Apple is making it easy for anyone, not just those part of its paid developer program, to access beta builds of OS X and in the process submit feedback to Apple. As noted by The Loop, Apple is kicking off a new OS X Beta Seed Program today for all customers that will allow anyone with an Apple ID to install beta builds of OS X starting with the latest OS X 10.9.3 build released yesterday.

The OS X Beta Seed Program gives users the opportunity to run pre-release software. Test-drive beta software and provide quality and usability feedback that will help make OS X even better.The OS X Beta Seed Program gives users the opportunity to run pre-release software. Test-drive beta software and provide quality and usability feedback that will help make OS X even better.

You can sign up for the program here and Apple says it will provide a Beta Access Utility for Mac that will give pre-release access to the OS X betas via the Mac App Store Updates panel (as pictured below).

Those in the new program get access to a lighter version of the Feedback Assistant but they don’t get all of the benefits of Apple’s other seed programs like detailed bug forms, full release notes, and a discussion board.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 3.22.29 PM

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37 Responses to “Apple’s new program lets anyone, not just developers, test OS X beta builds”

  1. I hope they’ll start doing that for iOS builds

    • rogifan says:

      Oh man I think that would be a nightmare. You’d have a flood of non-developers putting it on their main device (because they have to have the latest and greatest OS) and then flooding Apple with complaints when something doesn’t work.

      • ezfe says:

        I agree, iOS is harder to fix when issues arise, as well

      • tilalabubakr says:

        Well same thing goes for OS X.
        IMO, they should open the chance for non-devs only after beta 3-4 on both iOS and OS X. The OSes would be more stable, and most of the serious bugs and glitches would be fixed.

  2. This is an amazing news. I already installed the utility and I’m downloading the OS X 10.9.3 right away.
    I always wanted access to the build releases (I’m an IT major), but I was not willing to pay the $99 a month Apple demands from developers.

    Thanks 9to5mac.com.

  3. Updating: apparently the server are facing a high demand, my download time started with 4min to finish, but currently I’m hanging at about 24min to finish. This is not a connection issue since I have access to a 100 mbps connection.

  4. Installing now will be interesting to see if this will allow install of OSX 10.10 after WWDC

  5. I really hope feedback assistant comes to iOS 8 beta. Even if it’s not open to public, being able to report bugs as you find them or at least start a report will be awesome!

  6. Andre Moore says:

    I would sign up for this but i don’t have a second mac, don’t trust it enough to do it on my main mac.

  7. maxximumrage says:

    Apple really needs to stop with releasing new OS’s each year. Their engineers can’t even fix the current ones let alone design a stable OS without all the ACL and Permission issues that exist starting with OS X 10.7, skipping 10.8 and back to 10.9 which is still a disaster.

  8. drtyrell969 says:

    Finally, an inclusive ecosystem.

  9. iol2 says:

    I think this is potentially a fantastic idea. Apple really needs to step it up somehow when it comes to removing bugs. I really expect better than I have gotten from them over the last year two years. Apple is after all supposed to be a premium product, and it is definitely becoming something other than that. Heck, on itunes I can’t even hardly read the text and see the movie covers, so I never use it, and I am on a 15 retina, not an 11 inch air. I can also hardly read the text in my favorite menus on Safari, and I have better than 20/20 vision. I guess I need to carry a magnifying glass to use where ever I go. Also, the first year of my laptop scrolling was horrible, but they did fix it nicely, but a year, seriously!
    In addition, I think Apple needs to provide a carrot of some form in order to entice people to participate. Asking people to go through so much trouble without any incentive is almost rude in my view. I’m sure some people will take them up on this anyway, but that still doesn’t mean it’s not rude! When people ask for something for nothing it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of too many people. Makes me wonder what is going on in the minds of the leadership. It sounds like Steve Job’s arrogance did not die with him, and that has always been what so many people have thoroughly disliked with Apple. That and the BS train which seems to never stop. They can come out with nothing and tell all of us they just became the first people to ever visit Mars or some other unbelievably absurd make me want to hurl nonsense. It took me about twelve years to switch over in part for these very reasons. I DO NOT LIKE ARROGANT UNGRATEFUL PEOPLE, and I am hardly the only person!
    That being said, I do like Apple for many reasons and they have been good to me on repairs and other things. I do suggest their products to people, but I also tell the truth that Apple will seriously drive you up the wall with some of the problems and other issues. Heck, my 3 th & computer keeps crashing lately, seriously!

    • Tallest Skil says:

      >>I have better than 20/20 vision

      This just proves you’re lying. Instead of a wall of text, why not go lie somewhere else?

      • iol2 says:

        “Normal visual acuity is commonly referred to as 20/20 vision (even though acuity in normally sighted people is generally higher), the metric equivalent of which is 6/6 vision. At 20 feet or 6 meters, a human eye with nominal performance is able to separate contours that are approximately 1.75 mm apart. [4] A vision of 20/40 corresponds to lower than nominal performance, a vision of 20/10 to better performance.”

