Apple Extends OS X 10.9, iOS 7 Betas to Retail Employees and Locals

OS X Mavericks

Apple announced the latest versions of iOS and OS X at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote last week, and now it is looking for its retail employees and local Cupertino residents to provide feedback on the platforms. In addition to releasing new versions of the operating systems to engineers and registered developers, Mark Gurman for 9to5Mac reports that Apple is now seeding the pre-release software to its Genius Bar and on-floor retail employees for testing. 

The official memo from Apple to its retail employees reads:

You are invited to participate in the pre-release OS X Mavericks seed program. Participation, including submitting feedback, is completely voluntary and not an expectation of your job.

If you accept, we will provide you with a pre-release version of OS X Mavericks to install and use. You will get to preview all of the exciting new features like iBooks, Maps, Calendar, Safari, iCloud Keychain, Multiple Displays, Notifications, Finder Tabs, Tags, and much more! You should use OS X Mavericks only your personal computer and on your personal time. Apple will provide you with ways to submit feedback on your experiences with OS X Mavericks, should you choose to do so. Apple also asks that you use future builds of OS X Mavericks as they are made available.

The responses from prior seed programs have been overwhelmingly positive.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Last year, the same program was rolled out to retail staffers about one month prior to the launch of OS X Mountain Lion. The goal behind these initiatives is for Apple to gain valuable feedback in a controlled environment, while getting its retail employees familiar with the latest version of OS X in the process.

Apple has also made OS X Mavericks available through its wider AppleSeed program, although reportedly in slower fashion than OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion. Moreover, a bug fix update for Mountain Lion in the form of OS X 10.8.5 will soon also be seeded through this program, although a specific release date remains unknown.

On the iOS 7 front, Gurman reports that Apple has reached out to Cupertino residents — where its corporate headquarters are located — to help test the drastically changed version of its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch software. It is likely that these individuals are family members of Apple employees.

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