OSX Mavericks

Apple opens OS X Mavericks beta program to the public

If you're the type who loves beta testing software but didn't (or couldn't) jump through the hoops to be a part of Apple's developer program, fear not. The company has opened beta testing for OS X Mavericks to the public.

Apple puts it thusly:

The OS X Beta Seed Program gives users the opportunity to run pre-release software. Test-drive beta software and provide quality and usability feedback that will help make OS X even better.

You'll need to sign up for the beta program — and sign a confidentiality agreement. Apple will then send you a Beta Access Utility program, and you'll be good to go for pre-release versions through the Mac App Store.

Join now: Apple OS X Beta Seed Program

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Phil Nickinson

Phil is a recovering print journalist, editor of Android Central, subtitles and street signs

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Reader comments

Apple opens OS X Mavericks beta program to the public

14 Comments

That would be awesome if they copied what Microsoft does with Windows Phone where they have a "developer preview". Although I suspect that, as usual, they'll be more strict than Microsoft about it. It would also, thankfully, stop the countless "totally real renders of the next iOS" pictures that pop up everywhere.

It's not just for Mavericks, at least not right now. You can also test iTunes 11.1.6, which restores tethered iOS device sync.

Considering this will obviously result in massive leaks of any new UI elements and so forth, I would bet that it's being done to stave off the inevitable "hate it!" comments by getting feedback from the public before they change things.

Whether one believes iOS 7 was a disaster or not design-wise, it was a bit of a disaster PR wise with all the critical articles.

One would assume by now OSX design changes are pretty much locked. Not sure how getting a sneak peak will change things. At least I hope it doesn't turn into a design by committee. Getting more feedback is good in terms of functionality and usability but there still needs to be a core vision on the direction they're going and you don't get that from hundreds/thousands of beta testers all throwing their opinions at Apple.

How would getting feedback from people that are actually using these devices be a bad thing? I get that they have to have a vision for it, but if people don't like it, should they still go through with it?

1) This has nothing to do with leaks, it didn't stop developers and the press from releasing leaks after getting betas via the developer programs. All this does is simply open it up to everybody instead of the press/developers/folks who pay 99$ a year. Now, people don't have to pay 99$.
2) I agree, Apple wants to avoid repeating the iOS 7 release with horrible bugs and bad design choices for the upcoming 10.10.

Best to get it all out early and fix it.

The only problem is, will Apple delay 10.10 if the beta team finds enough problems or are they going to pull off iOS 7.0 again. Remember, many developers reported the same bugs found in 7.0 in the early stages of development. You could see the progress they were making since seed 1 to iOS 7 GM.

Many people including myself were upset to see Apple would release the iPad GM version in that bad of a shape. The iPad version was 1-2 months behind of the iPhone and yet, they went ahead.

Are they going to do the same for 10.10 with this new Seed program opening up to everybody?

There will be leaks though. At the moment, presumably, from what I've heard, there are significant design changes to OS X that everyone in the program is aware of and has seen. As of yet there have been no leaks, no screenshots, etc.

But if every yokel in a trailer is a "developer" or has access to that information, of course they are going to leak it. There is no leverage to stop them as there is now with "real" developers.

What are you talking about?

10.10 has not been released to any developers outside of Apple and some private companies.

And why the hell not, the more feedback they can get, the better things will be, and the faster they can learn and adapt. Even if things do get out then absolutely everybody will know which company copied what, which isn't exactly the type of thing they like to admit too.