iOS 5 bug to run iOS 5 without developer account

If you want to try out iOS 5 but you don’t have a developer account, you can do so using a crafty technique that takes advantage of a very simple bug in the Voice Over system. This has been confirmed to work on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, but other iOS devices probably don’t work.

Warning: This is reposted for informational purposes only. We are not responsible for anything you do to your iOS device. There’s a reason iOS 5 beta is limited to developers, it’s buggy, it’s hard to downgrade, and it could lead to other problems. Because this is obviously a bug, future iOS 5 betas will fix this, and your iPhone could be trapped on an outdated beta. You may lose the ability to make phone calls.

None of this is recommended. Proceed at your own risk.

  1. Locate and download an iOS 5 beta IPSW file, these are all over the web but you’ll have to find it on your own
  2. Launch iTunes and Option-Click (Mac) or Shift-Click (PC) on the “Check for Update” button to restore the iPhone
  3. Select the iOS 5 beta IPSW that you got in the first step and upgrade the iPhone
  4. When the iPhone is done updating, you will see an activation screen, ignore this
  5. Grab the iPhone and triple click on the Home button to activate Voice Over
  6. Triple click on the home button again and the Emergency Call screen will appear
  7. Tap onto Emergency Call, and while it’s switching to make the call, swipe three of your fingers down on the screen – this is the new downward swipe gesture to activate the Notifications Center
  8. Now that you’re inside Notification Center, tap on the Weather widget to load the weather app
  9. Now you can click on the iPhone Home button, and you’ll exit Weather app to be on the iPhone springboard
  10. You’re now in iOS 5 beta

As stated above, this takes advantage of an obvious bug that completely skirts around the typical UDID activation system that developers go through when they downloaded iOS 5 beta 1 from Apple and officially activated it.

Other than clearly bending the rules by gaining unauthorized access to developer software, there are issues with this activation and installation method, primarily being that each reboot of the hardware will cause you to have to go through the process again. Additionally, some people are unable to make phone calls through the device because it is not actually activated. Seriously, we do not recommend this, but it’s a pretty significant bug in the beta OS.

This trick comes to us via Gizmodo where a video is available to walk through, but it was apparently found by a young amateur Turkish developer who couldn’t afford the iOS Dev membership, so he set about trying to find an easy way in. It worked, way to go kid!


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