Apple updated its Mac OS operating system to allow its Mac App Store to accept gift cards by scanning them with the computer's camera.

The Cupertino, Calif., company introduced the technology to its iTunes program in a November update. To redeem an iTunes gift card in either iTunes or the Mac App Store, users first scratch off the card's label to reveal a string of letters and numbers. The computer's camera reads this text and adds the card's value to the computer's iTunes account.

Users can also type the code by hand if the computer's camera cannot read the card's text. The camera-scanning system will also indicate whether the card has been redeemed previously or has not been activated.

The feature comes to the Mac App Store as part of the 10.8.3 update to Apple's Mountain Lion operating system. The update also fixes a number of bugs and allows users to install Windows 8 through the Mac's Boot Camp system.

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