Mac OS X is no more.

Apple announced at WWDC 2016 in June that its operating system for Mac computers and MacBook laptops has a new name: MacOS. And the next version of the software, which is officially due out this autumn, will be called MacOS Sierra. It'll bring Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, allowing Mac users to control their machines with just their voice. Be sure to browse Pocket-lint's roundup for more changes included in MacOS Sierra.

But you don't have to wait until autumn to use the new features. Apple just opened the MacOS Sierra public beta program, marking yet another time the company has allowed its customers to download and run a major pre-release version of its desktop OS before a formal release. It also just opened the iOS 10 public beta program, which you can read all about from here.

If you care more about getting MacOS Sierra up and running on your Mac, Pocket-lint has detailed everything you need to know below.

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With the public beta program, you can download and install MacOS to your Mac. It doesn't require a paid developers account or any of that hassle. It's free.

  1. Visit the Apple Beta Program website, and hit the sign up button.
  2. You'll then need to sign in with your Apple ID login credentials.
  3. From there, read and accept Apple's agreement.
  4. On the Mac, you’ll be taken to Apple's Guide for Public Betas website, where you'll click the "Enroll Your Devices" link at the top of the page.
  5. On the Enroll Your Devices website, you’ll see instructions to back up your computer using Time Machine.
  6. You’ll also see a section called “Install the macOS Sierra public beta". Here, you’ll find a redemption code. Click the Redeem Code button.
  7. The App Store will launch.
  8. Enter your Apple ID password to download the installer.
  9. You'll also get an email inviting you to download the MacOS Sierra beta.

Before you get excited about MacOS Sierra, see if your Mac is compatible:

MacBook from late 2009 or later, MacBook Air from 2010 or later, MacBook Pro from 2010 or later, iMac from late 2009 or later, Mac Mini from 2010 or later, or Mac Pro from 2010 or later

It's up to you. Keep in mind that the MacOS Sierra public beta is not the final, stable version of MacOS Sierra and might include several bugs that have yet to be spotted or addressed. You should therefore only download and install the beta on a machine that isn't your primary computer - just to be cautious. And always back up your data and files before installing betas (see Apple support page).

The OS X and iOS public betas come with a Feedback Assistant app, which can be opened from the second page of the Home screen on your iOS device or from the Dock on your Mac. You can learn more about the app here.

The Feedback Assistant app is also available from the Help menu of any app.

Apple also has a guide and step-by-step instructions on how to get both betas.