If you’re the type of person who needs to be on the cutting edge, at least where Apple software is concerned, listen up — you could start saving almost $100 per year.
Apple yesterday announced its new Beta Seed Program, which allows users to download beta versions of its OS X operating system for free. The company hopes that those testing these early builds of the OS will report bugs or any other issues so that they can be patched up before the software’s public launch.
The $100 per year is saved by not having to pay Apple’s Developer Program fee of $99 for OS X. Some would pay that fee simply to access a beta version of Apple’s desktop operating system with no intention of developing software for it. For those folks, at least, the fee is gone. Those who wish to develop for OS X, of course, would still be required to pay that $99.
This move is not unlike what Microsoft does with its public betas of Windows. Google is also well-known for its wide testing of Chrome builds through alpha and beta channels. If Apple has customers willing to test software for free as these other companies do, why not use them?
It remains to be seen whether or not Apple will extend the same thinking toward its mobile operating system, iOS. Quite a few iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners pay $99 per year to become “iOS Developers” and access beta builds of the newest iOS version. It could be a bit easier to brick an iPhone if an update goes wrong, though, so perhaps Apple will play it safe and continue to keep the iOS preview builds behind the Apple Developers wall.
If you want to join the Apple Beta Seed Program, you can do so by visiting Apple’s page for the program.
What do you think of Apple’s decision to open up OS X betas to the world? Drop us a line below with your thoughts.