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« on: June 04, 2010, 07:00:07 pm »

It’s Coming: Preparing for iPhone OS 4.0
   



digg_url = 'http://www.maclife.com/article/news/it%E2%80%99s_coming_preparing_iphone_os_40';
 



If you’re excited about the forthcoming iPhone OS 4.0 update, you’re not alone. Here’s how you can have a smooth upgrade by getting ready for the latest and greatest ahead of time.iPhone updates are always a big deal, particularly major ones such as the forthcoming iPhone OS 4.0 announced in early April. Third-party developers have been working feverishly behind the scenes to make sure their hard work is compatible with Apple’s latest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also do a little preparation in anticipation of its release, expected sometime this month.As always, your pals at MacLife.com are here to help guide the way -- so read on and let’s get ready to rumble, iPhone OS 4.0 style!Clean Up Your iTunes AppsIf you’ve used  your iDevice for a while now, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of apps  -- for example, our personal copy of iTunes is home to nearly 700 of  them, including universal apps which run on both the iPhone/iPod touch  and iPad. Now would be a good time to take inventory and maybe even do a  little housekeeping.With each new iPhone OS, there are some  unfortunate apps that become orphaned and may even cease to work at all  with the latest version. One such example is Veiosoft’s DataCase, one of the earliest and best apps for  transferring files to your iDevice, which has been seemingly abandoned  by the developer after the most recent 1.1.1 update back in September,  2008. That means it’s never quite worked right on OS 3.x, and users who  paid out their $6.99 are left to search for competing utilities that are  updated more frequently. (DataCase is still for sale as of this writing, but  based on a wave of negative reviews since the last update almost two  years ago, it’s clearly not recommended for newer firmware.)Granted, DataCase is less than 1MB in size so  it’s not a big hardship to just leave it on your hard drive, but  removing it and other unused, unloved or simply outdated apps from your  iTunes can only help keep the software running lean and mean. After all,  who wants to wade through hundreds of unused apps in search of the one  you really want anyway? Click on the Apps icon in your iTunes sidebar,  select the app you wish to remove while holding down the Control key and  select “Delete” from the submenu.Of course, deleting an app  from iTunes doesn’t mean you’ll have to buy it all over again should the  developer come calling later with an updated version. iTunes remembers  all of your purchases -- regardless of whether they reside in iTunes at  the moment or not -- so you will always be able to download them again  for free, unless the developer specifically releases a separate new  version for a fee, as was the case with the popular Tweetie  2 app (which has since become the official, and free, Twitter app).We’d advise that you back up  your unwanted apps before emptying your trash -- you never know when you  might change your mind and decide to reinstall something, especially if  it’s an app that vanishes from the App Store due to some change in  Apple’s policy, similar to what happened with the Google Voice apps in  the past. (Although keep in mind, Apple can always remotely “kill” apps  they don’t want you to use, but no harm in having them backed up just  the same.) Get UpdatedOn the same train of thought as getting rid of  unwanted apps, it also pays to make sure you’re updated to the latest  and greatest version of your apps. In the next few weeks, you’ll likely  see a flood of new updates as developers release versions that will be  fully compatible with all of the goodness inherent in iPhone OS 4.0, so  it pays to check for such updates on a regular basis and stay ahead of  the curve.You can check for updates on your device by  opening the App Store app; usually after a moment, you’ll see a badge  on the Updates tab notifying you of anything new, but sometimes you have  to expressly press Updates to refresh them. Note that this will only  look for updates for apps you have installed on that particular device  -- if you want to check for all app updates, you’ll need to use iTunes.  