Apple has seeded the first beta of iOS 17 to registered developers following its WWDC keynote, giving eligible users access to the upcoming update for the iPhone that’s set to launch in the fall.
iOS 17 introduces several major new features and changes to iOS, including a completely redesign of the call screen for friends and family, changes in Messages, FaceTime, and more. With the first beta, registered developers can now install iOS 17 on supported devices ahead of its public launch in the fall.
How to download iOS 17
With iOS 17 and the new software beta updates this year, Apple is making it harder for users to download the betas, enforcing a stricter rule that only registered developers can get the updates.
Previously, users simply needed to install a beta profile configuration on their device to install the beta updates. The beta profiles for new updates typically spread quickly online. That method meant that many users not part of the Apple Developer program could install and use the betas, which can be dangerous on a daily driver device as the software is unstable and buggy.
With iOS 16.4 released in March, Apple is changing this. Now, only devices enrolled with a linked Apple Developer account will see a new menu within General -> Software Update in Settings that allows users to opt into getting beta updates. Devices that aren’t enrolled and linked to an Apple Developer account won’t see the menu and therefore aren’t able to install the upcoming versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS before their public debut.
The Apple Developer Program costs $99 a year and gives developers acess to all of Apple’s development tools and the ability to develop, code, and distribute apps on the App Store. Alternatively, Apple does a public beta program, which is free and open to anyone who wishes to join. Public beta program members won’t get access to iOS 17 and the rest of the new updates until later in the summer, once the software has been tested with developers and becomes more stable.