Apple announced the next version of OS X today, officially unveiling OS X 10.10 Yosemite. It won’t release to the public until the fall, with an official release date still up in the air, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try it out right now.
Apple’s OS X Beta Program is technically meant only for developers as a way to get software enthusiasts to find any bugs or submit feedback on certain features, but anyone can sign up and try out the OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta, and Apple makes it really easy to do so.
This new version of OS X comes with some pretty sweet features, including an all-new look and feel that finally puts OS X on par with iOS 7, thanks to the translucent windows and menus, as well as a flatter design overall, with redesigned icons that mimic iOS 7 icons, but still include some depth so that there’s still a bit of that classic OS X feel.
Furthermore, OS X 10.10 Yosemite also comes improvements made to Messages, including the ability to send and receive SMS text messages (rather than just iMessages), as well as make and receive phone calls as long as your iPhone is nearby and can connect to your Mac.
OS X Yosemite also includes Handoff, which is a feature of AirDrop that finally adds cross-platform support between iOS and OS X, allowing users to send files through AirDrop to either iOS or Mac computers.
If you’d like to try out these features right now, just be aware that it’s in beta, so there will most likely be bugs and some applications may not work properly, but if you’re still up for giving it a go, here’s how to sign up for the OS X Beta Program.
It’s actually quite easy to sign up, and you’ll need your Apple ID credentials to become a member. You’ll also need to be running OS X Mavericks initially in order to get the OS X Yosemite beta.
Apple also says that this public beta program is limited to the first one million users who sign up. We’re not sure how many Mac users are flocking to sign up for the OS X Yosemite beta, but we’d be sure to get registered as quickly as possible.
To get started, visit this link, which will take you to a log in page where you’ll enter in your Apple ID login information. This is usually just your email that you have associated with your Apple ID and the password you use to log into the App Store and such.
Once you log in, you’ll be given an OS X Beta Program Agreement that you’ll have to agree to. The most important thing here is that Apple warns you that a beta isn’t final software and you’ll mostly come across bugs and errors during your experience. If you still want to continue, click Accept.
Once you click Accept, you’ll now be signed up for the OS X Beta Program. However, you won’t be able to download OS X Yosemite right away, as the next screen will tell you that Apple will email you when the beta is available to download.
This is unfortunate given that current registered developers are able to download the beta right away, but this is most likely because Apple wants to give priority access to these people and then hand out a public beta shortly afterward, and we certainly don’t blame them for that.
Apple says a public beta will be coming at some point over the summer, but no solid date was given. It’s likely that we’ll see it arrive in July possibly, but we’ll ultimately have to wait and see. For the time being, keep a close eye on your inbox for that email.