the App Store, but you can also purchase apps from the App Store, and when you purchase these apps from the App Store, updates become available through the App Store, through the Updates tab. So I will click on Updates and it turns out, hey look, there is a new version of Angry Birds with two new episodes, and I can hardly wait to get them, but I won't make you sit through that download.
So we won't do it right now, but if I wanted to, click on Update, it would download and then I could have the new version of angry birds. Another cool feature here is the Purchases tab. Click on this and you can see every application that you've purchased through the App Store. This is useful, because if you have multiple computers, you can then go to this Purchase tab and you can download Apps that you've already purchased on a different computer. So for example, if I wanted a copy of OS X Lion server that I've purchased elsewhere and put it on this computer, all I'd have to do is click Install.
It would install to this computer and I'd be ready to go. So it's a nice way to keep track of your purchases plus be able to download them on multiple computers, or if you've lost that application on your current computer, you can download it again to your current computer. So quit the App Store. And with that your Mac should be completely up-to-date.
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