Select the Apps icon in the sidebar and then click the little arrow next  to “Check for Updates” in the lower right-hand corner.Some of  us here at MacLife.com are quite diligent about app updates, checking  several times a day to see what’s new -- it’s kind of like a  mini-Christmas every day, especially when your most-used apps are  empowered with cool new features or get annoying bugs squashed. Most app  updates are posted in the afternoon and evening, so no sense going  around clicking half-cocked in the morning.One of the better  ways to stay abreast of the situation is through a website such as AppShopper.com. The brainchild of the folks behind MacRumors.com, AppShopper lets you create a free  account to track your own apps or even create a wish list of ones you  might want to buy in the future, as well as providing a wide variety of  RSS feeds for both iPhone and iPad to track updates, new apps, price  changes and more.Twitter is another  great way to track app updates, since many developers big and small will  give a heads-up when new apps or updates have been approved by Apple so  you can start exhausting your finger by looking for them on iTunes.Jailbreakers: Proceed with CautionMajor OS updates are a big deal on any platform, but as anyone who has jailbroken their iDevice knows, even the little updates can create a tsunami of problems for those living on the cutting edge. Thankfully, the hackers are ahead of the curve yet again, and beta builds of iPhone OS 4.0 have already been successfully jailbroken -- but that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and forge ahead blindly.If you rely on an unsanctioned, unlocked iPhone for cellular and data access, do yourself a favor and don’t upgrade to OS 4.0 until you get an “all clear” from the hacker community. Just because the beta builds have been jailbroken does not mean that your phone will remain unlocked (in fact, it’s almost a certainty that it won’t), and with new hardware imminent, we don’t know yet if any of the unlocking patches will even work. We repeat: If you’ve unlocked your iPhone, avoid iPhone OS 4.0 until you hear that it’s safe to upgrade!Whether or not you care about unlocking your iPhone, if you have it jailbroken now or plan to in the future, you should make sure your SHSH blobs are backed up in case you ever want to return to iPhone OS 3.x. Say what?!Apple has attempted to thwart the hackers by adding extra layers of security in newer devices, in particular the iPhone 3GS, iPad and third-generation iPod touch. If you have one of these devices, you should do yourself a favor and extract the “SHSH” records from your device (they’re different for every single unit), which can be used to restore to older firmware, should things not work out so great with iPhone OS 4.0.It’s easy to backup your “SHSH blobs” using a free utility called Umbrella and a detailed guide already posted at Cult of Mac -- the whole process takes only a few minutes, so we encourage everyone to do it, even if you don’t plan to jailbreak your device anytime soon.Save Your Old Firmware  Along the same lines as backing up  your SHSH blobs, you’d do well to take a visit to your Home > Library  > iTunes > iPhone Software Updates folder and back up whatever  .ipsw files you find there. With older versions of iTunes, any iPhone  firmware updates were downloaded to this folder and stayed there  forevermore, but more recent versions of iTunes will move them to the  Trash as soon as you download a new one. There’s a good chance your  folder may even be empty already!  The reason you’ll want to save  these .ipsw restore files is that shortly after iPhone OS 4.0 is  released, Apple will likely wipe all traces of OS 3.1.3 (the latest  version) off the map and prevent it from being downloaded again; if you  saved your SHSH blobs and ever need to restore to an older version,  you’ll need at least one of those old firmware files to do so.  Thankfully,  a Google search ought to dig up a number of non-Apple sources for  downloading old firmware in the event that yours is already MIA. Keep in  mind that you’ll need the appropriate restore file -- the original  iPhone will start with “iPhone1,1”, the iPhone 3G will start with  â€œiPhone1,2” and the iPhone 3GS will start with “iPhone2,1”, for  instance.NEXT: Backing up your stuff and organizing your screens. >> Back That Stuff Up!Perhaps the most crucial pre-update task of all is having a proper backup of your iDevice. The problem for many is that those backups have begun to take longer and longer as we’ve filled up apps with files that aren’t part of the iTunes ecosystem -- the more impatient among us might decide to click on the “X” to stop the iTunes backup in order to get a new sync going, only to later find that they need to restore from said backup and find themselves unable to do so.If you don’t use a lot of in-app files, this may not be such a big deal for you. Casual users can likely start from scratch without too much grief, but if you’ve used your iDevice for any length of time like many of us, chances are you’d rather have intensive, painful oral surgery than have to start over from scratch. However, if