Get Yosemite to­day!

How to add OS X 10.10’s best fea­tures – free

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Nowa­days it’s fash­ion­able to ar­gue that the Mac’s days are num­bered; that Ap­ple’s ready­ing its desk­top plat­form for re­tire­ment, to at some point in the near fu­ture be en­tirely sup­planted by iPhones and iPads. Ap­ple it­self has of course ar­gued to the con­trary, not least with a rare an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion when the Mac hit 30. But if there’s any­thing that proved the Mac still has a big fu­ture at Ap­ple, it was WWDC 2014.

The Mac was in the thick of it, with Cook and Co. show­ing off a brand-new OS X in­ter­face and a slew of new fea­tures. Tak­ing a lead from Jony Ive’s min­i­mal­ist de­sign sen­si­bil­i­ties, the next re­vi­sion of OS X, Yosemite, has been re­fined rather than rev­o­lu­tionised – it’s sim­pli­fied and lighter, more uni­fied and con­tent-cen­tric. In terms of fea­tures, Ap­ple showed off a rethought Spot­light, in­te­grated cloud stor­age, en­hanced Mail, and the means to more eas­ily trans­fer documents be­tween Macs and iOS de­vices via an up­dated Air­Drop.

The one snag: as ever, this was just a pre­view. If you want to get your hands on Yosemite, you’ll have to wait un­til some time this au­tumn. But what if you’re an im­pa­tient and ex­cited sort, who wants to ex­pe­ri­ence the next ver­sion of OS X right now? Well, you’ve got a cou­ple of op­tions. First, there are two le­gal ways to ac­cess the OS X Yosemite beta: de­vel­op­ers got im­me­di­ate ac­cess dur­ing WWDC, and can in­stall the lat­est dev re­lease from their ac­counts; and ev­ery­one else can sign up to the open beta at ap­ple­seed.ap­ple. com/sp/be­tapro­gram. If you’re in the first mil­lion to be ac­cepted, you’ll be able to in­stall Yosemite as soon as Ap­ple fires a con­fir­ma­tion

The Mac’s days are num­bered? Think again; WWDC 2014 proved the Mac still has a big fu­ture

your way. (We’ll out­line how best to in­stall the beta, en­sur­ing your ex­ist­ing Mac data re­mains safe, in the box be­low.)

Still, a beta is a beta, and with soft­ware that’s still very much un­der de­vel­op­ment, you’re bound to find bugs and un­fin­ished fea­tures. Ap­ple’s WWDC keynotes are ex­tremely care­fully chore­ographed and planned – your own ad­ven­tures with Yosemite might be quite dif­fer­ent while Ap­ple’s en­gi­neers are re­work­ing fea­tures and smooth­ing out the rough patches. Even once it’s in its fi­nal form, though, we know some people are hes­i­tant about up­grad­ing to a new OS. For­tu­nately, third­party apps and util­i­ties can bring some of Yosemite’s magic to Mav­er­icks to­day, from clean and stream­lined new themes to iPhone/ Mac in­te­gra­tion. What you end up with might not be quite the same as what was shown on stage at WWDC, but in some cases you’ll find that en­ter­pris­ing de­vel­op­ers have cre­ated amaz­ing add-ons that in fact go fur­ther than what Ap­ple plans to ship this au­tumn, so you can pick and choose the fea­tures you want.

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