Following WWDC 2022 in June, Apple released the first developer beta of iOS 16 and other software updates for members of the Apple Developer program. While users interested in a public beta had to wait until July to try iOS 16, some websites had already shared unofficial ways to install the latest betas. Now it seems that Apple is taking those websites down.
BetaProfiles.com was one of the most popular websites when it comes to sharing Apple beta software that was originally released to developers. On Wednesday, BetaProfiles shared a message on its Twitter profile saying that the website “will be shutting down soon” to avoid a “legal battle with Apple,” suggesting that the company has threatened to file a lawsuit against it.
At the time this article was published, BetaProfiles.com is no longer available. Another similar website (IPSW.dev) has also been taken down in the last few hours. It’s unclear, however, if this other website was taken down for the same reason or if the creators behind IPSW.dev were just afraid of receiving a warning from Apple.
A third website named Apple Firmwares, which also shares profiles for installing Apple beta software, is still up on the web. As noted by MacRumors, lawyers representing Apple at Kilpatrick Townsend Stockton LLP have allegedly asked Twitter to take down tweets containing links to these websites.
Of course, these actions don’t come as a surprise since the beta software provided to developers is property of Apple and is under terms that enforce that those with access to it cannot share such softwares with others. It’s worth noting that in order to join the Apple Developer program, developers must pay a fee of $99 per year.
Back in the early years of the iPhone, access to Apple’s beta software was much more restricted than it is now. For instance, there were no over-the-air (OTA) updates, so developers had to go to the Apple Developer website to download new firmware. More than that, only devices that had the UDID registered to a valid Apple Developer account could run beta software.
With iOS 9, Apple has began releasing public beta software versions to any interested users. This, combined with OTA updates, has made Apple loosen the requirements for installing beta software aimed at developers. Websites like the ones that were taken down used to share OTA profiles and IPSW files to let any user install Apple beta software distributed exclusively to developers.
Nowadays, the only difference between developer beta software and public beta software is that updates usually take a few days longer to become available for users registered in the Apple Beta Software Program. That’s because Apple wants to ensure that the updates don’t have major bugs before making them available to less experienced users.
If you want to install Apple beta software on your devices, the best way to do this is by signing up for the Apple Beta Software Program.
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