updated 12:12 am EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
Stats double literally overnight to 0.57 percent of all Mac web traffic
Though the increase is insignificant in the larger picture of overall global Mac web traffic, new numbers from GoSquared suggest that the release yesterday of the Yosemite (OS X 10.10) public beta, limited to a pool of one million Apple ID holders already running Mavericks, doubled the number of people using the forthcoming new update on the web literally overnight. According to GoSquared's live analytics page, use of Yosemite jumped from 0.26 percent on Thursday to 0.57 percent on Friday.
Upon its initial availability, the demand for the Yosemite beta bogged down Apple's servers to such an extent that slowdowns were felt in other services around the same time as peak traffic for downloading the 5GB beta installer, including iCloud Mail, iTunes and other services (though this could possibly have merely been coincidental). Early adopters reporting some issues downloading or successfully installing the beta, which may have prevented some users from getting their own copy, though testers at MacNN were able to successful download and install the beta by the early evening (Eastern Time). The percent has been creeping upwards steadily throughout the day Friday, and is expected to increase substantially over the weekend.
Previous statistics from Chitika had signaled an increasing interest in the next OS X update, in part due to a further refining of the overall look of the OS (a "flatter" aesthetic but not so much a straight copying of iOS 7 style), as well as an increasing amount of interaction between it and the also-forthcoming iOS 8, and in part to a huge number of under-the-hood refinements and improvements, along with an all-new programming language from Apple called Swift that the company believes will be a "huge step forward" for iOS and OS X development.
Our own first impressions, based on a 2009 MacBook Pro test unit, are that the OS itself seems mostly in place, though there are still a number of graphics bugs to be found in the low-end Intel chipset this machine uses. Other than an update to a test version of Java, we haven't yet run across any serious flaws or program incompatibilities (but our testing thus far has been very limited).
The "public" beta is limited to the first million testers who meet qualifications and sign up, a number Apple may have already reached -- and the company cautions that installing the beta OS could cause problems for those who rely on their Macs as production machines or for other mission-critical potential incompatibilities. We have already noticed, for example, that the 1Password plug-in for Safari is not compatible with the Yosemite version of the browser and is disabled -- a minor issue, but one that could cause some users much inconvenience.