What Does Apple’s Shutdown of This Update Project Mean?

Mac-OS-X-LionIs Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest update for OS X about to be released? Apple emailed a notice to developers this week to let them know that it would be ending the seeding of new betas for its OS X 10.8.4 software. Apple closed the “Software Update Project” on May 31. It also shut down the discussion board for the project, as well as download and bug form pages due to scheduled infrastructure maintenance.

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Since Apple didn’t give a date for restarting the project, many developers are speculating that the software may be on the cusp of being finalized. Typically when Apple ends the seeding of new betas, it indicates that a final version of the software is almost ready. However, Apple Insider notes that Apple has yet to release a “Gold Master” of this software, which usually precedes a full public release.

Last week Apple seeded the eighth version of its OS X 10.8.4 operating system to developers for beta testing. However, it is also not unusual for Apple to run through almost twice this many software iterations before it releases a completed product.

Apple has already announced that it would unveil “new versions of iOS and OS X” for developers at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. This year’s WWDC runs from Monday, June 10 until Friday, June 14.

Since testers discovered upgraded Wi-Fi protocols in one of the beta versions of OS X 10.8.4, Apple users are anticipating that the new Macs will use a higher standard of Wi-Fi. One of the earlier beta versions released by Apple included support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is a faster Wi-Fi protocol. The latest versions of Macs only support Wi-Fi standards up to 802.11n.

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Other anticipated upgrades include an improved graphics card driver, wake-from-sleep connectivity to Wi-Fi, and a new version of Safari reports MacNN. A bug fix for FaceTime and an improved battery life capability are also expected.

Apple closed down 0.41 percent, or $1.85, at $449.73 on Friday. Here’s how Apple has traded over the past week.

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