Upgrade to iOS 5 without being a developer

This method was created by Apple lover Mert Erdir. It take advantage of a backdoor exploit in the activation screen, which is tied to the VoiceOver system used by Apple. It was reported on at Gizmodo, if you want to see the article.

Warning: This is not to be attempted if you do not wish to block carrier access or potentially brick your iPhone. Neowin is not responsible for any damage that may occur, even loss of data that may occur. Remember, proceed at your own risk!

Steps:

  1. Download the iOS 5 IPSW firmware file (Google is your friend) to your PC.
  2. Update via iTunes. Click using the Option key or Shift key while clicking Update. Select the file you downloaded.
  3. Once it upgrades, a new activation screen will appear.
  4. Triple click the home button. This activates the VoiceOver.
  5. Triple click the home button. Emergency Call will appear.
  6. Click on emergency call, and while it is switching, swipe with three fingers down.
  7. Notification Center will appear.
  8. Click on the Weather Widget and it will load.
  9. Click on the home button. The iOS device will exit the springboard.

Your iOS device is now fully activated and operational. Good luck on playing with the new iOS 5. You can reach Mert Erdir at his Twitter account and thank him for this valuable information.

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40 Comments

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This is like linking to an un-released download of Windows 8.

Shame on you Neowin. The Unprofessional Journalism is slowly making the transition to Gutter Journalism.

I see the point in posting about this, but not so much posting the instructions to it. Neowin knows full well that people will ignore the warning and still moan when something goes wrong later.

Why people still use this flawed Technic when you can just delete the Release Type Beta and that's all, I have iOS5 full activated and i'm not registered

This method doesn't really work. It leaves you with a device that can't connect to cell towers. But from personal experience, you CAN downgrade back to 4.3.3 without issue.

If you're that desperate to try iOS 5, there are countless websites asking a few dollars to register your iPhone's UDID under a developer account. That's your safest bet.

This is an extremely bad idea, as I said when it was first posted on Gizmodo.

iOS betas have automatic end dates. The new betas come out basically a week or two before the old ones expire. You can bet this will be fixed if not with beta 2 then with beta 3.

So when beta 1 (or 2) expires, you will no longer be able to use your device. And since going back to 4.x is not possible on some devices, you won't be able to do that either.

TLDR; Don't do this.

episode said,
This is an extremely bad idea, as I said when it was first posted on Gizmodo.

iOS betas have automatic end dates. The new betas come out basically a week or two before the old ones expire. You can bet this will be fixed if not with beta 2 then with beta 3.

So when beta 1 (or 2) expires, you will no longer be able to use your device. And since going back to 4.x is not possible on some devices, you won't be able to do that either.

TLDR; Don't do this.

Yeah I seen this on Gizmodo, thankfully looking into a wee bit before I done it! Not a good idea at all, even with the disclaimer.

it's possible to install this - if you want an iBrick that does nothing. You can't get carrier settings therefore you won't be able to use your phones antenna to make calls or receive data over 1XEVO/3G/2G/etc. This is EXTREMELY misleading because it probably makes think they can do this, install it and use iOS 5. While it's true you can "use" it it's untrue however you can get your phone to work with it.

Additionally, this will make reverting back to the old iOS for GSM/CDMA really hard and while most people are intelligent, lots will have to now void their warranties and take the phone to apple to be fixed.

This line is SOOO MISSLEADING! "Your iOS device is now fully activated and operational."
it isnt AT ALL activated, its just been worked around. Next thing: its not nearly as operational as it should be (when not activated with a dev account). no FaceTime, no Notification Center, no iMessage, no iTunes Sync, no iCloud, no PhotoStream, no photo editing, no multitasking, ... besides the standard no Cell Service.
these restrictions are BECAUSE iOS is not activated with a dev account. So. please change the article, since its veeery missleading. plus add a link to a youtube video showing how to downgrade from 5 beta to the latest stable and official version. the iDevice recovery mode while holding down the home button during iTunes startup. etc.. just do your homework

You might get iOS 5 running, but you can't sync with iTunes as you don't have a device registered with the Developer program.

thommcg said,
You might get iOS 5 running, but you can't sync with iTunes as you don't have a device registered with the Developer program.

plus no FaceTime, no Notification Center, no iMessage, no iTunes Sync, no iCloud, no PhotoStream, no photo editing, no multitasking, ... besides the standard no Cell Service, right??

GetUsed2It said,

plus no FaceTime, no Notification Center, no iMessage, no iTunes Sync, no iCloud, no PhotoStream, no photo editing, no multitasking, ... besides the standard no Cell Service, right??

Don't know. I used Recovery Mode to revert to 4.3.3 after encountering that, made it of no use to me!

Richio said,
Umm No thank you.
I'll wait till the final release where it's all stable and legal before downloading.

that might just be the smartest way to go. although these 5 dollar dev (UDID) registrations look tempting.

Isn't this promoting piracy? If apple wanted to make iOS 5 a public beta they would have just released it the public rather than just developers.

GiedriusVarnas said,
its interesting how about unlocked iphones? i have iphone 4 with evey sim card unloked so... i am thinking can i try it?

its best that you dont in your case.. i think. you'd lose cell service, and its quite buggy.

I'm a bit confused here, a poster does this in the forum they'd get a warning but here's neowin posting a hack as a editorial on the front page

evo_spook said,
I'm a bit confused here, a poster does this in the forum they'd get a warning but here's neowin posting a hack as a editorial on the front page

It's a matter of time...

evo_spook said,
I'm a bit confused here, a poster does this in the forum they'd get a warning but here's neowin posting a hack as a editorial on the front page

Since when is this a hack or illegal?

evo_spook said,
I'm a bit confused here, a poster does this in the forum they'd get a warning but here's neowin posting a hack as a editorial on the front page

this is not a hack, since you dont need anything that's not made by apple. this is called a workaround.

seasonic said,

Since when is this a hack or illegal?

You still have to get your hands on software (the iOS 5 beta) that you are not authorized to posses if you are not a developer. I fail to see how this post is anything other than promoting the use of warez.

roadwarrior said,

You still have to get your hands on software (the iOS 5 beta) that you are not authorized to posses if you are not a developer. I fail to see how this post is anything other than promoting the use of warez.

Yeah, i don't get it either. For a website that's so against piracy/warez/etc (which is fine), i don't understand why this stuff is on the front page.

Just like this article from the other day: http://www.neowin.net/news/duk...ver-leaked-to-torrent-sites

roadwarrior said,

You still have to get your hands on software (the iOS 5 beta) that you are not authorized to posses if you are not a developer. I fail to see how this post is anything other than promoting the use of warez.

Is there a link anywhere on this article to the iOS 5 beta?

When they fix this in a future update, and people's phones get bricked you're gonna regret making such a stupid post.

Steeley said,
When they fix this in a future update, and people's phones get bricked you're gonna regret making such a stupid post.

People are not forced to upgrade to iOS 5.

iPad 1 and 2 do work with this activation, instead of the weather bit you need to click on the wifi signal and that will do it.

Although this can get quite annoying as after 5 minutes you gotta do the whole thing again. May as well get activated!

By the way has anyone got any issues with battery life on 3GS? Mine runs out well quick

hinz said,
Will this work on the iPad 2?

The ipad is not a phone.
Also I wouldn't try this on a 3g version as you can't downgrade. The downgrade will fail at the baseband leaving the ipad stuck in restore mode.
You may be able to kick it out of recovery when it fails but maybe not.