Apple opens OS X betas to all users

os x beta seed program appleIn a surprise move, Apple has opened OS X betas to all users. The newly announced OS X Beta Seed Program provides general public pre-release access to OS X builds, a feature that was earlier available only to registered Mac developers.

Registering as a Mac developer costs $99 per year and though it comes with various other resources, pre-release access to OS X builds was perhaps the biggest feature, allowing developers to test their applications with upcoming OS X releases before everyone gets their hands on the OS. The idea is to let developers identify (and fix) any possible incompatibilities that their applications may have with the new OS, long before the general public installs the OS on release day and find that their favourite applications no longer work.

While developers benefit from getting early access to builds, Apple gets to test the OS by sending it to developers outside the company and receiving feedback on features that may be ‘broken’ in the OS.

By opening this feature to anyone, Apple is hoping that a larger number of people will participate in the program and give early feedback on OS X, which will allow Cupertino to fix bugs before the OS is released to the general public.

Anyone can join the OS X Beta Seed Program by registering on Apple’s website. You just need an Apple ID and agree to Apple’s Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement. Once registered, you will get access to pre-release versions of OS X in the Mac App Store Updates panel.

We strongly recommend you do not install OS X beta builds on your primary Mac as beta software can be buggy and can lead to loss of data.



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