iOS 7 (iPhone 5, flat, white, homescreen)

In a somewhat surprising move, Apple is allegedly asking select Cupertino locals for feedback on the interface changes in iOS 7. Specifically, the firm is thought to be holding campus sessions where they challenge cherry-picked Cupertino residents to weigh in on iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks.

Additionally, the company is said to be polling its retail store employees by seeding the initial preview of OS X Mavericks to Genius Bar and on-floor Apple Retail employees, the practice seemingly in line with Apple’s previous major software updates…

Apple’s invitation to participate in the pre-release OS X Mavericks seed program is apparently completely voluntary and entails “your personal computer” and on your personal time.

“Apple will provide you with ways to submit feedback on your experiences with OS X Mavericks, should you choose to do so,” the message reads, adding that the responses from prior seed programs “have been overwhelmingly positive”.

Mark Gurman, writing for 9to5Mac:

In addition to Retail employees, we understand that Apple has already seeded OS X Mavericks to its outside AppleSeed testing group. This seeding to AppleSeed is fairly early in comparison to initial OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Lion seeds in previous years.

Gurman also learned that Apple is readying initial betas of OS X 10.8.5, a bug fix update for Mountain Lion.

And in testing iOS 7 beyond developers, Gurman speculates that Cupertino locals that have been asked to provide feedback on iOS 7 probably are “family members of Apple employees, according to two people”.

While Apple in the past has similarly gauged feedback from Retail, rarely did the company “hold such previews for whole major operating system releases,” he explains.

Indeed, Apple is going back to its California roots.

Our non-U.S. readers may confuse the OS X Mavericks name to a Presidential campaign when John McCain earned a media reputation as a ‘maverick’ for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues.

OS X Mavericks (Desktop, MacBook)

That couldn’t be farther from truth.

According to Apple’s iOS and OS X boss, Craig Fecerighi, ‘Mavericks’ is a reference to Apple’s California roots and actually is a surfing location in Northern California – hence the default ‘waves’ OS backdrop, as seen above.

“We didn’t want to be the first operating system to run out of cat names,” he joked during the unveiling at WWDC. Future OS X releases will also adopt names based on California locations, Federighi said.