Apple on Tuesday launched beta testing for OS X 10.9.3, giving interested parties a chance to test drive the next update to the company's Mac operating system.
The OS X Beta Seed Program requires an Apple ID and is free to Mac users signing up to participate and prepared to adhere to a confidentiality agreement associated with the beta testing process. Apple did not reveal when OS X 10.9.3 will be released as a general update to Macs running OS X, currently updated at version 10.9.2, or Build 13C64.
Apple's OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" operating system was released last October and the 10.9.3 update now in beta testing is also known as Build 13D45a.
Customers who download the beta seed of the OS X 10.9.3 update will be required to "provide feedback to Apple directly" via automated dialog boxes and other correspondence methods, Apple said. The OS X Beta Seed Program is distinct from Apple's Mac Developer Program, which furnishes additional tools for developers of software for OS X, the company said.
Participants in the program won't be compensated, Apple said in a OS X Beta Seed Program FAQ, and the confidentiality agreement serves up some pretty strict guidelines for how to use the 10.9.3 download for those choosing to register.
"[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.
Apple also noted that installing the OS X 10.9.3 beta update won't void hardware warranties and recommend that program participants back up their Macs via Time Machine, with the promise that AppleCare customer support specialists would be on hand to help beta testers with any problems that might arise.
Interested parties can visit Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program landing page to begin the process of registering for the program and downloading the update.