updated 06:21 pm EST, Tue January 8, 2013
New build comes two weeks after fourth beta, no new release notes
Two weeks after the previous build, Apple has made available a new, fifth beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers through its Software Update channel. The latest build, 12D50, comes with no changes to the release notes from the previous 12D44 and lists no known issues, with the same request for testers to focus on AirPlay, AirPort, Safari, Graphics and Game Center. The lack of new information for the second beta running suggests that release may be imminent.
The new build, like the previous one, reminds developers to install the new "OS X Software Update Seed Configuration Utility," a tool that allows registered developers to receive the latest seed changes through Software Update, now Apple's preferred method of distribution. Email notices are still being sent out for developers who choose not to use the tool, but Apple may opt to discontinue email notifications at some point in the future as update mechanisms allow for faster distribution and feedback that developers have actually updated their betas.
OS X 10.8.3 has now matched the number of betas 10.8.2 went through before its release in September of last year. Bugs listed in earlier builds of the OS, including difficulty waking from sleep and issues with VNC connections, appear to have been resolved. Users will also be looking for improvements to battery life, and the inclusion in 10.8.3 of support for AMD's next-gen Radeon HD 7900-series video cards continues to feed hope that the release of 10.8.3 will set the stage for the unveiling of all-new Mac Pro units promised by CEO Tim Cook to appear sometime this year.