Apple’s developer betas are now free to download


Apple has made an important change regarding access to developer betas for its latest software. Previously, users with free Apple developer accounts had to wait longer than paying users to access developer betas. However, it has been pointed out by user iSoftware Updates on Twitter and confirmed by Apple’s developer program comparison page that those with free accounts can now install OS beta releases without needing to pay the annual $99 fee for the Apple Developer Program. This means that users with free accounts can install the various betas, including iOS 17, starting today instead of waiting for the public beta in July. It’s important to note that this privilege is only available to users with an Apple Developer account or Apple ID enrolled in the Developer Program; it is not open to the general public.

After the recent WWDC event, Apple released the iOS 17 developer beta, and this year, even users with free accounts have access to it. Initially, there was confusion regarding whether this meant the general public could also download the developer betas. However, it has been clarified that only those with an Apple ID or account enrolled in the Developer Program can access these betas. The previous barrier of the $99 annual fee has been removed.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced a change in how it distributes betas to developers. Previously, developers had to download and install a configuration profile on each device individually. Now, users can simply enable an option within the software update settings on their devices to install the betas. However, access to developer betas still required the $99 annual fee. This change allows users who don’t want to pay the fee to access the betas without waiting for the public release, which is typically available later in the year, around July according to Apple.

It’s important to exercise caution when running betas, as they can contain bugs and issues, especially in the early stages of development. These betas are primarily intended for developers who have secondary devices for testing their applications with the new software. Certain betas, such as those for watchOS 10, tvOS 17, HomePod 17, and AirPods, prevent users from rolling back to stable public software. Once you install these betas, you’ll be stuck with them until the next public release, usually in the fall. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider the risks before installing these betas. However, for users who are part of the developer program and are willing to take the risk, they can now download these betas.