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OS X 10.10 Syrah

OS X 10.10, codenamed Syrah, is the 2014 version of the Mac operating system currently in development by Apple. OS X 10.10 is expected to be shown off at WWDC 2014 on June 2 and released sometime in October. (Apple has varied OS X release dates more widely than they have iOS.) In addition to new features, OS X should bring similar interface and experience refinements to Apple’s desktop operating system, similar in spirit if not exact execution to the iOS 7 makeover of 2013. It should also continue the work OS X Mavericks began with energy efficiency and pro-user friendliness.

What new features can we expect? It’s hard to say, though a new design language, Siri support, AirDrop compatibility, a more feature-filled iBooks app, and, of course, a future-thinking file system are likely high on everyone’s list.

OS X 10.10 Syrah design language

Last year Jony Ive and Apple’s design team spent so much time working on iOS 7′s new look, OS X mostly got the linen and the leather — if not the felt — stripped out but not much else. The intent was always to go back and give OS X the design attention it deserved as well.

Well, iOS 8 should make that a reality. While it’s unlikely Apple will make OS X the spitting image of iOS, it is likely they’ll bring the same general design guidelines into play — depth, deference, and clarity. Just like the iPad doesn’t mirror the iPhone exactly, the Mac has needs and requirements all its own. It needs to be consistent enough that new users don’t feel out of place when their iOS devices bring them to the Mac, but it also has to be different enough to make sense as a desktop.

Apple knows that. Now they just have to stick it.

OS X 10.10 and Siri

Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant, still hasn’t been brought over to the Mac. Sure, Dictation is there and works well enough, but none of the incredible question/response and sequential inference technology has found its way to the desktop. Could that finally chance with OS X 10.10 Syrah?

OS X 10.10 and AirDrop

AirDrop debuted on the Mac but after several initial attempts to bring it to iOS were shot down as overly complex, the version that finally shipped in iOS 7 wasn’t even compatible with the Mac.

That should change in OS X 10.10 as the teams at Apple get their protocols back in sync and their cross-platform beaming fully in order.

OS X 10.10 iBooks

iBooks came to the Mac with OS X Mavericks but a lot of the functionality previously found in iTunes didn’t come with it. For OS X 10.10 Apple could win back a lot of fans by making iBooks on the desktop feature complete… and then some.

OS X 10.10 bottom line

The Mac’s operating system is beyond mature. That means the steps forward aren’t as obvious. Sure, HFS+ is held together with bubble gum and paperclips, but how complicated would it be to replace it at this point? There’s a lot still to do but how Apple does it remains a huge question.

We’ll be updating this page as more OS X 10.10 Syrah rumors become available so bookmark it and check back often!


Run pre-release versions of OS X

Apple has announced a brand-new way for Mac users who aren’t registered developers to try out the new versions of OS X for free, before they’re released. Here’s how to sign up to Apple’s new OS X Beta Seed Program for Mavericks.

The program starts with OS X 10.9.3, an upcoming update for OS X Mavericks. Those who register for the OS X Beta Seed Program can download the software update now, and begin giving feedback to Appleto help the company perfect the update before it’s released to the public.

This is the first time Apple has ever opened a Beta Seed Program like this one. The company did release a Public Beta of OS X in 2000, but those who wanted to download it had to pay $30 for the privilege. RegisteredApple Developers are able to download pre-release versions of most of Apple’s software too, but it costs $99 per year to sign up.

We’re expecting Apple to release OS X 10.10 as a beta version following its WWDC 2014 keynote in June, but there’s no word yet about whether those registered to the OS X Beta Seed Program will get access to the all-new version of OS X too.

If you’re interested in signing up to the OS X Beta Seed Program, here’s what you’ll need to do.

How to sign up to the OS X Beta Seed Program

First, you’ll need to go to the OS X Beta Seed Program website. From there, you can find out more about the program by clicking Learn More or FAQ.

You must be aged 18 or older with a valid Apple ID, and you’ll also need to be willing to accept the Confidentiality Agreement, which means you agree not to share information or screenshots of the update.

By clicking ‘Join Now’ and then ‘Get Started’ on the OS X Beta Seed Program website, you’ll be taken to the ‘Sign In’ page. If you don’t already have an Apple ID, you can create one by clicking ‘create one now’ in the grey box on the left. If you do have one, however, you can go ahead and sign in using the password you normally use for your iTunes and otherApple services.

Next, you’ll be taken to the OS X Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement. You’ll need to read the agreement (you can view it as a PDF if you prefer by clicking the link beneath the scroll link) and then click accept. Unless of course you don’t agree with the terms in which case you’ll want to stop the registration process now.

Apple then advises users to make a backup of their data and files before installing any beta versions of OS X.

Once you’ve backed up, you can download the Beta Access Utility. You’ll need to have OS X Mavericks installed and have 2GB or more of memory with 8GB or more of available space.

Click the blue ‘Download Beta Access Utility’ button to download it, and then click on package that has been downloaded onto your Mac to install it. This will launch the Mac App Store, which will now show you the updates available. Any updates that have not yet been released to the public and are therefore part of the OS X Beta Seed Program will be labelled ‘Pre-release’.

