Top 5 reasons to install Apple's "Lion" update for MacsApple’s new software update for the Mac operating system—dubbed “Lion”—just roared its way into the Mac App Store.

Tech-minded Mac devotees, of course, can be expected to grab and install the upcoming Mac OS update the moment it arrives.

But even if you’re timid when it comes to fiddling with your Mac’s system settings—much less updating the entire operating system—there are at least five good reasons for taking the plunge with “Lion,” starting with the fact that it’s not all that tricky.

Top 5 reasons to install Apple's "Lion" update for Macs

The new "Launchpad" feature promises to make opening apps on the Mac as easy as it is on the iPhone.

Reason #1: It’s easy
The upcoming “Lion” update will mark the first time that Apple will offer a major Mac software update as a download, meaning no need to go to a store to buy physical DVD installation discs. All you’ll need to do is launch the Mac App Store (click the blue App Store icon in your Mac’s desktop dock—and if you don’t see it there, click here for help), select the big “OS X Lion” promo, and then follow the instructions.

Note: Make sure your Mac is capable of running Lion before buying the upgrade; click here to find out how.

Also, you should check for any available system updates (select “Software Update” under the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen), and back up your Mac (get help here; and don’t worry, it’s not that difficult) before starting the installation process.

Reason #2: It’s cheap
Just $29.99—a relatively small price to pay for keeping your system up to date with the latest features and fixes.

Reason #3: It’ll make your Mac act more like an iPhone
Ever wish you could just find a program on your Mac by opening a grid of friendly looking icons, just like on your iPhone? Or that you could “pinch” with your fingers to zoom into a weblage or a photo … just like on your iPhone?

Those features and more are coming to your Mac in “Lion,” along with other iPhone-like features like applications that can run in a full-screen mode (rather than in a “windowed” view), a redesigned Mail app that looks like the Mail application on the iPhone, and a “Resume” feature that will open your Mac programs exactly where they left off. (Get the scoop on more Lion features here.)

Top 5 reasons to install Apple's "Lion" update for Macs

"Lion" will let you look back in time and pluck out an older version of the file you're working on.

Reason #4: It’ll save your work—automatically
One of Lion’s new features deserves special mention: “Auto Save,” which automatically saves your work every five minutes, while a companion feature, dubbed “Versions,” will let you essentially look back in time and jump back to an earlier version of a file you’re working on.

Reason #5: It’ll help keep hackers at bay
In addition to new features, Mac OS X “Lion” will also come with a host of security updates that will make life tough for hackers looking to infiltrate your Mac with viruses, Trojan horses, and other online nasties. Also, keep in mind that Lion users will be first in line for any future security updates.

Mac OS X “Lion” is due this month, and it may arrive as early as Wednesday available now on the Mac App Store; keep your eye peeled for my hands-on impressions once it goes on sale. Got questions about Lion? Let me know!

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