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mavericksMac users, start your updates: Apple has released a number of new patches today, including a fresh operating system update for the Mac, tweaks to iTunes, and a couple of freshly-updated iOS apps.

Users who don’t want to use an online syncing service to get their contacts and calendars between their Mac and an iPhone or iPad are in luck: OS X 10.9.3 brings the ability to sync those items by hooking the device up to the Mac using a USB cable. In addition, the update improves support for 4K resolution monitors, so that people can get the most out of their super-expensive displays.

Enterprise Mac users will see a slight performance boost as well. Apple said that the 10.9.3 update brings improved login speed for users who are part of an Active Directory group, so that it’s easier for people to get on their Mac at work in the morning.

As with any operating system update, it’s worthwhile to make sure that you have an up-to-date backup before installing the new patch, just in case something happens to go sideways.

screen568x568Today’s iTunes update brings improved Podcast support to Apple’s media hub app on the Mac. Users can easily find unplayed episodes from all of their podcast subscriptions with the new Unplayed tab, and browse episodes that are available to play or download in the new Feed tab.

Apple also updated its Podcasts app for iOS to go alongside the iTunes update. Users can now start playing back a particular podcast they’re subscribed to by talking to Siri, or just have Apple’s voice assistant start playing available episodes from their Feed.

Developers got a present today in the form of a newly redesigned iTunes Connect app, which allows people to track the performance of goods they sell on iTunes. The app finally has a design in line with the principles laid out in iOS 7, and now also allows users who sell music, movies or TV shows through the iTunes Store to see how those sales are going as well.

Today’s updates for the Mac can be downloaded from the Updates tab in the Mac App Store. The Podcasts app and iTunes Connect app can be downloaded from the iOS App Store.

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