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Apple offers developers $99 day pass to access compatibility labs

Members of the Mac Developer Program now have the option of paying $99 for one day of access to Apple's wide array of resources found in its hardware compatibility labs.

As noted this week by Macworld, the $99 Single Lab Day Pass is a new addition for members of the Mac Developer program. It offers developers access to one of Apple's labs —located in Cupertino, Calif., and Tokyo, Japan —between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Previously, only members of the Apple Developer Connection could access the labs to test their software on a variety of Mac hardware configurations. But earlier this year, Apple discontinued the ADC and renamed it the Mac Developer Program, with a new, lower annual price of $99. Previously, developers had to pay between $499 for the "Select" tier and $3,499 for the "Premier" categorization of the Apple Developer Connection.

Developers who have an ADC membership will maintain full access, benefits and services until it expires, which includes two or three free monthly visits to the compatibility labs, depending on level of service. But for those under the new Mac Developer program, they will need to buy a $99 day pass.

Apple says that with a Single Lab Day Pass, developers at the Compatibility Labs can:
  • Test your products against new and older versions of Apple products, including domestic and international versions of Mac OS X per your request.
  • Receive immediate hands-on response to your testing needs from our lab support team.
  • Access a range of networking environments that include direct internet access, 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet and Airport wireless base stations with 802.11 a/b/g/n support.
  • Work in a confidential, climate controlled testing lab.

Compatibility Labs

Up to ten developers, each of whom must be registered with Apple, can obtain a day pass. After setting up an appointment for a specific day, they will be able to go to one of the company's labs —three of which are located at the Cupertino headquarters.

"(The labs contain) a truly enormous amount of Mac hardware, from recent versions of many models to older Power Macs, PowerBooks, and iBooks--they even have G4 cubes," the report said. A complete list of hardware is available on the official Compatibility Labs Equipment List. "Apple says it has more than 500 configurations on hand for compatibility testing, along with plenty of accessories and networking hardware."