For years, access to the iOS developer beta was only available through a $99/year account. This year, however, Apple decided to change things up and expand access significantly by making the iOS 17 developer beta and other beta versions of its operating systems free to anyone who signs up for the developer program.

Apple has officially announced this change on its developer website, where new free and paid membership options are compared. Although the beta versions are available free of charge for $99, you still need to register as a developer to install them. Perhaps Apple wants to encourage more users to try their hand at creating applications for the company’s operating systems.

“It’s never been easier to develop for Apple platforms. To get started with app development for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, simply download Xcode from the Mac App Store. If you’re ready to distribute apps to customers, the Apple Developer Program provides everything you need to build apps with advanced capabilities and make them available worldwide. You can also distribute custom apps to specific businesses or proprietary apps within your organization,” says Apple’s developer website.

If you decide to sign up and try the iOS 17 beta, please be aware that it may contain bugs and performance issues and is not intended to be installed on a primary device.