Apple Details Road to iOS 7 Beta 4 Release, Dev Center Recovery

As Apple approaches a week of downtime for the Developer Center Apple issued an apology to developers and outlined a plan to bring the Apple Developer Center online and start the roll out of betas including the much anticipated iOS 7 beta 4 many developers and users expected on Monday.

Apple is “working around the clock” to bring the Developer Center online, and a new email outlines the plan to get developer access back in a new secure environment.

A security breach exposed some developer info last week, causing Apple to take the Developer portal offline while the company investigated the hack. This removed the iOS 7 beta download files and the ability to add new devices to the iOS 7 beta and to app testing, but has not stopped app updates from hitting the iOS App store.

The iOS 7 beta 4 release is on hold while Apple brings the iOS developer center back online.

The iOS 7 beta 4 release is on hold while Apple brings the iOS developer center back online.

Apple sent the following email to iOS and OS X Developers.

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We plan to roll out our updated systems, starting with Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, Apple Developer Forums, Bug Reporter, pre-release developer libraries, and videos first. Next, we will restore software downloads, so that the latest betas of iOS 7, Xcode 5, and OS X Mavericks will once again be available to program members. We’ll then bring the remaining systems online. To keep you up to date on our progress, we’ve created a status page to display the availability of our systems.

With this in mind, expect to see some parts of the Developer center come online before any of the latest betas of iOS 7 make their way to developer devices. Expect to see an emphasis on bringing Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles online so developers can add test devices. Without this feature some developers face hurdles to testing new apps and app updates.

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The new Developer Center status page shows the current process of bringing Apple’s developer tools online. Last updated at 8:13 PM Pacific iTunes Connect and Bug reporting are the only portions online.

Apple's new Developer Status page shows the steps needed to bring operations online and facilitate an iOS 7 beta 4 release.

Apple’s new Developer Status page shows the steps needed to bring operations online and facilitate an iOS 7 beta 4 release.

Apple released a new OS X Mavericks developer preview on Tuesday, which is a good sign. But it’s not the same as pushing an iOS 7 beta to users. In order to bring the iOS 7 beta 4 release to users, Apple likely needs the iOS Developer Center online to deliver supporting programs like Xcode.

It is possible that Apple continues to work on the iOS 7 beta 4 internally. Leaks throughout the iOS 7 beta indicate Apple employees are on a different build than the beta testing developers. This could allow Apple to continue adding to the iOS 7 beta to keep it on track for a fall release.

Depending on how long the iOS 7 beta 4 release is delayed and the Developer Center is offline, alleged plans for an iPhone 5S release by September 28th could run into trouble as Apple would not likely launch a new iPhone without iOS 7.

The iOS 7 beta 3 comes with an expiration date of August 29th which gives Apple some room to work on the Developer Center and an iOS 7 beta 4 download, but there is a deadline in place. Users on earlier iOS 7 beta builds are on a tighter deadline as iOS 7 beta 1 expires today July 24th and iOS 7 beta 2 expires on August 8th. Some users report not being able to upgrade to the iOS 7 beta 3 at this time.

There is an unofficial way to downgrade from the iOS 7 beta to iOS 6, but with weeks left, this step isn’t one most users need to take immediately.

Update: Clarifications and developer link added.