Checks with several file sharing services and trackers have revealed the free availability of a certain “iPhone2,1_4.0_8A260b_Restore.ipsw” file, Sofpedia can confirm. The file name suggests this is the IPSW update / restore file Apple seeded to developers earlier this month, and has now been leaked as a free download for anyone eager to try out the new features. The "iPhone2,1" reference suggests this file is compatible with the iPhone 3GS.
Apple issued a third beta release of iPhone OS 4.0 and Software Development Kit (SDK) on May 4th. The new software fixes bugs and debuts a new iPod playback feature (media player widgets), an orientation lock, a file-sharing feature (available through iTunes), some changes to multitasking and more. iPhone OS 4.0 is supported only on iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2nd generation, and iPod touch 3rd generation.
However, the software is intended for registered Apple developers. Only those enrolled in the company’s iPhone Developer Program can log into their Developer account through Apple’s web site and download iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 3, along with the latest version of the SDK. Downloading the beta through other means goes against Apple’s rules. According to a post at quickpwn.com, devs can log in to download these files:
iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 (iPhone 3GS) – iphone_os_4_beta_3_iphone_3gs_8A260b.dmg
iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 (iPhone 3G) – iphone_os_4_beta_3_iphone_3g_8A260b.dmg
iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 (iPod touch 3rd gen) – iphone_os_4_beta_3_ipod_touch_3rd_generation_8A260b.dmg
iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 (iPod touch 2nd gen) – iphone_os_4_beta_3_ipod_touch_2nd_generation_8A260b.dmg
Moreover, non-Apple developers attempting to install an iPhone OS 4.0 beta on one of these supported devices will need to get the software activated with the help of a real Apple developer. The IPSW file is not usable without a properly registered developer UDID (device ID) with Apple. Details on how to install, activate, and even jailbreak iPhone OS 4.0 can be found here and here, although Softpedia strongly advises readers to stay put until Apple rolls out the final, public version of the software this Summer, at which point no workarounds will be necessary to install the new iPhone OS.
Disclaimer: Softpedia does not encourage downloading pre-release Apple software from file-sharing web sites, torrent trackers, and other services of the sort. This article has a purely informational purpose and doesn’t, in any way, suggest that readers should proceed with downloading, installing, and activating iPhone OS 4.0 beta(s) using the non-Apple-approved methods described above. The respective “iPhone2,1_4.0_8A260b_Restore.ipsw” currently available as a free download via torrent trackers may be considered pirated software.