Apple (AAPL) is releasing the beta version of Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite to the public today after unveiling the software last month at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

According to Engadget, Yosemite is the “Mac’s biggest makeover in years, with a flat, streamlined look inspired by iOS 7.” Yosemite also sports improved Spotlight search, a refined toolbar, new notification-center features, and a dark mode. In addition, Yosemite will now synchronize with Apple’s iOS mobile operating system through AirDrop file-sharing, iMessage messaging, and the ability to make and take phone calls.

Only the first million people who sign up can access the beta version, per Apple limits. To join the OS X beta program, consumers sign up using their Apple IDs. When the beta software is ready, they’ll receive redemption codes that will allow them to download and install OS X Yosemite Beta from the Mac App Store.

Before installing OS X Yosemite Beta on your system, it must first be running OS X Mavericks.

As it the case whenever you are using a beta version of an operating system, it is a good idea to install the beta version of OS X Yosemite on a secondary Mac rather than on a primary computer since it may contain errors or inaccuracies. The company also says people should back up their Macs before installing the beta.

In addition, according to Apple, some new features Apple will not be available with the beta version, such as phone calls, SMS, Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and iCloud Drive.

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Wayne Thorp

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is a vice president and the senior financial analyst at the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). His primary responsibility is to oversee AAII's content strategy. He is also the program manager for AAII's Stock Investor Pro fundamental stock screening and research database program and is on the advisory boards of AAII's Stock Superstars Report and Dividend Investing newsletters. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a 1997 honors graduate of DePaul University in Chicago. Wayne's interests include stock screening, technical analysis and charting, social media and tech gadgets. However, in the summer he'd prefer to be hip-deep in northern Michigan's Manistee River fly-fishing for rainbow trout. He is also a rabid University of Michigan and Detroit Red Wings fan.

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