Apple on Tuesday opened up OS X beta versions to the public in general. The Cupertino-based company announced the OS X Beta Seed Program, which allows anyone with an active Apple ID to download and install a beta version of OS X 10.9.3, the upcoming update to the company's operating system.
Unlike registered developers, who pay $99 annually to access pre-release versions of Apple's desktop operating system, among other benefits, this program doesn't require participants to shell out anything.
Apart from the fact that the program is available to users who are 18 or older, there aren't any other eligibility requirements to enter. Also, just like registered developers, participants would have to agree to a confidentiality agreement that requires them not to blog, post screen shots, tweet, or publicly post information about the pre-release Apple software.
"[T]he pre-release software is Apple confidential information. For example, don't install the pre-release Apple software on any systems you don't directly control or that you share with others, don't blog, post screen shots, tweet, or publicly post information about the pre-release Apple software, and don't discuss the pre-release Apple software with or demonstrate it to others who are not in the OS X Beta Seed Program," the FAQ explains.
A Feedback Assistant, installed in the Dock of the OS X 10.9.3 beta, would send feedback and diagnostic files to Apple to help it resolve any quality and usability issues before general launch.
You'll have to install a special utility software that comes with the program for the pre-release versions of OS X to be visible in your Mac App Store’s Updates tab. Also, installing the beta seed does not void your hardware warranty, the company assures.
Interested in participating in the program? Head over to Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program sign in page for the registration and download process.