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Apple invites some macOS Big Sur users to try Monterey's Safari redesign

Safari Technology Preview

Through the Safari Technology Preview, Apple is inviting selected users to try out the new browser redesign without joining the macOS Monterey beta program.

In a quite rare move, Apple is soliciting more user opinion about its Safari redesign and in particular the reworked arrangement of tabs. Users on the developer and public betas of macOS Monterey have already seen revisions following feedback, but now Apple wants to expand the number of people testing it.

Apple has long had a Safari Technology Preview release, which is effectively always a beta of the next version of the browser. Even as the macOS Monterey beta introduced the new Safari, the Safari Technology Preview brought the same new features to macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina.

Now, however, Apple is contacting users on those operating systems to specifically invite them to try out the new Safari.

"We are extending you an invitation to join the AppleSeed Program and to take part in shaping Safari 15 for macOS Big Sur and Catalina," says Apple's invitation, as spotted by 9to5mac. "As a participant, you'll get to test-drive pre-release software and provide your feedback."

Apple has done this before in 2019, asking users to test the then-forthcoming watchOS 6.

This also used the AppleSeed program, which is different from the public beta in two key respects. The first is that you cannot apply to join AppleSeed, you have to be selected and Apple does not disclose how it chooses to invite.

The second is that previously AppleSeed invitees have been required to sign non-disclosure agreements. It's not clear whether Apple will insist on that again, since any user can elect to install the Safari Technology Preview by themselves.

However, it is possible that Apple will choose to release different builds or versions to the AppleSeed members as it tries out alternative versions.