Apple has begun inviting its retail store employees to try pre-release versions of macOS Sierra, the latest version of its Mac software platform and renamed successor to OS X El Capitan.
Staff who sign up to the voluntary AppleSeed program are set to receive pre-release versions of macOS Sierra to install on their personal computers for use on their own time.
Apple is hoping that staff who get involved will help the company assess how the OS stands up in typical everyday usage scenarios, as outlined in its AppleSeed participation guidelines:
We ask that you use seeded software in your day-to-day activities, which is an environment that cannot be replicated at Apple. We will provide you with a variety of tools that will allow you to give us detailed information about your experience, should you decide to provide feedback to us.
As usual, the AppleSeed program is subject to a strict confidentiality agreement that prevents employees from publicly discussing their involvement in testing the seed.
Apple has invited retail employees to try pre-release software for the past few years, such as the company's Photos app, which replaced iPhoto and was released last year for OS X.
macOS Sierra was announced on Monday at WWDC 2016, and became available to developers for testing immediately after the company's keynote. Apple says a public beta will be launched in July, while the final public release is coming in the fall.
macOS Sierra includes a number of new capabilities, including Siri desktop integration, an automatic unlocking feature, universal Clipboard support, new iCloud integration, Apple Pay for the web, and more. The new Mac OS also features an entirely new file system, dedicated RAID Support, and an intelligent Optimized Storage function.
The macOS name, which does away with Apple's long-standing OS X naming scheme, also brings the name of the Mac operating system in line with iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.