Apple seeded the OS X 10.9 Mavericks Gold Master to developers signaling that the final release of the new Mac operating system will likely ship within a week or two, hitting the rumored “sometime in October” deadline.
Apple also shipped an update to iTunes, along with the Gold Master, bringing it to iTunes 11.1.1 (11). The iTunes update fixes problems with podcasts deleted in iTunes. It also brings improved stability to the program and makes it compatible with the Gold Master.
A new version of iPhoto addresses issues related to unexpected crashes while launching the photo organizing, editing and sharing app in Mavericks.
Finally, there’s a new version of Xcode, which showed up also bringing compatibility with the OS X 10.9 Gold Master. Xcode 5.0.1 GM seed helps developers create apps for the Mac and iOS.
The iTunes and iPhoto updates will show up in the Mac App Store for anyone already running Mavericks beta. Those running Mavericks will need to get the Gold Master from the developer center instead of seeing it in the updates section of the Mac App Store.
This new release doesn’t seem to offer anything new compared to the last beta release which showed up recently. Instead, Apple ships it as the final build before releasing the official OS X 10.9 Mavericks update on the Mac App Store. We’d only see another new version before that time if a huge bug suddenly appeared not already discovered in the betas. Expect the update to cost either $19 or $29, like earlier updates released on the Mac App Store.
OS X 10.9 Mavericks Gold Master Update Process
Don’t let the update process fool you into thinking the download failed. When we clicked on the link to get the update from the Developer Center, the link opens the Mac App Store and takes the user to the code redemption screen. The users must redeem the code as if someone gave the person a gift card. Then the download starts in the Applications folder instead of as an update in the Mac App Store. The download behaves like an App behaves when someone installs it from the Mac App Store. The user will see a progress bar under the Applications folder and/or the Launchpad icon on the Dock. It also shows up under the icon in the Applications folder in Finder. The download will take a while at 5.29GB.
Prediction for Final Release
Given the timing of updates, we expect to see OS X ship within the next couple of weeks. During this beta cycle new versions typically showed up about two weeks apart, although Apple altered that on occasion. We predict a relatively quiet release just before Apple holds an event to announce a new iPad and possibly new MacBooks with Haswell processors. Since all evidence points to those taking place this month, look for the event to come around October 15 to the 22 after the two-week time frame and assuming Apple announces on a Tuesday or Wednesday, their normal days for such events. The last time they launched a major OS X update, the software showed up just before such an announcement giving them something to brag about.