The iPhone now includes a new “Beta Updates” menu under General Software Update in the Settings app as of iOS 16.4 beta. The iOS developer betas can be enabled immediately on an iPhone using this menu, eliminating the requirement to install a configuration profile from the Apple Developer website.
The menu will be shown only if a user’s iPhone is signed into the same Apple ID they used to sign up for Apple’s Developer Program. According to Apple, this menu will be the sole option to allow developer betas in future iOS because profiles will no longer function.
When iOS 17 is launched at WWDC in June, this modification will prevent iPhone customers who aren’t members of Apple’s Development Program, which costs $99 a year, from downloading it for free. Until now, anyone could get the profiles from websites like BetaProfiles.dev and quickly and for free install iOS developer betas.
Last year, Apple previously took action against websites that distributed developer beta profiles. BetaProfiles.com was taken down in August to avoid a “legal battle with Apple,” DMCA takedown letters for more than a dozen tweets, including links to IPSW.dev, were sent to Twitter by Apple’s legal team. BetaProfiles.dev is still operational and resembles BetaProfiles.com in every way. Nonetheless, whether the website is under the same ownership must be made clear.
Waiting for the public beta of iOS 17, which is most likely to be published in July, will be necessary for iPhone users who want to avoid paying $99 annually for Apple’s Development Program. Anyone can sign up for free for Apple’s public beta software program.
It still needs to be determined whether users will have the chance to download the iOS 17 developer beta for free using an IPSW file. Apple used to restrict the installation of beta IPSW files to devices linked to an Apple developer account. Apple may decide to reinstate this previous policy. Eliminating configuration profiles will make the work more time-consuming in the future.