Apple today seeded the first public beta of macOS High Sierra to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to download and test the update for the first time since it was introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5. The first public beta of macOS High Sierra corresponds to the second developer beta, which was updated this morning.
Beta testers who have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program will be able to download the macOS High Sierra beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.
Those who want to be a part of Apple’s beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.
Potential beta testers should make a full Time Machine backup before installing macOS High Sierra, and it should not be installed on a primary machine because betas are unstable and often have many bugs. Caution should be used with macOS High Sierra in particular because when installing it, there’s an option to switch to the new Apple Filesystem (APFS), an update that takes some time.
macOS High Sierra is designed to improve and refine macOS Sierra. Along with a new, more efficient file system designed for modern storage, the update introduces Metal 2, the next-generation version of Apple’s Metal graphics API with support for machine learning, external GPUs, and VR content creation.
High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC aka H.265) is coming in macOS High Sierra, and many of the existing apps are being updated. Photos features a new persistent side view and editing tools for Curves, Selective Color, and Live Photos, while Siri is gaining a more natural voice and support for more music-related commands.
Safari offers a new autoplay blocking feature for videos and Intelligent Tracking Prevention to protect your privacy, while Mail storage is being optimized to take up 35 percent less space. iMessages can now be stored in iCloud, and there are new iCloud Drive file sharing options and new iCloud storage family plans.
For a complete picture of all of the new features you can expect to see when macOS High Sierra is released in the fall, make sure to check out our full macOS High Sierra roundup.