updated 06:00 pm EDT, Wed July 3, 2013
Company maintains strict weekly schedule for updates
If it's Wednesday, there must be a new beta of the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 for developers to test. Apple has issued build 12F17 -- once again only four builds higher than the previous release -- for testing by program developers and, most recently, Apple retail store workers. As has been the case with the previous betas, no known issues are listed and testers are asked to focus on Wi-Fi (including new 802.11ac testing) and the "wake From sleep" function, both of which have seen issues for some in Mountain Lion.
In addition, testers are meant to examine PDF viewing, graphic performance and accessibility features, along with the more enterprise-level feature of Mobile Device Management. Apple has recently begun providing access to the OS X betas for Apple retail store workers who are interested in helping test it, though they are to do so only on their free time and not on devices they use for everyday functionality. The retail workers can volunteer for access to both the Mountain Lion and Mavericks (10.9) betas, as well as the iOS 7 betas, to help familiarize themselves with changes.
There is no announced release date for 10.8.5, but it could be one of the last bug-fix updates for Mountain Lion as the company moves on to OS X Mavericks, which is expected in the fall. Older OS releases (usually going two years back or sometimes more) continue to get security, QuickTime, iTunes and other important fixes but features and less-critical bug fixes are usually dropped shortly after the latest OS is released. Apple is currently still updating OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) on a "critical fix" level, which will be four years old by the time OS X Mavericks is released, but ceased developing new point versions of it after 10.6.8, which came out almost two years ago.