Mac OS X Yosemite Beta For True iGeeks Only
Although much of the world uses the Windows operating system, Apple’s Macs have been growing market share even as PC sales have slumped over the past six quarters.
Apple regularly updates much of its hardware on a yearly basis, which also includes yearly OS updates for smartphones, tablets and Macs.
While beta versions of its operating systems are normally reserved for developers, Apple has opened up Yosemite to a public beta program to the first million registrants for the first time ever, with downloads of the beta starting today – but it’s only recommended for those who truly know what they are doing and are happy to test buggy pre-release software.
Mac owners will get the OS X Yosemite update in the same timeframe that the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 will launch, and sports sports amazing features no other operating systems offered when announced, but which Samsung and Google have already started copying.
One headline feature is known as “Continuity”, which lets iPhone users answer phone calls and send/receive SMS messages on iPads and Macs, but it requires iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to work.
You’re also able to start emails and SMS messages on your phone, and when you get to your Mac, click on an icon which lets you continue wherever you’re up to on your phone, but using your Mac’s bigger screen and full-size keyboard instead.
The new Yosemite beta won’t have those features switched on yet, as they undergo continued pre-release testing, but are expected to be massively popular and a major selling point upon launch later this year.
Yosemite has also undergone an iOS 7-like graphical refresh, with clean new icons, a new system font and plenty more you can read about here.
Yosemite will be a free update for Mac owners, just as OS X Mavericks was, but the new Yosemite beta is not for the faint-hearted.
As it is software in beta test mode, various programs and features are not guaranteed to always work or even work at all. Data loss could occur, and it definitely should not be installed on the main Mac you use for all your day-to-day work.
The Yosemite beta should be installed on a spare, non-critical Mac, or if you only have one Mac but are still super-keen to try it, on a new partition you can create on your existing hard drive, on an external USB 3.0 drive, or inside virtualisation software such as Parallels and VMware.
This then protects your current Mac OS installation, while still letting you play with Apple’s latest and greatest until the launch version of Yosemite comes with around the next 90 days.
Open to the first million registrants, the Yosemite beta program is still open, at least for the moment, and can be signed up for here.
Apple’s Yosemite beta FAQ is essential reading for anyone considering the challenge of helping Apple polish its latest OS before release, and is available here.