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Apple kicks off public OS X beta testing

Gregg Keizer | April 24, 2014
Apple today followed Microsoft in opening up pre-release, or beta, versions of its personal computer operating system to all comers.

To gather feedback, Apple will install a "Feedback Assistant" in the Dock of the OS X 10.9.3 beta; the application will be used to send both feedback and diagnostic files to Apple.

Apple said nothing about extending the program beyond Mavericks, so it was unclear whether the next edition — which Apple will likely unveil June 2 on the opening day of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) — will also be covered, and thus available to the public before a final release, probably in October.

That edition of OS X, which will be named, like Mavericks, after a California locale, will be available to registered developers between WWDC and release.

Customers who rely on the Beta Seed Program can update to the final, production-quality version when it ships, Apple said in the FAQ. Those who want to retreat from a beta must reinstall the latest shipping version of OS X, then restore applications, documents and other files from a backup.

Mac owners may sign up for the program on Apple's website.

Participants in the OS X Beta Seed Program must be running Mavericks, and download a small utility which assigns the Mac access to pre-release software.


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