There’s no need to wait for the fall iOS 8 release date. If you want to try the iOS 8 beta right now you can download the new software for as little as $8 and try out all of the new features Apple announced at WWDC 2014.
Apple’s iOS 8 beta is available for the iPhone and iPad, but only one recent models. We expect to see it on the iPhone 6 later this year, but since you don’t have an iPhone 6 that isn’t that important.
The iOS 8 beta download is officially only available to registered iOS developers, but there are several services that sell access to a developer account so that you can try the iOS 8 beta ahead of a public release date.
Apple just announced the iOS 8 beta and the Developer Center will soon offer the iOS 8 downloads for iPhone and iPad. You will need to wait for a third-party to offer the specific iOS 8 beta download for your devices in order for this to work. You will also need to register as a developer or register all of your devices with Apple or you will not be able to complete the installation.
Update: iOS 8 beta downloads are now available.
At this time there is no way to install the iOS 8 beta without a developer account or a third party registration. It is possible that some user will discover a trick to make this work, but due to the likelihood of multiple updates tot eh iOS 8 beta over the next several months it is a better idea to register the device.
Read on to find out how to get iOS 8 beta access, where to find the iOS 8 beta downloads, how to install the iOS 8 beta and what you need to know before you use the iOS 8 beta.
Where to get iOS 8 Beta Access
If you want to be completely legal and by the books you’ll want to join the iOS Developer Program. This is a $99 a year program that allows official access to iOS 8 downloads and lets you register up to 100 devices for the iOS 8 beta. It is designed with developers in mind and small or medium size businesses working on iOS apps. You don’t need to know how to code to use this option or even have an app to submit to the iOS App Store.
If you want to get the iOS 8 beta without paying $99 you can use a service that sells a slot on the developer list for as low as $8. There are many services that offer a UDID registration, but IMZDL is one of the best known and reliable.
The UDID is a unique number for your iPhone or iPad and it is what you need to register with Apple for the iOS 8 beta installation to complete. Without this registration you cannot install iOS 8. You can plug your iPhone in to the computer, open iTunes, click on the iPhone page and then click on the serial number to reveal your UDID.An easier option is to download the free UDID Sender app and email it to yourself.
You’ll want to paste this number into your registration on IMZDL or another UDID registration website and wait for the confirmation that it is complete. Normally IMZDL completes the registration quickly, but if you try this on June 2nd or soon after it may be slowed down by the number of people trying to access the iOS 8 beta.
Don’t forget to register the UDID for each device you plan to use the iOS 8 beta on.
Where to Find iOS 8 Downloads
Apple offers a long list of iOS 8 beta downloads to developers in the Developer Center, and that’s the best place to look for them if you paid the $99.
For anyone else you’ll need to wait for IMZDL or other services to prepare the files and offer iOS 8 beta downloads to the regular user.
As soon as reliable iOS 8 beta download sources are available they should appear on this IMZDL page. You may need a torrent application to download them.
How to Install the iOS 8 Beta
When you are ready, you can install the iOS 8 beta on the iPhone or iPad pretty easily. You will need to backup the device and be ready to not use it for a while as the process completes. You will need to decide if you want to restore from a backup when you are done, or use the iOS 8 beta fresh.
1. Register the device UDID with IMZDL (and get confirmation).
2. Make sure you are on the newest version of iTunes.
3. Connect the iPhone to the computer and perform a backup with iTunes.
4. Download the iOS 8 Beta for your iPhone model.
6. Open iTunes and upgrade to the iOS 8 Beta by choosing Restore.
- Be sure to hold alt/option on Mac when you click Restore.
- On Windows, hold Shift when you click Restore.
7. Find the .ipsw file you downloaded and select it.
8. Complete the installation and then restore from backup if you desire.
This will install the iOS 8 beta on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S. You can also install the iOS 8 beta on the iPad 3 and newer and the iPod touch 5th generation.
What Devices Work with iOS 8
Apple offers the iOS 8 beta for many iPhone and iPad models and for one iPod touch model. below is a short list of the devices that run iOS 8.
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 4s
- iPad Air
- iPad mini
- iPad mini Retina
- iPad 4
- iPad 3
- iPad 2
- iPod Touch 5th Generation
Not every feature that Apple showed on stage will work with each device. Apple normally restricts features on older devices like the iPhone 4s and iPad 3 — and will save a number of features for a fall announcement just for the rumored iPhone 6.
What to Know Before Installing the iOS 8 Beta
Before you install the iOS 8 beta you need to know that it is far from finished. Some features wont work and some third-party apps won’t work. You may even end up with a phone that isn’t working when you need it, which is why Apple doesn’t make the iOS betas available to everyone by default.
If you can’t deal with things not working right all the time, skip this or install it on an iPod touch or an old iPhone so you can see the new features without messing with your main device. If an app or service doesn’t work with the iOS 8 beta you can let the developer know with a private message, but you should not leave any app store reviews while you are using the beta. Developers use the beta to test their apps for the public release, and users should not hurt ratings because they are using unfinished software.
The iOS 8 beta will expire sometime after a beta 2 arrives. If you are traveling, using a work phone or cannot make sure you always update to the new beta avoid trying this out. If the beta expires you need to wipe the iPhone or iPad to start over, which is annoying and could leave you with a paperweight.
There is no official way to downgrade from the iOS 8 beta to iOS 7 and iSO 7.1, but it is something that users can normally do during the beta period, as long as they don’t mind giving up the ability to restore from a backup made on iOS 8.