The public beta versions of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are now ready for download. But before you get started tinkering with the mobile or desktop OS, it's important to understand what kind of territory you'll be navigating.

Earlier this week, Apple released the second developer seeds of the two operating systems, and these became the basis of the public beta versions. Tech Times now presents a quick guide to the iOS 10 and macOS Sierra preview software.

Top Feature Of macOS Sierra: Siri's Integration

For three years now, Apple has been opening its desktop OS for the public to test drive. This year, users will find the most notable feature of Sierra to be Siri's integration into the desktop environment.

In the same way the voice-activated personal assistant has revolutionized our use of smartphones, Siri on the Mac will allow users to rely on natural language commands.

The "Hey Siri" voice prompt, however, is unavailable on the desktop beta for now, but there are two ways to access Siri: 1) on the Dock, using Command-Space as a default key command and 2) on the Menu Bar.

Once enabled, Siri will be ready to schedule appointments, send messages, jot down reminders and play songs, in addition to doing other PA tasks. It will also be able to save your queries.

What other features can users expect from the new macOS?

• iCloud Drive lets you save Desktop & Documents files in sync with your cloud storage.

• Photos for Mac now has the People album (with facial recognition) and the Memories tab (compiled based on location and events). Of course, you can also sync this with your iCloud.

• Picture-in-Picture Mode is a convenient way to minimize / resize a video and place it in a corner of the screen, so users can continue with other tasks while viewing the clip.

You can find out more from our coverage of Sierra's functionalities.

Top Features Of The iOS 10

iOS 10 offers a much more visual way of communicating: the update to the iMessage and Message apps will have snippets of rich media popping up whenever you receive weblinks.

Four emoji sticker packs have also recently been released to beta testers. Emoji now will be three times bigger than previous ones. To really get your message across, though, it may be best to use other nifty tools, such as the full-screen fireworks backdrop to a message or the Invisible Ink.

What other features are embedded in the iOS 10 preview?

 A People album on the Photos app, like the one on Sierra's version of Photos for Mac, also makes use of facial recognition to compile images of the same individuals. The algorithm is used within the device, and never externally unless the images are shared elsewhere. Users shouldn't worry about Apple profiling them and violating their security by prying open their photo library.

• Native App icons can be removed from the Home screen for a clutter-free environment. The apps remain in operation even when they are taken out of the Home screen launcher, since the apps are not uninstalled in the process.

• Siri can deploy third-party apps, such as WhatsApp or Uber. The number of apps supporting this are limited to six for now, though.

• Apple Music displays song lyrics. Apple will, of course, need to secure rights to show the lyrics of a significant number of songs to expand its current library.

Word Of Caution Before Downloading

Finding glitches and other software / device issues, such as a slow performance and battery drain, are a normal part of beta testing, so users are discouraged from downloading the iOS 10 and macOS Sierra public beta to a primary device. It is, after all, just a preview.

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