Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OS X Beta Seed Program

Dan Moren:

Ever dreamed of an opportunity to try out new versions of OS X before they’re released, but without having to pony up the $99 to become a registered developer? Well, that opportunity’s here: On Tuesday, Apple announced a new initiative, the OS X Beta Seed Program.


You have to log in with your Apple ID and accept a confidentiality agreement, which prohibits you from discussing or publicly sharing any information about pre-release software with people who are not also using the pre-release software—according to the agreement, the company will likely provide discussion boards expressly for the purpose of discussing pre-release software.

Even before this, I’ve been seeing a much higher percentage of my customers using pre-release versions of Mac OS X than in the past.

Update (2014-04-23): Kirk McElhearn:

Apple’s opening up the OS X beta program is an odd step. They already don’t fix many of the bugs that those with developer accounts report, so getting many more bug reports is unlikely to make a difference. While this is a good thing for users who are not developers, and who want access to OS X betas – journalists such as my colleagues and I will save $100 a year – I don’t see how expanding beta access will improve anything. But this is a sign of the greater openness we’ve seen since Tim Cook took over the company.

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Wondering if this is connected to:

- the fact that the OS is now free.
- interest from developers to test minor updates that almost never fixes reported issues is falling bigger with each release.
- Apple does not want to spend money on testing its desktop OS.

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