The readers of this blog know that I moved to Nokia Lumia 920 few months back from iPhone. Listening to this week announcement of iOS7 by Apple in their WWDC 2013 event, I got intrigued and wanted to try it out. Since I have an Apple Developer account, I could get access to the Developer Beta of iOS. That’s what I did after I dusted my iPhone4 from storage.

Over the years as I started sporting grey hairs, I have learned that it is always a bad idea to upgrade to Beta (unsupported) software especially Operating Systems in your “Work” devices – whether it is your Desktop PC, Laptop or Mobile Phones. It never results in anything useful other than wasting your time and increasing your blood pressure.

Despite the above, I downloaded iOS7 Beta from Developer.Apple.Com, added my iPhone’s UDID into Devices list in that account, followed the instructions in one of the blogs on how to upgrade. It was to extract the iOS7 Beta DMG file, connect the phone to iTunes, press Alt (Option key in Mac) while pressing on Restore iPhone button (next to Check for Upgrade button), select the extracted IPSW file and follow the process. Everything went well, after the phone got restarted and came back to life, I configured my WI-FI hotspot and it prompted for activation. After trying to activate, if failed with an Activation Error with no message on why it failed. The iTunes screen was equally baffling other than standard text to contact Apple Support, other than that no reason why it failed.

Then I contacted Apple support through Chat, they responded quickly and stated that I have to use Developer Forums for this as there is no official support for Beta/Developer releases. I was shocked, it looked like I have bricked a working iPhone4 for no worthy reason. Further searches (here in Apple discussionsOSXDaily) showed an idea on how to get the phone to DFU Mode (kind of a factory default mode), where the phone will respond to iTunes but can’t do anything else. Having nothing else to lose, I was about to follow the steps to DFU. Then I suddenly remembered there is no SIM card in the phone. I inserted a valid SIM card from my Lumia phone, force restarted iPhone and bingo!!!

iPhone4 with iOS7 Beta got activated just fine and I was greeted with the Home Screen (which followed the Location Services toggle screen). As I am writing this blog, iTunes is working hard in restoring my content backup and syncing my library. Hope everything will go well from here. Since iOS7 Beta is under Apple NDA, I won’t be posting individual screenshots or comment on features that Apple haven’t disclosed publicly as on date.

iOS7 Beta Screenshot from Appledotcom
(Above screenshot from public website)

To be ahead of my woes, I have already searched and bookmarked this page on how to downgrade to iOS6 from iOS7 beta if I ever needed to.

Regarding my feeling of iOS7, since I am using a Windows Phone and Windows 8 the flat non–skeuomorphic UI looks familiar & comfortable. I am not interested in indulging in an argument of whether Apple has innovated with iOS7 or not, whether it has lost its mojo, is Jonathan Ive copying from Microsoft and more. I just want to use it for few days and see how this interface works for the world’s most loved Mobile OS. One thing I will state is that I agree with the observation that Skeuomorphic UI and leather stitches/tape-reel images where needed when iPhone brought to mass market Touch UI for the first time; it has outlived its necessity and its time to retired it in search of something new. Whether this will help Apple to slow down Android/Samsung’s gains in marketplace is something we will know in the months to come. As for me I will be enjoying something new to play with over this weekend.

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