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If you desperately want to get your hands on iOS 5 beta but aren’t willing to pay for an Apple developer account, there’s a way to get around the activation process. Kudos to Mert Erdir, a young Turkish developer, who beat  thousands of developers at figuring out a fix.

iOS 5

If you’re not familiar with iOS 5, Apple has implemented a mandatory activation procedure that must be followed through before the system is usable. Thankfully, there’s a way around it. After installing iOS 5 on your handset:

WARNING: We at Redmond Pie haven’t tested this method, and we wont recommend downloading iOS firmware files from anywhere other than the iOS Dev Center. The following instructions are shared for information and educational purposes only. Apple is likely going to close this workaround in the next beta update. We have also been told that iOS 5 cant be downgraded to 4.3.x once upgraded on iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3G/CDMA iPads, which means that your device will be useless once beta 1 expires until Apple releases the final version of iOS 5. Proceed at your own risk only.

1. Triple-press the home button to activate Voice Over, then do the same thing to display an option to make an emergency call. Tap on that option.

2.  Now when its switching for emergency call, swipe down from the top with three fingers. Guess what, the Notifications Center will show up. Now tap on the weather widget, which will start the Weather app, then press the Home button to return back to your springboard. Bam, you should now have access to your phone.

According to the young developer, who was low on resources, this was the only way he could develop apps for iOS 5. That said, Apple probably isn’t a fan of him, or of anyone who attempts this. Downloading iOS 5 without a developer account, which is required in order to follow the steps above, is against Apple’s terms and conditions. Therefore don’t ask for the download links please. We wont share it with anyone, nor do we recommend it. As we went to great lengths to explain yesterday, Apple’s developer center is a fully open program that can be obtained for $99 for a full year, giving access to all sorts of iOS development material, as well as any developer builds of the platform. Mac OS X has a separate program of its on, giving access to Mac OS X Lion builds for $99 a year.

iOS 5 was announced yesterday at WWDC and is the most significant release of iOS in recent memory. It includes major new features, such as a new Notifications Center, similar to MobileNotifier, an improved Safari browser, system-wide Twitter integration and over-the-air updates. In order to run this upgrade, you need iTunes 10.5 Beta, which is available to Apple registered developers.

iOS 5

Earlier today, this beta version of iOS 5 was successfully jailbroken using Geohot’s limera1n exploit.

Also, as a word of caution, keep in mind that iOS is still unfinished and is likely to still have issues. If you have no experience installing and modifying iPhone software, you should wait until the final version of iOS 5 comes out this fall.

(via Gizmodo)

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