One of the bigger pieces of news from Apple this year is the announcement of a new version of OS X that will be coming out in the fall. OS X Yosemite will introduce a number of interesting features and changes that are eagerly anticipated by many users. Some of those who are keen to try Yosemite are being given the chance by Apple through their OS X Beta Program which is part of their AppleSeed program.
When developing any software, including operating systems, companies need to put each program through a series of tests. These tests, usually called Alpha and Beta tests, are usually conducted by trained bug hunters who push the program to its limits, attempting to expose things like bugs, glitches, and other problems that need to be fixed before the program release.
Over the past few years, there has been an emerging trend where developers have started to turn to users to test programs. This is actually a common practice in the video game industry which has started to take hold in the software industry as well.
The main reason behind this move is because it is usually costly to hire Alpha and Beta testers, so if you can get your customers to help test it, you save money while being able to release a generally better product. At the same time, you also get to drive interest in programs and possibly increase sales.
This year, Apple has decided to adopt this practice and has introduced the AppleSeed program. The idea behind this program is that users can sign up to beta-test future versions of Apple software. Anyone with an Apple ID can sign up for the program and if you are approved, you will be allowed to beta test upcoming software for Apple.
How to get onto the beta
One of the first programs being tested is OS X Yosemite. This year, Apple has opened the beta to one million people. If you go to the OS X Beta Program site – which is a subprogram of the AppleSeed project – you can press the Sign up button to apply to join the program. You will need to enter your Apple ID and password and then follow the steps to sign up.
If you have gotten an invite to beta test OS X Yosemite, you can go to the Beta Program site and press the Sign in button at the top-right of the page. Once you are logged in, scroll down the page and click Get OS X Yosemite Beta Redemption Code. This will give you an Apple Store code that will enable you to download the beta version. If you already have a code, try going to this page on the Beta Program site and pressing Download OS X Yosemite Beta.
This will open the Apple Store app with the activation code already implemented. Press the Redeem button and then follow the instructions that pop up to download and install the beta version.
Should my company be beta testers?
While it may seem like a cool thing to be able to get access to the next version of OS X before everyone else, there are some caveats with the program:
- This is a beta test. The software is not finished and some apps and programs will not work properly. You will also see bugs and glitches that you should report to Apple to fix.
- The final product may not look/function the same as the beta. While beta versions of software are pretty close to the finished version, there is still a chance that features and functions in the beta will change before the program is released.
- It is difficult to revert back to a stable release. Stable releases are a version of software that has been released to the general public for use – in this case OS X Mavericks. If you do install the beta and decide it’s not working, it can be difficult to revert back to Mavericks. It may even require you to wipe your computer and start fresh.
So, taking this into account, should your business try the beta version? We strongly recommend against this. The main reason is because there is a good chance that your other systems may not be fully compatible with OS X Yosemite. The absolute last thing you want is to install the beta version of Yosemite only to find out your printers, or other business functions, don’t work with the software.
If you feel that upgrading say a personal laptop is worth it, then we strongly recommend that before you do do so, take the time to back everything up. It is also worth noting that you will need OS X Mavericks installed on your laptop/desktop if you are thinking of trying OS X Yosemite out.
Should you have any questions about the upcoming version of OS X, contact us today to see how we can help. There are many ways you can upgrade and refresh our business tech without having to resort to using beta programs.