iOS 17, iPadOS 17 Developer Beta Available For Free For All

Apple’s developer accounts normally cost $99, but that’s no longer the case after the company opened them up for free.

That also means that anyone who signs up for a free Apple ID can now also download the latest software betas — including iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10.

Apple’s move comes during the week of WWDC 2023 and has taken everyone by surprise. The change doesn’t mean that the $99 fee is gone completely however. Developers who want to actually publish the apps they create to the App Store or Mac App Store will still have to have a paid account, it seems.

You can learn how to develop apps for Apple platforms for free without enrolling. With just an Apple ID, you can access Xcode, software downloads, documentation, sample code, forums, and Feedback Assistant, as well as test your apps on devices. If you don’t already have an Apple ID, you can create one now. To distribute apps, join the Apple Developer Program.

This means that you can now install iOS 17 beta 1 if you really want to, but we’d suggest that you don’t do that just yet. Early iOS betas always have showstopping bugs, whether it’s dire battery life or third-party apps that simply refuse to work.

It still isn’t clear what this means for the public beta program, however. It was expected that iOS 17 would be added to that program in a few weeks, but if everyone can download the betas anyway, why bother?

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