Apple introduced the public beta program to give users a sneak peek of what’s to come in the official release, and also to get more users out there sniffing out bugs before the official release is made available. Small bugs can be noticed and addressed more efficiently with a larger base of users navigating through the operating system.
Less than a week after the fourth beta was released to developers, OS X 10.11 beta five was released to developers yesterday morning. This morning, members of the public beta team also saw the release of the third public beta, just one week after the second was released.
The betas released last week didn’t include any new outward-facing features, instead focusing on bug fixing and stability improvements. The most recent beta versions appear to be more of the same, with the focus on minor bug fixes and corrections. One notable bug that was addressed from the last beta is what became known as the “Finder sidebar size bug”, which constantly resized the Finder sidebar to the minimum width. Users should expect to see such bug fixes, as well as enhanced performance and stability with each update as the official release of OS X El Capitan nears.
Any Macuser can enroll in the OS X public beta program. Apple does advise that the beta versions of their software can be buggy, and are generally not as reliable as the official releases. Users who choose to install beta versions of OS X are advised to do so on a backup machine or separate partition than their daily use Mac or partition.
Users can expect the full version of OS X El Capitan to release this coming October. The update will likely be the most stable official release users have seen to date. Features such as Split View, which allows two applications to share the screen side by side, a revamped Mission Control interface, a ‘smarter’ Spotlight, which searches several new sources for data, an improved Mail app, and much more will be available in the final release.