Anyone Can Install iOS 9 Beta Right Now, But You Shouldn’t
Though Apple typically only allows iOS beta software to be installed on devices with a UDID registered with the developer program, iOS 9 beta can technically be installed on any compatible iPhone or iPad right now. But, despite all the excitement for new features and changes with iOS 9, you should wait before jumping in, at least until the iOS Public Beta program launches in the coming weeks, if not for the final version in the fall. The reason for waiting is quite simple; the current beta release of iOS 9 is intended for developers, meaning it’s buggy, performance is not up to bar, and the whole experience is a bit rough around the edges, in other words, it’s typical early beta software.
OK, but you want the run the latest iOS, I get it, new software is fun and exciting. If you don’t want to go the developer route here, you should still wait. For the more casual iOS users who wish to beta test iOS 9 on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, the next best thing to do is enroll in the official beta program from Apple, which you can do here. The public beta versions will be a bit more refined than developer beta versions, and though they’ll still be buggy and perhaps less than trouble free, the experience will be undoubtedly more stable than running the earliest possible developer releases. Nonetheless, if you really want to, you can easily install iOS 9 right now using one of two different methods, one is the official channel through Apple and the annual developer program, and the other is using only iTunes and a remarkably simple process.
How to Install iOS 9 Beta Without a UDID Using ISPW
This is not recommended for anyone other than developers and the absolute die-hard advanced users who really want to try out iOS 9 and who can tolerate the difficulties that come with running early beta versions. You may lose your data. Your device may crash. Things may not work right. You could break something, or worse. If you’re comfortable with that, and ‘advanced’ describes you, then you’ll find installing iOS 9 beta right now is actually really easy, and it can be done without registering a device UDID within the Apple developer program. All you need to do is perform a manual IPSW based update to the device with iTunes. Yes, that means you’ll need the iOS 9 beta firmware files, which does require a developer account or perhaps a friend with one.
- Update to the latest version of iTunes if you haven’t done so yet, then launch the app and connect the iPhone or iPad to the computer with a USB cable
- Choose your device in iTunes and back up the device to iTunes – do not skip this, you could lose all data, a backup is the only way to mitigate this
- In the Summary tab of iTunes, look for the “Check for Update” button – on a Mac, OPTION click that button, on a Windows PC, SHIFT click that button
- Select the iOS 9 beta IPSW file for your device, this will use the beta firmware to update the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
That’s all there is to it, it’s just like running any other ISPW based iOS update through iTunes, except you’re installing beta iOS system software onto the device. This simple method has worked for other versions of iOS beta in the past as well, but was first noticed by RedmondPie to work with iOS 9.
While this technically allows anyone to install the iOS 9 beta this way, it’s probably more useful for official developers who want to run the beta OS. It’s obviously a bit faster to install this way onto a few devices, and then add the UDID later through the developer site later if necessary.
For average users who want the most stable experience with their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, just stick with iOS 8.3 for the time being, and wait until the fall when the final version of iOS 9 comes out. You’ll likely save yourself a few headaches, crashes, and bugs.