updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri May 31, 2013
Unusual notice required due to infrastructure maintenance
In a rare move, Apple has notified developers working on the forthcoming OS X 10.8.4 update that it is closing down the seeding of new betas, essentially signalling that release of the update is likely to come next week. In the message, the company explains that scheduled maintenance on its Software Update project requires it to close existing projects and that the system for developer updates will be down from today, Friday the 31st. Apple also took a moment in the message to thank developers for their efforts in helping finalize the software.
In addition to the seeding updater, a discussion board and project area that hosted the downloads and bug forms will also be closed down, reports AppleInsider. It is unclear whether the last (eighth) release of the software is now considered a Golden Master -- but as there is no mention of restarting the 10.8.4 project following the maintenance, it is likely that Apple will complete any remaining work on the update over the next few days. In any case, the update is likely to appear ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference, which is scheduled to kick off on June 10.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for participating," the message reads in part. "Many bugs and issues have been discovered as a result of your efforts. You have helped contribute to the overall quality of our product. We realize that testing may have involved a great deal of time on your part to submit bugs, submit follow-up information, and re-install software along with your daily work. We appreciate your dedication."
Developers will still have access to their participant page, and Apple is encouraging the developers to keep their information up-to-date, presumably for inclusion in the 10.8.5 beta program, presuming there is one. Among the features of 10.8.4 are improvements in graphics card drivers (particularly for Nvidia cards that display some graphic glitches when put under load), wake-from-sleep connectivity to Wi-Fi, and support for the forthcoming 802.11ac standard, presumably supporting refreshed and new Mac models. A previously-unseen Broadcom chip was leaked last week that could find its way into future Mac products, and including 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 on the same card.
Also expected to be included in the 10.8.4 update is a new version of Safari (6.0.5), slightly improved battery life, drivers for the Geforce GTX Titan, and bug fixes for problems that prevented FaceTime calls to non-US style phone numbers and sometimes prevented sleep on some Macs after using Boot Camp to access a Windows environment. Apple will be more focused on the expected debuts of OS X 10.9 and iOS 7, both of which will be previewed at the conference -- though final release dates on both have not yet been announced.