This morning my SIM-free iPhone did a funny thing.
I plugged it into iTunes for some syncing good times, when – boom – hello recovery mode!
Something went awry somewhere, but no matter. I simply dropped my re-downloaded 1.02 software into iTunes’ download dir (~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates), turned off wireless to stop it trying to re-download the damn package (over dial-up, I don’t even want to think about it!) and started a restore.
But you know what? iTunes refuses to restore your iPhone unless it can first have a word with its Cupertino cohorts. No network, no restore.
Fine. Whatever. So I let iTunes connect to the internet, check for an update, and once satisfied that there wasn’t one, it began restoring my iPhone to 1.02, which will maintain my current SIM software unlock.
But what if a new firmware had been available?
I would have had no choice but to upgrade, effectively doing all sorts of nasty things to my unlocked precious, in line with Steve’s recent ‘cat and mouse‘ comments. There is currently no way to choose a previous firmware to restore.
Imagine if new revisions of iTunes checked your configuration for authenticity whenever you synced, and if in doubt, force you into recovery mode!
I really don’t think it’s that far fetched.
‘Genuine’ owners would simply perform the upgrade and restore from a backup. Unlocked iPhone owners would be either forced to wait for another unlock solution (hopefully not another 2 months!) or simply not sync their iPhone out of fear of it being kindly popped into Recovery Mode by iTunes!
We cover this in more detail in Episode 4 of the podcast. Maybe someone can make us a special Home Screen button that changes colour depending on whether it’s safe to sync of not? Maybe someone can just make a way to restore the thing without using iTunes?
Tell ya what, I’m gonna be keeping an eager eye out for updates before I next drop mine into the dock!
EDIT: Turns out it just might be possible to restore to an earlier firmware through iTunes! Hold down ALT + the Restore button to select your desired firmware version. If this doesn’t work, play around with the different functions keys. It’s different on Mac to PC, etc. The one shortcoming is that you can’t downgrade from 1.1.1, which is obviously a big bummer for SIM unlockers.
But why anyone would have encouraged you to blindly upgrade to 1.1.1 is beyond me. Unless of course… oh yes.