OS X Yosemite public beta to be released July 24

As promised, Apple is releasing a public beta of its latest Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. Apple told me during a meeting earlier this week that the public beta would be released tomorrow, July 24.

The public beta version of OS X Yosemite is the same version released to developers on Monday, so to start off, consumers and developers will be running the same software. However, the developer version of Yosemite will be updated more often over the next few months than the public beta version. This is so developers can continue to test their software with the latest operating system available. Consumers really don’t need updates that frequently.

If you plan on participating in the public beta of OS X Yosemite, you should use a secondary Mac. I’ve been using Yosemite since the first developer release and it is very stable, but it is still in development, which means things can go wrong. Putting beta operating system software on your production machine is never a good idea. You should also make a full backup of your machine.

Since Yosemite is still in development, not everything is going to work as it will in the finished release. Some services may not work as expected, and in fact, some features require iOS 8, which is not part of the public beta program. In other words, those features are not going to work at all.

Participants in the public beta will be able to install updates to Yosemite, including the final version, through the software update mechanism built-in to OS X. I’ve done this three times so far with the developer releases and it works great.

Public beta users will also have access to a “Feedback Assistant” app, allowing them to easily submit feedback to Apple on their experience with OS X Yosemite.

The updates to Yosemite have only strengthened my keenness for the OS. The design, system font and overall usability of Yosemite is still fantastic, but it’s the details that matter—and Apple takes care of the details.

Yosemite Messages

For example, in the Messages screenshot, the translucency on the right hand side takes on the color of the content—in this case, the blue talk bubble. However, the translucency of the left side takes on the color of the desktop background.

Searches in Spotlight will automatically do conversions too, which is very handy. Type in “20 miles” and Spotlight comes back with a number of conversions while you are typing.


Very subtle things like this make Yosemite really pleasing to use.

I’m sure many people will have a lot of fun testing out OS X Yosemite, but be sure to take the precautions noted above when working with beta software.

More information on the public beta is available from Apple’s Web site.

  • Kip Beatty

    For those that don’t have a secondary Mac laying around, and want to test it on their primary Mac, I suggest creating a new partition on your HD (backup first). This is easy to do with Disk Utility, and allows you to run the new OS without fear of screwing up your current version.

    • Reminder to others: Make sure you read the warnings in Disk Utility carefully. From memory, there’s multiple ways to split your disk into partitions… and some of them will wipe your existing partition. But the warnings tell you exactly what’s going to happen, so if you read them carefully you’ll be fine.

      • JupiterToMars

        It’s impossible to wipe the partition you’re currently booting from. They can’t wipe their OS unless they’re partitioning either from the recovery or from a bootable USB.

        • This is true. If you partition before restarting into the installer, you should be safe.

          …I never do that, though. 🙂

  • karpodiem

    was the Mavericks beta upgradeable to RTM? I don’t mind installing this on my main system, but I would prefer that it’s eventually upgradeable to production.

    • I’m trying to remember. I think it was. Often I do a clean install and restore from Time Machine anyway, though, just to be sure all the last of my previous install (non-beta) are gone.

    • Kip Beatty

      Yes, Steven is correct, you can upgrade from the beta. However, I’m with Steven. There are usually so many little bugs and issues that crop up through the dev and beta releases, by the time the the final version is released, it’s much better to do a clean install.

      • It’s not just the beta. I’ll also be clearing out all of the gremlins in Mavericks that have accumulated in the last year (outside of my user folder).

        With Time Machine, it’s really not that big a deal. Overnight will take care of it.

  • Facu Garcia Payer

    what time is it going to be available at?

  • LoweLilliehorn

    I have not get anything about this or any mail? D: what time is it going to be available at?

    • Bob

      Go to Apple’s site (Jim posted a link to it above) and sign in. I got no email either but when i signed in (I signed up a while ago) there was an activation code available and I have downloaded my copy.

  • Kenneth Adams

    You might find this useful. Back when Yosemite was first released I wrote a blog article with tips on installing Yosemite in new partitions, USB drives and VMWare Fusion, upgrading from Mavericks, backing up and restoring and some other tips.