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If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’re likely aware that Apple is making the final arrangements to release OS X Lion 10.7.2 and iCloud. As they both gradually inch closer to its release, Apple is beginning to invite selected users to test them both first hand, even if they’re not registered developers with Apple.

Mac OS X Lion

For months, Apple has regularly seeded pre-release versions of OS X 10.7.2, along with updated versions of apps such as iPhoto and Safari adding support for iCloud, to its registered developers. The last one of these seeds was released just over one week ago, yet Apple has now felt the need to expand its tester base to users outside this program.

Appleseeding

The result is the AppleSeed program, aimed at regular users instead of developers. Today, Apple has issued emails to certain Apple ID users inviting them to test out a pre-release build of OS X 10.7.2, the upcoming update for OS X Lion:

We have selected you, based on a referral and/or prior participation in our program, to assist us in testing an upcoming release of an OS X Lion Software Update.  You must have OS X Lion 10.7, build 11A511 or 10.7.1, build 11B26. Please follow the directions below to complete the invitation process.

Eligible users will then be linked to a build of OS X Lion 10.7.2 update, which includes the necessary under-pinnings that make the system capable of interacting with iCloud, once it’s available. It’s unclear whether additional software, such as iPhoto 9.2 Beta, will be made available through this program later on.

iCloud is at the cornerstone of Apple’s online services strategy. Announced back in June, iCloud includes several services that allow all iOS and OS X-enabled devices to interact with each other using an Internet connection, allowing user data, ranging from contacts and iCal events to iTunes content, to be kept in sync. There are other application-specific features, such as Photo Stream, which allows photo slideshows to be broadcasted to other machines running iOS or iPhoto, provided they fall under the same Apple ID.

As with any other pre-release software, only those who consider themselves ‘power users’ should be part of this program. Yet, it was probably a good idea for Apple to invite certain users outside its developer program to address last-minute issues with iCloud and OS X 10.7.2 before both are finally made available this Fall.

(via Cult of Mac)

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