With a planned official release of iOS 5 coming on October 12, Apple quietly released the Gold Master of the OS to developers after its presentation yesterday. This Gold Master build is the release that will be pushed to everyone next week, meaning that you can install it without an Apple developer account; all you need to do is download the software, restore using iTunes, and you’ll be all set with the brand new iOS 5!
If you are unfamiliar with manually restoring an iOS build to your device, follow along here to get your device upgraded.
Make a Backup
First things first, you’ll want to make a backup of your iOS 4 (or iOS 5 beta) installation, because this process will wipe your device. If you don’t have a backup, you’ll be starting from scratch. Sync your phone with iTunes and a backup will be automatically made, or you can right click on your device in the iTunes sidebar and select Back Up.
Download the Appropriate Software
Then, download the iOS 5 software and the newest iTunes beta. Here are the links for the different devices supported by iOS 5:
Download iOS 5 GM for iPhone 4 (GSM)
Download iOS 5 GM for iPhone 4 (CDMA)
Download iOS 5 GM for iPhone 3GS
Download iOS 5 GM for iPad 2 (Wi-Fi)
Download iOS 5 GM for iPad Wi-Fi + 3G (GSM)
Download iOS 5 GM for iPad Wi-Fi + 3G (CDMA)
Download iOS 5 GM for iPad 1
Download iOS 5 GM for iPod touch 4G
Download iOS 5 GM for iPod touch 3G
Download iTunes 10 Beta 7
Restore in iTunes
Next, load up iTunes and plug your device back in. Go to the main settings page for the device (click it in the sidebar) and you’ll see a button that says Restore. Hold down Option on Mac or Shift on PC and click the Restore button; you’ll be prompted to select the software to install. Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the OS software above, and select the IPSW file for installation.
You’re Almost Done!
Your device will turn off and the installation process will begin. Once that’s been completed, you’ll be walked through iOS 5′s new on-screen setup, which allows you to set up your device and restore the iTunes backup you just made. It’s that easy!