If you’re anything like me, you like to constantly be on the cutting edge. If there’s a cool new gadget, new piece of tech, or new upgrade out there, you crave it. Sure, the safe bet is to always wait until version two of whatever piece of tech comes out, because then you let everyone else be the guinea pigs for version one until they sort out all the bugs for 2.0.
When it comes to tech, playing it safe was never my style.
What I want to tell you about today is how to upgrade to iOS 8 Gold Master today, on your non-jailbroken iPhone, over a week before it’s released. How you may ask? To use any iOS beta version, you must be a registered developer in Apple’s system and the upgrade must be authenticated through Apple’s servers. Thus, without being an actual developer you cannot upgrade even if you have the software file. This limitation does not exist for the Gold Master version, which is the final version of the iOS software which will eventually be released by Apple to be used by all. Once you have the proper GM iOS file for your device, you can freely upgrade your phone through iTunes and rock the latest and greatest iOS before any of your non-developer friends. Huzzah!
Disclaimer: Although the gold master is ready for release to the public, this does not necessarily mean it’s glitch free nor guaranteed to be stable on your device. If you choose to upgrade, you assume all risks and liabilities associated with installing pre-release software on your phone. I’m not responsible for any issues that you may face. Proceed with caution.
Step One: You need to obtain the appropriate software update for your device based on model. These are .ipsw files obtained through Apple’s iOS Developer Center. If you aren’t a developer, you will have to find this file – it probably isn’t hard to find. Here is the full list of updates from the Apple iOS Dev Center:
- iPad Air (Model A1474)
- iPad Air (Model A1475)
- iPad Air (Model A1476)
- iPad mini (Model A1489)
- iPad mini (Model A1490)
- iPad mini (Model A1491)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1458)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1459)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1460)
- iPad mini (Model A1432)
- iPad mini (Model A1454)
- iPad mini (Model A1455)
- iPad Wi-Fi 3rd generation
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for ATT)
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for Verizon)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi (Rev A)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (GSM)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (CDMA)
- iPhone 5s (Model A1453, A1533)
- iPhone 5s (Model A1457, A1518, A1528, A1530)
- iPhone 5c (Model A1456, A1532)
- iPhone 5c (Model A1507, A1516, A1526, A1529)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1428)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1429)
- iPhone 4s
Step Two: Next thing you should do is backup your device, either through iCloud or your computer. This way if anything goes wrong you have a copy of the latest possible backup of your device to restore to.
Step Three: If it isn’t already connected, connect your device with your computer and open iTunes. If you are on a Mac, hold the option key while clicking “Check for update.” If you are using Windows, hold the shift key while clicking on”Check for update.” Then select the update .ipsw file and follow the prompts. Note that if you click the Restore option instead, it will wipe your phone and restore to a fresh installation of iOS 8.
That’s it! Once the update is completed, which may take some time, then your iDevice will boot into iOS 8.