        There’s are few worse things than those in the world who go around tearing people down, calling them liars, and attacking them when they do not even know them or whether or not they are telling the truth. You sir are one of those people, you have no idea what 20/20 even is, and you do not know me or whether or not I am telling the truth. Take your diapers off and grow up!

      • Tallest Skil says:

        So no refutation whatsoever and personal attacks?

        Great going. If you can’t read the content on the screen at a normal distance at a normal resolution, you cannot possibly claim to have better than normal vision. You are a filthy liar, period. I don’t have to know you to know you’re lying about your vision.

      • iol2 says:

        You started the personal attack on me, not the other way around. You are clearly a small person, and probably tear down those around you who have relationships with you. I bet those around you end up having problems in life and you don’t even see that you are actually the cause and not them! This is not something to be proud of and I tell you this since you haven’t figured it out yet.

        I can actually read the tiny text very well, but it is seriously awkward and weird to focus on such small text when all other text is so much larger. It’s more a mental thing than a question of eye sight.

        I see your user name is Tallest Skil, this proves my point, your obsessed with building yourself up and wrecking others. Like I said, take your diapers off, grow up, and stop pushing others in the dirt. You might be surprised how much your life and relationships will improve.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Yep, see, nothing at all but personal attacks, absolutely nothing to prove your point, and no evidence for a single claim.

        Shut up and go away.

      • iol2 says:

        What, no response from the big man?

      • Tallest Skil says:

        So… you’re replying to my reply by saying I didn’t reply?

        Are you damaged or just the troll I know you are?

      • iol2 says:

        That’s what you did to me, so if you are calling me damaged then you are calling yourself the same. Seriously! Is your logic this bad?

      • Tallest Skil says:

        No, I called you a liar. That’s in no way a personal attack, nor is it even an insult.

      • iol2 says:

        I remind you again, your username is Tallest skil. You chose that and this proves what your attitude is like, and how you treat others. You like to tear people down, and this is nothing to be proud of.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        I’ll remind you again: You have done nothing but lie and spew ad hominem attacks. My username has nothing to do with this discussion in any capacity. You have FAILED to provide any evidence that a normal viewing distance at a normal resolution under conditions of better than normal vision would result in unreadability. You have failed in this because it is impossible to prove; you’re just wrong. When called out on being wrong, you dive IMMEDIATELY into personal attacks, ignoring the argument entirely.

        Shut up… and go away. Spew your lies on MacRumors or somewhere else they aren’t smart enough to know better.

      • iol2 says:

        Are you telling me that you don’t know that calling someone a liar is a personal attack, and to many many people one of the absolute worst ones you can make?

        I told you this is a mental thing more than visual and I can technically read the text just fine, but you don’t listen, DO YOU?

        “So Tallest Skil got banned… And unbanned again. And now he’s banned again… I wonder how long it will last this time.”

      • Tallest Skil says:

        >>Are you telling me that you don’t know that calling someone a liar is a personal attack

        No, I’m telling you outright that it isn’t. I am attacking the information you present, not the presenter. The act of lying is what you have done, by presenting false information. Maybe just don’t present false information?

        And you still do absolutely nothing whatsoever but spew personal attacks. It’s funny now more than anything else. And about your ‘mental thing’, you have not only spewed false information, you have now PROVEN that it isn’t Apple’s problem, nor is it their responsibility to fix.

        Stop clogging up websites with FUD.

      • iol2 says:

        Calling someone a liar is a personal attack to anyone with basic common sense. You can dispute facts without calling someone a labeled name! Grow up and give up the diapers!

        I think you have been banned so many times since your beliefs and views are so out of line with others and you can’t see yourself and what you say correctly. Let me know if you need a few dollars to buy yourself a mirror.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Do you think you “got me”? Okay. You got me. Ha ha. It’s funny. I replied to the troll. I thought he was capable of rational discussion, but as he continuously whines like a child about attacks while explicitly attacking others, apparently I was mistaken.

        So, what now, “ten out of ten, top lul” that sort of thing? Shut up and go away.

  10. wasimmemon says:

    great news for ios lovers like me…
    but it allow to update in virtual enviornment, i mean i am using ios in vm vare so can i update it ?

  11. Rigor Mortis says:

    this new beta program is not the same as appleseed. appleseed was allowed for non developers and only had an apple id for years now , you just had to be very lucky to get an invite. you get a stripped down feedback program compared to people who are in appleseed

  12. In case anybody wants to know how to turn off pre-release App Store updates & notifications and/or unenroll entirely…

    System Preferences… > App Store > Change… > Do Not Show Pre-Release Updates

    I believe you will have to run the Mavericks Beta Access Utility installer again in order to reinitiate.