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(Pocket-lint) - Apple on Tuesday released MacOS Sierra to the public.

The latest, major version of Apple's desktop operating system follows eight public betas and the golden master version that launched earlier this month for testers. It includes not only new features but also a new name that brings it in line with Apple's other operating systems: iOS, WatchOS, and tvOS. Here's everything you need to know about the update, including how to get it now.

MacOS Sierra: How do you download it?

You can download MacOS Sierra directly from the Mac App Store by following this link. Alternatively, Apple should begin offering it through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store starting 20 September.

MacOS Sierra: Which Macs are compatible?

You can download MacOS Sierra on any of the following machines:

  • MacBook from 2009 or later
  • iMac from 2009 or later
  • MacBook Air from 2010 or later
  • MacBook Pro from 2010 or later
  • Mac Mini from 2010 or later
  • Mac Pro from 2010 or later

Note: You need to be running at least OS X 10.7.5 (Lion) on your Mac. You must also have at least 8.8GB of free drive space.

MacOS Sierra: How much does it cost?

Like OS X Yosemite (10.10), OS X El Capitan (10.11), and other major releases before it, MacOS Sierra is being offered as a free update.

MacOS Sierra: Should you upgrade?

MacOS Sierra has technically been available since the public beta opened in early July, so there is a wealth of information available about the features it brings, including better integration with the iPhone and Apple Watch, an improved user experience, Siri to the Mac, new Continuity features, a "Universal Clipboard" option, more iCloud integration, deep learning algorithms in Photos, and more.

You can learn all about MacOS Sierra from here:

MacOS Sierra: Do you need to backup your Mac?

Yes. Operating system upgrades aren’t trivial, and sometimes things can go wrong, meaning you could lose all your precious data, photos, and files. On a Mac, you can back up to Time Machine, a cloud backup service like Carbonite or Crashplan, or an external drive. Apple has a help center with more details including step-by-step guides on how to backup your Mac using either option.

Want to know more?

More information on MacOS Sierra can be found in our MacOS Sierra hub.

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Writing by Elyse Betters.