This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2015-07-13 at 7:37 a.m.
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Apple Opens Public Betas of OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9

by Josh Centers

Apple has released public betas of OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9 [1]. If you’re already enrolled in the public beta program, you can download them now. Otherwise, you’ll need to sign up. Please, do not install these on your main machines! Both are pre-release operating systems — many things could be broken, your favorite apps may not work with them yet, and you could even lose data due to corruption or crashes. Even though you can create a separate disk partition [2] for El Capitan, something could still go wrong. Regardless, make sure you have a complete backup first!

To sign up, visit the public beta page [3] and log in with your Apple ID. Follow the instructions for OS X or iOS to install the respective beta.

As we wrote in “Snow in Yosemite: Apple Introduces OS X 10.11 El Capitan [4]” (8 June 2015), El Capitan brings performance and stability improvements, a Windows 7-style Split View mode, a tweaked Mission Control, Spotlight enhancements like natural language parsing, enhancements to Safari and Mail, a beefed-up Notes app, and more.

iOS 9 is a huge upgrade for the iPad, adding Slide Over and Picture in Picture views, as well as Split View for the iPad Air 2, along with other tweaks to make better use of the iPad’s larger screen size. iOS 9 also features a new set of features called Intelligence, which includes search suggestions, new Siri commands, and automatic actions based on your usage habits. Other changes include the aforementioned Notes upgrade, public transit directions in Maps, a redesigned Passbook called Wallet, and a new News app that aggregates content from numerous sources. Like El Capitan, iOS 9 also boasts a number of performance, stability, and energy usage improvements. For details, see “iOS 9 to Add More Intelligence and iPad Multitasking” (8 June 2015).