Unlike the long northern autumn of discontent as unsuspecting iPhone customers bricked their unlocked iPhones by updating to iPhone OS release 1.1.1, I was smart enough to turn off the auto-update feature in iTunes, and my iPhone has never skipped a beat, running 1.0.2 unlocked using the Optus network.
There’s not a lot of changes in the later versions, iTunes on iPhone is neither here nor there for me. But there was one feature in 1.1.1 I was longing for, and that’s a louder external speaker. You see I don’t own a bluetooth headset (although I’ll buy one the next time I’m in the States: $139 for a Jawbone in the Apple Store Palo Alto last time I was there) so I use the speaker function for handsfree when I’m driving, in the exact same way I did with my Nokia before it. The problem with the iPhone is that the speaker volume is dismal, and it’s unusable at speed; I can converse on it at 60km/h but not 110km/h for example, the ambient noise is too loud.
So today I took the plunge and upgraded to 1.1.2. Here’s how using a Mac.
Time: approx 1 hour, it took me 3 hours.
download iNdependence for iPhone here.
Now here is where the fun part starts. If you’ve got a virgin iPhone running 1.0.2 it’s easy, if you’ve got an unlocked (say anySIM or similar) iPhone you have to “revirginize” it.
For instructions (and files) for revirginizing your iPhone go here. The short story is that you can’t upgrade without doing this because it simply won’t work, and worse still could actually damage the phone.
Follow the instructions. There are a couple of so-called automated scripts you can use, but you still need to be fimiliar with terminal/ ssh to use them, where as the instructions for doing it manually using terminal are straight forward.
Download the Virginizer Pack, open terminal and copy and paste the various parts. One word of warning if you’re not familiar with command line on a Mac, you need to have your download in your user folder (yourname), not the desktop or elsewhere. I took me a few minutes to work this out.
So you go through all of that and you’ve got a virgin phone. At this point I thought I was being clever and installed 1.1.2…then got completely stuck again. You need to strictly follow the instructions from iNdependence at this point. Short story is that you have to do certain things to the phone prior to the upgrade. There are full instructions in the iNdependence help file, including how to downgrade from higher version as well. The key point: you have to downgrade to 1.0.2 and do stuff first to unlock a 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 later.
The rest was fairly easy. You press some buttons, get iTunes to install the update, press some more buttons, you shut down and open the phone maybe half a dozen times, then done.
Really strange thing: with my unlocked 1.1.2 iPhone the keypad for dialing numbers didn’t work. You’d dial one number then the screen would disappear. I looked everywhere for a solution and didn’t find one, aside from a guy on YouTube who solved it by hacking the country code on the iPhone. Turns out my iPhone was set to Australia on the International region screen, for what ever reason this causes the keypad to play up. Turn it back to United States and bingo: it works.