updated 05:20 pm EST, Thu January 24, 2013
Apple now surpassing number of 10.8.2 betas before release
Just a week after the last OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3 beta was released, Apple has issued a slightly newer build to developers and testers. The new version comes with no changes to the release notes or any known issues, but the previous beta 12D54 was noted as making improvements to the Wi-Fi component of OS X. The new version is build number 12D58, and is likely to continue cleaning up code and squashing bugs found in earlier releases. The incremental change in build numbers suggests that release is forthcoming.
In earlier v10.8.3 releases developers have been asked to test AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, graphics drivers, and Safari. The betas have also included the OS X Software Update Seed Configuration Utility, which can pull down new distributions via 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.
It's uncertain when the finished version of the update might be launched, but it is unusual for Apple to release so many betas of an incremental OS update. The previous release, 10.8.2, had six betas before the final version shipped. 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.