As expected, Apple today released the second public beta of OS X Yosemite.
The update, pegged as build "14A329r," followed the debut of the sixth developer preview on Monday. Then Computerworld had predicted that Apple would ship the public beta today after concluding that the company would refresh the beta after every second developer preview.
This week's sixth developer preview and second public beta are nearly identical in content and operation.
Apple delivered the first public beta on July 24, four weeks ago today, and three days after the fourth developer preview.
This summer's public beta was the first for an Apple operating system since 2000, when the company charged $29.95 for the privilege of running an early version of what later became OS X 10.0, a.k.a. Cheetah.
The public beta can be installed only on Macs running OS X Mavericks, which Yosemite will replace, probably on Oct. 22. Apple has also advised users contemplating the public beta to first back up their Mac with Mavericks' built-in backup utility, Time Machine.
Yosemite requires an iMac from the mid-2007 model on; 13-in. MacBook from late 2008 (aluminum case) or early 2009 (plastic case) forward; MacBook Pro from mid- and late-2007 and on; MacBook Air from late 2008 and later; Mac Mini from early 2009 and after; or Mac Pro from early 2008 and later.
Participants in the Yosemite public beta will be able to install the final edition in place of the preview when the polished version launches this fall.
If Apple hews to a once-every-four-weeks schedule for the public beta, it has two more opportunities for a refresh before Computerworld's projected Oct. 22 release: on Sept. 18 and Oct. 16. It's possible that Apple will skip the fourth beta since it would appear less than a week before the final.
The second Yosemite public beta can be retrieved by those already running the first build from the Mac App Store by selecting "Software Update..." from the Apple menu on the top-of-the-screen menu bar.
Yosemite, like its predecessor Mavericks, will be free to download from the Mac App Store when it reaches final form.