In a significant departure from previous practices, Apple has made a bold move by making the iOS 17 developer beta and other beta versions accessible to anyone who registers as a developer, free of charge. This marks a departure from the long-standing requirement of a $99/year developer account for access to these developer builds.
Earlier today, it appeared that some users were able to install the iOS 17 developer beta without a developer account, which was initially assumed to be a bug. However, it has now been confirmed that this was a deliberate decision by Apple.
According to a report by iSoftware Updates, Apple has officially announced this change on its Developer website, outlining the differences between the new free and paid membership options. Although the betas are now available without the $99 fee, Apple emphasizes that registration as a developer is still necessary to access them.
You can learn how to develop apps for Apple platforms for free without enrolling. With just an Apple ID, you can access Xcode, software downloads, documentation, sample code, forums, and Feedback Assistant, as well as test your apps on devices. If you don’t already have an Apple ID, you can create one now. To distribute apps, join the Apple Developer Program.
It is understandable why the iOS 17 Developer Beta is appearing for all users in the Settings > General > Software Update section. However, it’s important to note that the developer beta typically contains bugs and performance issues, so it is not recommended to install it on your primary device.