I really like tinkering with my computer. A tweak here, an upgrade there. If you are like me, you love it when a brand new update to an OS is announced. When it comes to Apple, I am always close to the front of the line, just waiting to try out the new version of OS X.
Until recently the only way you could gain access to a new version of OS X was to either gain a copy illegally (not recommended) or sign up for the developer program. The dev program at Apple is great, if you don’t mind shelling out $99 to become a registered developer that is. Fear not though, if you not a member of that particular club as on Tuesday this week, Apple announced a new initiative called the OS X Beta Seed Program.
If you sign up to the Beta Seed Program, you as the user, can register to receive pre-release versions of OS X, starting with OS X 10.9.3, which is available starting Tuesday. By tinkering around with the new software and providing some feedback to Apple, you can help shape the OS.
I know what you are thinking ‘a version of this program previously existed, it was called Appleseed’. That initiative however, was an invite-only deal and the company offered it only occasionally. Beta Seed, in comparison, is available to any member of the public that has an Apple ID.
If you are going to try this out, then Apple recommends that you make a backup before installing any beta software. By running a downloadable Beta Access Utility, Apple will make beta seed versions of OS X and also any additional software Apple sees fit to test, via the Mac App Store. Once you have installed the Beta Access Utility, any pre-release software will appear in the Updates pane of the store.
If you do want to join up to the program, you are required to undergo certain things; You have to log in with your Apple ID and then accept a confidentiality agreement, which then prohibits you from discussing or sharing publicly, any information about the pre-release software with people who are not also using the pre-release software. (According to the agreement, Apple will likely provide discussion boards that are expressly for the purpose of discussing pre-release software)
This agreement also warns you that by using pre-release software it may be hazardous to your computer, as it may include bugs (you don’t say?). Also, you will not receive any warranty coverage or support for any problems with the software, so install it at your own risk.
So, there you have it, enjoy a new version of OS X, but at your own peril. As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
[Image via 9to5mac]