How to Download iOS 7 on Your iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, or Other iOS Device

iOS 7 home screen

iOS 7 was announced yesterday by Apple at their annual WWDC developer conference, and most were taken aback: iOS features a lot of brand new features and a drastic user interface change. But, how can the average iOS user get iOS 7 before the official release “sometime this fall”? Well, there are two ways.

DISCLAIMER: Always remember to back up your device before you update your phone.

The first way is to sign up for a developer license with Apple. In order to get access to the internal coding so you can create an app, developers pay Apple $100 a year for a developer license. The issue is that if you aren’t an app developer, then there’s not really a reason for you to have a developer license. Only the most hardcore Apple fans purchase a developer license without knowing how to develop apps and just so they can download the newest operating system — iOS 7.

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It’s important to note that all iOS 7 builds from now until Fall 2013 will be beta versions. That means the iOS 7 builds you install in your phone aren’t stable and may crash at any time. I’ve had iOS 7 on my device a little over 24 hours and it’s crashed twice so far — not that bad but still a little annoying. It also depends on your model (I have an iPhone 4S) and carrier (Sprint). A lot can go wrong when you try to install iOS 7 beta onto your iPhone or iDevice, so be careful and do so at your own risk.

ios 7 features, ios 7 screenshots, ios 7 control center

If you want to download iOS 7 but don’t want to pay, there’s a relatively simple method to do so. All you need to do is go to a torrent site and find the correct iOS 7 build for your phone and carrier. Make sure to check the comments section; some of them could be filled with bugs that will brick your iPhone. Then, download the torrent and make sure it’s an .ipsw file (otherwise it won’t work).

Connect your iTunes to your computer and use Option+Click on the “Check for Updates” button (shift+click in Windows) and then it’ll allow you to select the file. Select the iOS 7 .ipsw file, and it should start installing. Be careful, again: Downloading an unofficial copy could have horrible repercussions, like your phone not working. Do so at your own risk.

Need any help? Email me at ian@heavy.com or leave a comment below.

Follow Ian Kar on Twitter.

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