Apple has decided to do something it hasn’t done in a very long while – that is, release a public beta of an upcoming version of its operating system for computers.
Mac OS X Yosemite, which was announced last month at WWDC, will be available to test as a public beta starting tomorrow. There’s a catch, though: only the first 1 million people who sign up for the beta on Apple’s dedicated website will actually get access to it. So in case you’re interested, add yourself to the list as soon as possible.
However, don’t do that without considering the multiple caveats of using a beta OS version. Apple itself stresses that it doesn’t want you to try Yosemite on your main computer, because things may and probably will break. And even so, you’ll want to backup all your data using Time Machine before making the jump. Yosemite is still rough around the edges, with its final release only expected to happen later in the fall.
The beta will get updates from time to time, and if you install all of them you’ll eventually have seamlessly migrated to the final release when that hits the streets.
Because it’s still a work in progress, some of the much-touted features unveiled during the Yosemite announcement aren’t actually going to be in the beta. You won’t be able to make phone calls, send text messages, use the Handoff functionality, Instant Hotspot, or iCloud Drive.
If you’ve read all of the above but still want to try Mac OS X Yosemite in beta form, here’s what you need to do. Go to this page on Apple’s website and sign up using your Apple ID. Tomorrow you should receive a redemption code that you can use to download and install the beta from the Mac App Store. Note that you’ll need to be running Mac OS X Mavericks on the machine you want to play with.