Apple puts pre-release OS X on the map


Beta Seed: Help find hidden treasure.

Yesterday, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) quietly started a new program which permits users to try out pre-release versions of OS X. Named "Beta Seed," the program is available to anyone free of charge.

However, there is a control-freak-Catch-22 Apple places on participants in the program. The catch: Bloggers may find they love new features in available-to-the-public beta versions of OS X -- all fine with Apple -- as long as the features aren't mentioned in public.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers believe silence is golden.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.


Gregg Keizer got an invitation, but wasn't told about it:

Apple...followed Microsoft in opening up pre-release, or beta, versions of its personal computer operating system to all comers.


With little fanfare on Tuesday, Apple allowed anyone, not just registered developers, to download and install a beta version...of an upcoming update to OS X Mavericks.  MORE


Dan Moren jumps through hoops but can't mention it:

As part of the Beta Seed Program, users can register to receive pre-release versions of OS X, starting with OS X 10.9.3.


Joining the program does require you jump through several hoops: You have to...accept a confidentiality agreement, which prohibits you from...publicly sharing any information about pre-release software with people who are not also using the pre-release software.  MORE


Straight from the horse's mouth:

The OS X Beta Seed Program is available to users who are 18 or older, have signed in with their Apple ID, and have accepted the OS X Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement.


Always backup your computer before installing pre-release software. To get a shipping release of OS X on your Mac, you can simply install the final version of the software you are testing when it appears in Software Update.  MORE


Darrell Etherington takes a chance, two weeks early:

This move comes only a few weeks ahead of Apple's WWDC developer conference, which kicks off June 2 this year. Apple is expected to reveal the next version of OS X at that event, and there's a good chance it will also release a preview build of the operating system for pre-release testing at the same time.  MORE


Rik Myslewsk wants you to hit him, as hard as you can:

The first rule of OS X Beta Seed Program, it appears, is you do not talk about OS X Beta Seed Program.


[If] you should decide that you want to quit the program, Apple will release you. ... Being on Apple's QA team is going to be wonderful.


Just don't tell anybody about it.  MORE


Meanwhile, Salvador Rodriguez thinks loftier thoughts:

[Apple] on Tuesday ran an Earth Day ad in numerous newspapers around the world...that challenges its competitors to adopt the same environmentally friendly policies that Apple has.


"There are some ideas we want every company to copy," the ad reads in large letters.  MORE

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