Josh provided some great sources for getting iOS 5 beta for under $10, but there’s still another alternative in getting the beta of Apple’s developer preview for the next-generation iOS software. To do this, all you need is a little Google (or Bing) searching and a bit of patience as the procedure is truly not hard.
Before you proceed with the upgrade, we should warn you of a few things, just to be clear. First, this is a beta software and bugs can exist. Second, you cannot downgrade to iOS 4.x if you change your mind or if you find that the beta doesn’t suit your needs. And third, you’re on your own if you brick your device. Your mileage will vary with Apple’s support center if something goes wrong with the beta.
Now, on to the fun stuff. Gizmodo had posted some great instructions on loading the software and activating it without registering your device through Apple’s developer program or via the cheap third-party alternatives. Essentially, all you’ll need to do is download the iOS 5 IPSW file from the web. You can locate this by using a search engine and downloading it unofficially. Next, update your phone through iTunes. When you connect your phone, click ‘Check for Update’ with the following keystrokes: Option and click on the Mac or Shift and click on the PC.
After it updates, a new activation screen will appear. To bypass activation, here’s what you do:
1. Triple click the home button. This will activate the Voice Over.
2. Triple click the home button and Emergency Call will appear.
3. Click on Emergency Call and, while it’s switching, swipe with your three fingers down.
4. The Notification Center will appear!
5. Click on the Weather widget. The Weather app will load.
6. Click on the home button to exit to the iPhone’s springboard.