Apple made a rare move this week by opening up the beta of OS X 10.9.3 to all users with an Apple ID. The company typically offers access to beta versions of its operating system to members of its paid developer program and doesn't let average users get their hands on updates until locking in shipping versions.
Apple opens OS X 10.9.3 beta to the public
Apple is giving non-developers access to the unreleased version of Mavericks 10.9.3 along with iTunes 11.1.6 beta through its OS X Beta Seed Program for free. To participate, users need to sign in at the Beta Seed website with their Apple ID, and they'll have to agree to a nondisclosure agreement, just like developers.
Opening the OS X update beta to the public is a good hint that it's probably close to finished, but that doesn't mean there won't be any surprise bugs in the code. Since beta versions of software can include stability problems, it's a smart idea to install the OS X beta on non-critical Macs.
Apple isn't offing public betas of iOS or other apps right now, and considering the company typically doesn't do this, we aren't expecting to see public betas of iOS any time soon.
[Thanks to Ars Technica for the heads up]