MacOS Sierra: Apple opens public beta for new Mac operating system, letting anyone use it before full release


Apple will now let anybody upgrade their computer to its new operating system after opening up its public beta programme.

The company is letting Mac users install the new software, called MacOS Sierra, onto their computers — though advises that not everyone should do so.

It will be made available through Apple’s public beta programme, which users can join at The company will also make an early version of iOS available through the same programme.

The new Mac software — which has the headline feature of bringing Siri to the desktop, alongside a range of other improvements — was first shown off at Apple’s developer conference last month. It’s expected to be released in the Autumn.

Since the software is new and still in development, Apple advises that some applications and services might not work as expected. For the same reason, the company advises that people only install the new software on a secondary machine and that they take a full backup before they do.

When the full version of Sierra comes out, users will be able to upgrade to it as normal. There will also be periodic updates to the beta software as Apple improves it.

As well as Siri, Sierra brings a range of popular new and older features from the iPhone and iPad to the Mac. That includes updates to the Messages app and changes to Photos.

It also allows Macs, iPhones and other Apple devices to talk to each other more effectively. People can now use Apple Pay on their computer, for instance, and things that are copied on one computer can be pasted on another phone.

Sierra will eventually let people unlock their Mac by just being near it with their Apple Watch, rather than forcing them to enter a password. But that’s limited to people using the new version of the Apple Watch software — which is only available to developers at the moment.

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