OS X Beta Seed Program Will Let You Try Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Before Its Release
Apple today opened up a beta version of OS X 10.9.3, an upcoming update to OS X Mavericks to all comers. The Cupertino company decided to offer every interested user the chance to try out beta versions of OS X through a new seed program.
It’s not the first time when Apple allowed the public to obtain beta versions of an operating system — back in 2000, the company opened up early edition of OS X 10.0 to everyone, and charged $29.95 for the privilege of running the update.
Since then, only registered developers — who pay $99 annually — have been allowed to download pre-release versions of the OS.
You are only required to have an active Apple ID to be eligible to sign-up for what Apple called the “OS X Beta Seed Program”. Just agree to a long terms-and-conditions document, and you’re done.
However, those terms legally prohibit participants from disclosing, or publishing any Confidential Information related to the beta. The terms and conditions state:
You agree that you will not disclose, publish, or otherwise disseminate any Confidential Information to anyone other than individuals who are enrolled in the same individual seed as you, or as otherwise expressly permitted or agreed to in writing by Apple.
It means if Apple finds someone they think is leaking secrets, the company will push them out of the list of Beta Seed Program participants. While it’s technically possible for the company, but it seems hard for them to find a single responsible party.
Once you sign up for the program, you will be given a special Beta Access Utility — which will allow you to install pre-release updates through the Mac App Store.
However, make sure you back up your data before downloading beta updates just in case things take a bad turn.
Apple followed Microsoft, and a host of other software developers, in offering previews of its major operating system updates to the public before their ultimate release.
It’s thought to be a good move by Apple, as the company was facing continuous criticism that it doesn’t widely test its software before release.
Apple will also install a “Feedback Assistant” in the Dock of the OS X 10.9.3 beta to gather feedback, so that users will be able to send both feedback and diagnostic files to Apple.
It’s still unclear whether the company will extend the program beyond Mavericks, allowing users to gain early access to the next edition, which Apple will likely unveil June 2 on the opening day of WWDC. So it remains to be seen how far Apple will go with the new beta program.
Those who are interested in taking part may sign up for the program on Apple’s website.
Apple hasn’t yet confirmed when the update will go live to all users.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.