Apple Cracks Down on iOS Beta Installs by Non-Developers

In this week’s edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that Apple is cracking down on the availability of iOS developer beta builds for general users ahead of iOS 17, which is expected to debut alongside the iPhone 15 lineup later this year.

“Now, you’ll need to have an authorized, paid developer account logged into your device to install a developer beta. Before, you could just download a profile online or get it from a developer friend,” Gurman explained.

Developer accounts cost $99 USD per year. The change came with iOS 16.4 beta 1, which started rolling out to developers earlier this week.

iOS 16.4 beta 1 brings 31 new emojis, an all-new order tracking widget, some additional 5G options, minor UI changes, and more. None of the new features or changes are particularly big, but Apple may be enforcing the exclusivity of developer beta builds to limit the pool of early testers before much larger releases like iOS 17.

Apple usually follows up each developer beta release with a public beta a few days later. While non-developers may only have to wait less than a week to get the latest iOS beta, the change will not only reduce the number of early testers but could also boost revenue from the Apple Developer Program by encouraging more people to register for early access.

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