Update 7/23/14 10:32 a.m. ET: Apple will be releasing the OS X Yosemite Public Beta sometime on Thursday, July 24, according to reports.
Towards the end of the WWDC 14 opening keynote address, Apple revealed that it will be launching a beta program for OS X Yosemite this Summer, allowing the regular Joe and Jane to test drive the latest version of Cupertino’s desktop operating system before it gets released to the public sometime this fall.
To participate in the OS X Yosemite beta program, you have to manually sign up for it. Once you do, Apple will automatically notify you if and when you’ve been selected to download and try out OS X Yosemite on your Mac.
Interested in opting in to the beta? If so, here’s how you can sign up for it.
How to sign up for the Apple OS X Yosemite beta
First, head over to www.appleseed.apple.com/betaprogram. Then, scroll down, and click on the blue button labeled “Sign up.” You’ll then be asked to sign in with your Apple ID. Once you do, you’ll automatically be set up for the OS X Yosemite beta. If and when you’re selected to participate, you’ll receive a code that will give you the ability to download the unreleased version of Yosemite sometime this summer directly from the Mac App Store. In order to be a full participant in the program, Apple asks that you leave feedback by reporting any issues, bugs, or quirks to the Feedback Assistant app, which will be baked into the operating system. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one for free.
There are a few things you should know about the OS X Yosemite beta. Though multiple features were shown off during the WWDC 14 keynote, a bunch of them won’t be available for use until the full version is released sometime this fall. They include phone calls, SMS, Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and iCloud Documents. Spotlight suggestions will only be available for US-based users only. There may also be some software and service incompatibility issues with the OS X Yosemite beta.
The beta program will begin sometime this summer, while the full version of OS X Yosemite will be released this coming Fall.
You should also consider backing up your Mac before you fire up the OS X Yosemite beta, just in case serious problems occur after you install. If you have another Mac that you don’t use all that much, you might want to think about installing Yosemite on there, instead of using your primary device as a guinea pig. Finally, you’ll need to have OS X Mavericks installed in order to use Yosemite.