Only if a user’s iPhone is signed into the same Apple ID they used to sign up for Apple’s Developer Program will the menu be visible. According to Apple, this menu will be the only way to enable developer betas in future iterations of iOS because profiles will no longer function.
The iPhone now has a new “Beta Updates” menu under General Software Update in the Settings app as of iOS 16.4 beta. This menu will enable iOS developer betas directly on an iPhone for Apple Developer Program members, eliminating the need to install a configuration profile from the Apple Developer website.
When iOS 17 is released at WWDC in June, this modification will prevent iPhone users who aren’t members of Apple’s Developer Program, which costs $99 a year, from downloading it for free. Up until now, anyone could download the profiles from websites like BetaProfiles.dev and quickly and for free install iOS developer betas.
iPhone users will have to wait until the public beta of iOS 17, which is expected to be released in July, if they do not want to spend $99 annually for Apple’s Developer Program. Users can sign up for free for Apple’s public beta software program.
Last year, Apple already took action against websites that distributed developer beta profiles. BetaProfiles.com was shut down in August to avoid a “legal battle with Apple,” and DMCA takedown notices for more than a dozen tweets containing links to IPSW.dev were sent to Twitter by Apple’s legal team. Although BetaProfiles.dev is still operational and resembles BetaProfiles.com in every way, it’s not known if they are owned by the same person.
It’s still unclear whether users will have the option to download the iOS 17 developer beta for free using an IPSW file. Apple used to restrict the installation of beta IPSW files to devices associated with Apple developer accounts, and the company reserves the right to reinstate this previous practice. The removal of configuration profiles will, at the very least, make the task later on more time-consuming.