APPLE HAS MADE GOOD on its WWDC promise and made iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan available for public testing.
iOS 9 marks the first time Apple has made yet unreleased mobile software available for beta testing, and comes after it launched the first iOS beta with version 8.3 in March.
The beta release of iOS 9 gives iPhone and iPad users the chance to give it a spin before it's released alongside the iPhone 7, or iPhone 6S, later this year.
Apple's updated Maps app with public transport directions is included in the iOS 9 beta 1, along with a revamped multitasking menu, a new Notes app, Proactive Siri and Split View for iPad.
The system-wide default text font will switch to the San Francisco typeface designed for the Apple Watch.
Not all features are yet available to try, however. Apple's Flipboard-style News app is notably absent for UK iPhone and iPad users, although some eagle-eyed users have said that it can be enabled by changing Region settings to the US.
To download the iOS beta, you'll need to register your Apple ID on Apple's Beta Programme site. From here, you'll need to enrol your iDevice, download the OS Beta Configuration Profile and then update to iOS 9 via the Settings menu on your iPhone or iPad.
Typically, as a beta release, Apple has warned that there are likely to be bugs, and has advised backing up all data before installing.
Apple also made OS X El Capitan available to download, which also requires signing up on the Apple Beta Programme website. Apple will then throw a redemption code your way, and you'll be prompted to download El Capitan via the Mac App Store.
Mimicking Windows 8, El Capitan is the first version of OS X to bring split-screen multitasking. The beta software also equips Macs with improved Spotlight search functionality, a new version of Safari with mute audio tabs, and tweaks to Mission Control.
Apple said during the WWDC keynote that El Capitan will offer up to 40 percent efficiency improvements, which should make for better battery life, while apps will perform around 1.4 times faster than before.
Whether this performance boost will show in the first beta remains to be seen, but we'll be sure to report back.
OS X El Capitan will see a full release this autumn, but Apple is tight lipped on exact release date details. µ
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