iPhone Mobile Development: Install iOS7 Beta, Downgrade back to iOS6

Apple will make the new iOS7 available to all consumers sometime during the fall of 2013. However if you want to give it a try, you can get it now as Apple has made available the first beta for developers. Keep reading to find out how to install it in your iPhone.

Install iOS7 beta Downgrade iOS6 iPhone

iOS7, a completely new look

The main differences between iOS7 compared to its predecessors are seen across all the User Interface and user interactions. There’s a more effective multitask manager.  Also, a control center has been made available by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen. There’s Helvetica Neue Ultra Thin everywhere (really, everywhere) and textured graphics with drop shadows and complex visual elements have been replaced by simple, vibrant gradient objects.

At this year’s WWDC, Apple has officially announced its upcoming operating system for iOS based devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. As expected, the new OS carries the name of iOS7 and it brings in a completely new look which is radically different from what we’ve seen so far since the introduction of the first iPhone back in 2007.

Going from iOS6 (6.1.3 or 6.1.4) to iOS7 Beta

Caution: Before starting, make sure you have a backup of your data (either with iTunes or iCloud) and remember that it’s a beta software so things may not work properly and it can (and will) be buggy. Proceed under your own risk!

What you need:

– The latest version of iTunes
– An iOS developer account ($99 per year at Apple’s website)
– An iPhone (iPhone 5 CDMA or GSM is recommended although iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 5th Generation are supported by iOS7)
– Your device’s model. The iPhone 5’s got two models in the market: A1428 and A1429, you’ll see it in the back of your device above the IMEI.
– The iPhone firmware for your specific device, these are available through Apple’s iOS developers portal (although there are some links available on the web)
– Your device’s Unique Identifier (UDID). Find out how to get this by reading these instructions

Installing iOS7

1. Register your device’s UDID on the iOS developer portal, this is vital for the installation to succeed since iTunes will check your identifier with Apple’s servers when installing iOS7. To know how to do this refer to this guide.

2. Once you have all the above, lets go ahead and connect your device to your computer.

3. Launch iTunes and click on the iPhone button in the upper right corner. This will bring up your device’s information. Make a backup of your data if you haven’t done so by now.

4. Press the option (alt) key (on Mac) (or Shift on Windows) on your keyboard while clicking on the “Restore” button. This will allow you to select the iOS7 .ipsw you downloaded. Click OK and it will start with the installation.

5. Go grab a snack or a cup of coffee. It usually takes about 10 minutes for the installation process to finish. Once it’s done, you’ll see a new all white Apple logo letting you know that your device is running the latest iOS. Congratulations!

I didn’t like iOS7, how do I downgrade back to iOS6?

There is of course the possibility, like it happened to me, that after using iOS7 for a while you will want to downgrade back to iOS6.  are not You may not feel comfortable using incompatible apps or bugs (it’s a Beta software after all). Well worry not! Fortunately there is a painless way to go back to your previous, non-flat, stable operating system. Lets go through it in more detail:

Downgrading to iOS6 (6.1.3 or 6.1.4)

Caution: Downgrading is a tricky process that Apple does not officially support. Always proceed under your own risk and make sure that you have backed up your information. (Be aware that for iCloud, iOS 6 will not recognize a backup made with iOS7 so make sure you have a previous backup you can restore from, otherwise you’ll have to set up your iPhone from scratch).

What you need:

– The iOS6 firmware of your device, here are some links:

   iOS 6.1.4 (iPhone 5)
   iOS 6.1.3 (iPhone 4, 4S, iPod Touch 5G)

– The latest version of iTunes
– Your iOS device with iOS7

1. Connect your device to your computer

2. Launch iTunes and click on the iPhone button in the upper right corner. This will bring up your device’s information.

3. Press the option (alt) key (on Mac) (or Shift on Windows) on your keyboard while clicking on the “Restore” button and select the iOS6 .ipsw file you downloaded. Click OK and it will start with the installation.

4. That’s it, it will start installing the “old” version of iOS onto your device. Patiently wait for it to finish and once it’s done restore your information from your iTunes or iCould backup.

Final thoughts

Remember: Beta software is intended for developers only. It’s expected to have bugs and issues. If you are using iOS7 beta, enjoy the new thing’s that Apple’s got for you but please do not write negative reviews in the App Store when apps that are not yet optimized for iOS7 start to fail. Remember: developers are working hard to provide you with the best apps on time for the official release.

On a side note, if you have your app and you need someone to help you provide support for iOS7 as well as re-design the user interface to go better with the new design philosophy behind Jony Ive’s work make sure to contact us for a free quote!

About the Author

David Sandoval Marketing Manager iTexico Nearshore

David Sandoval is the Marketing Manager at iTexico, entrepreneur, and UX/UI designer with more than 7 years of experience in web application and mobile app design. He holds a Bachelor in Information Systems and an MBA in Marketing by La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. You can follow him on Twitter or at his Linkedin page.

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