You can now click update to install those pre-release versions of software.

How to provide feedback to Apple through the OS X Beta Seed Program

Now that you’ve signed up to the OS X Beta Seed Program and have installed the OS X 10.9.3 beta, you’ll be able to provide feedback to Apple about bugs and other issues that need to be fixed.

You’ll find the Feedback Assistant in your Dock (it’s a purple circle with a speech bubble within it, as shown above). Click it and then sign in with your Apple ID to begin providing feedback to Apple using the form that the Feedback Assistant provides.



What is the OS X Beta Seed Program?
The OS X Beta Seed Program allows users to try out pre-release versions of OS X. Help Apple Make OS X even better by letting us know of any quality and usability issues you encounter.
Who can participate?
The OS X Beta Seed Program is available to users who are 18 or older, have signed in with their Apple ID, and have accepted the OS X Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement.
Do I have to pay a fee to join the program or pay for software?
No. Both the program and software are free.
What kind of compensation do I receive for testing?
This program is voluntary. There is no compensation for your participation.
What’s the difference between this program and the Mac Developer Program?
The OS X Beta Seed program provides access to pre-release OS X software. If you are a developer writing an app for OS X, you will benefit from the additional resources available through the Mac Developer Program.
Is the pre-release software I am installing confidential?
Yes, the pre-release software is Apple confidential information. For example, don’t install the pre-release Apple software on any systems you don’t directly control or that you share with others, don’t blog, post screen shots, tweet or publicly post information about the pre-release Apple software, and don’t discuss the pre-release Apple software with or demonstrate it to others who are not in the OS X Beta Seed Program.

Support and Feedback

Will installing the pre-release software from the OS X Beta Seed Program void my hardware warranty?
No, installing the beta seed does not void your hardware warranty.
What if I have problems running the pre-release software?
Always back up your computer before installing pre-release software. If you need help returning your Mac to a shipping version of OS X and restoring from your Time Machine back up, you can call AppleCare to speak to a support specialist, or reference online documentation.
How do I get a shipping version of OS X back on my Mac?
Always backup your computer before installing pre-release software. To get a shipping release of OS X on your Mac, you can simply install the final version of the software you are testing when it appears in Software Update. If you would like to go back to a previously released version, you must first erase the beta software, then re-install the latest shipping version of OS X, and finally restore from your Time Machine backup.
How do I provide feedback to Apple on the Beta Seed software?
Once you have installed pre-release software on your Mac, you can report issues to Apple using the Feedback Assistant, which will be located in your Dock.
What is the Beta Access Utility?
The Beta Access Utility is an Installer for your Mac that enables pre-release updates to appear on the Mac App Store in the Updates pane.
How do I leave the OS X Beta Seed Program?
To leave the program, visit the Leave Program page and follow the instructions to remove your Apple ID and your computers from the OS X Beta Seed Program. This will stop pre-release updates from appearing in the Mac App Store on your computers.

Sign In

How do I sign in?
You will need to have an Apple ID to register and sign up for the OS X Beta Seed Program. If you do not have an Apple ID, you can create one now.
What is an Apple ID?
An Apple ID is your user name for everything you do with Apple: shop the iTunes Store, enable iCloud on all your devices, buy from the Apple Online Store, make a reservation at an Apple Retail Store, access the Apple Support website, and more. You can find out more and information and may keep your contact information up-to-date by visiting
How do I change my Apple ID password or contact information?
This information is managed by you at
How do I make sure that the OS X Beta Seed Program is aware of my contact information changes at
The OS X Beta Seed Program uses the contact information you associate with your Apple ID. You may keep your contact information up-to-date by visiting


Apple lose its Humanities!

You’ll discover that’s because the company that famously asked us to Think Different has lost its connection to the foundations of critical thinking–the liberal arts.

As you may recall, back in 2010 Jobs said that the “reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts,” that they can make technologically advanced products that are intuitive and fun to use, that the users don’t have to come to the products–the products come to the users.

A year–and an iPad iteration–later, Jobs expanded on that point:

It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing. And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices. And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies, and they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs. And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this.

Does Apple still have that insight?

According to Thompson, they don’t: Apple’s aligned itself with the discipline of design rather than of the humanities. iOS 7, which you may be fussing with as you read this, provides a primary case study to Thompson, for while the OS is gorgeous, it “absolutely compromises a certain level of intuitiveness and consideration in the pursuit of beauty.”

But it’s not just with design that Apple has lost its human(ities) touch: Thompson notes that while during his latest iPad introduction, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple wants to help people create “even more amazing stories” with the help of the new launch, he didn’t go into the stories. He started boasting of the “speeds and feeds” that Jobs warned of. Which could be troubling.

So why would the humanities help?

Because they make you more empathic. Why? Because literature lets you demo other peoples’ minds in the comfy confines of your own. Because social science trains you to observe and understand people, rather than bash them with speeds and feeds–which is maybe why so many corporations are bringing in anthropologists.