Those end-users who want to get their hands on the iOS 8 beta download for use on their iPhone or iPad are going to have to do some work to get their hands on it. Apple is offering a public beta test version of its new OS X Yosemite operating system for Mac computers, which users download simply by signing up for it on the apple.com website. But no such accommodations are being made for those who want to play around with iOS 8 early. So why not? And how can Apple be worked around?
There are two plausible reasons why Apple is offering a public beta download of OS X Yosemite but not of iOS 8. One is that Yosemite is a lot closer to being finished than iOS 8, a theory which can be confirmed or denied once the first beta versions of each are in our hands. The second theory is that Apple simply doesn’t want iPhone users installing unfinished system software. If a Mac crashes because it’s running beta software, it may simply need to be restarted. But if an iPhone becomes unstable, users could miss out on phone calls and text messages and end up blaming Apple. Still, those who know how to get their hands on the iOS 8 beta download will install it anyway.
Those who want to go through official channels can sign up as an iOS app developer, which costs money but will give them access to official downloads of each iOS 8 beta version as it’s released. Those who want to cut corners can try pirating a copy online, or buddying up to a registered developer, but both of those options could be crimped by Apple’s efforts at locking out those who try to install the software on unapproved devices. But it won’t keep tech enthusiasts from trying anyway.