you port a lot of files onto your device for work or even casual uses such as reading comic books or large PDF files, having a good backup should not be optional.To avoid long backup times, we recommend letting iTunes complete its backup each time you sync. Since the software is only backing up what’s changed since the previous sync, the incremental backup time should get shorter each time you do so. Also, once you have plugged into iTunes and completed a backup and sync, you won’t have to go through the backup process again unless you unplug the sync cable -- iTunes knows you’ve just backed up, so it simply does a quick sync until you plug the cable in again, in case you just want to just add new apps.That said, you can backup your device at any time by selecting your iDevice in the iTunes sidebar with the Control key pressed down and then select “Back Up” from the submenu.Organize Your ScreensOne of the new features of iPhone OS 4.0 that’s most anticipated is Folders, Apple’s new way of organizing apps on your iDevice. With the current firmware, you’re only capable of seeing 180 apps on any one device across 11 screens (though you can always load more and find them via Spotlight). Thanks to the drag and drop simplicity of the Folders feature, you’ll soon be able to have up to a whopping 2,160 apps on your device and find them grouped by category -- assuming you have that many to begin with and use every available space in a Folder.To prepare for Folders, now might be a great time to spend a few minutes organizing your apps so they’re in close proximity to each other based on how you plan to group them. That way, as soon as you update to iPhone OS 4.0, you can drag them together into Folders and you’ll be good to go. If you have a lot of apps spread over many screens, this task is made easier from within iTunes, where you can easily drag app icons from screen to screen or even rearrange whole screens at once.It’s Safe to Buy Some iBooks NowIf you already have an iPad with iBooks installed on it, you can feel safe in purchasing all the e-books you want from the iBookstore, knowing that they’ll work just fine on your iPhone or iPod touch once you’ve upgraded to iPhone OS 4.0.Buy as many iBooks as you’d like and then sync your iPad to iTunes, which will copy those new purchases across to your computer. After your upgrade to iPhone OS 4.0, you’ll be able to select the same e-books and copy them straight over to your iPhone or iPod touch, just like magic.Let’s Not Forget iTunes ItselfWhile we hope to know for sure when iPhone OS 4.0 will be available to download during Steve Jobs’ WWDC 2010 keynote on Monday, June 7, keep in mind that the new firmware will most likely also require a new update to iTunes itself, if history is any indication. We’re guessing at the very least, a new iTunes will let us arrange apps by Folders, for instance.The current version of iTunes at this writing is 9.1.1; if you haven’t updated lately, now would be a dandy time to do so. And really, there’s no reason not to -- while some previous iTunes updates have tripped up jailbroken devices, iTunes 9.1.1 isn’t one of them, and the hackers have already given a green light to use it.Take Stock of Your MediaFinally, a new OS install is always a good time to take stock of that non-app iTunes media taking up space on your iDevice. If you’re like most of us, you’ve got old podcasts played long ago that you neglected to delete, music you wish had stayed in the seventies and probably even some space-guzzling videos you’ve already watched and have since bored of.Why carry this stuff over to iPhone OS 4.0? Especially if you plan to buy a new iPhone, the less you have to restore and sync to a fresh device, the better. Purge that media now by deselecting it from within iTunes, and then click Apply to sync your changes and remove the great unwanted from your device. There, now don’t you feel better having done some summer cleaning?Oh, and don’t forget about all the photos and movies you’ve shot with your iPhone! While those cherished memories are always backed up during an iTunes sync (so you can safely move them to a new device), you should make a habit of clearing them off your device on a regular basis, both for safety as well as speeding up that iTunes backup. Once those photos and videos are safely stored in your iPhoto library, you can always sync them back to your iPhone (where photos will take up less space by being optimized for the device’s screen) -- they won’t be backed up by iTunes since they can be restored simply by syncing from your photo library.There’s one other very good reason to purge old media, too: If space on your iDevice is at a premium, you’ll want to free up some storage for OS 4.0 to make sure the upgrade goes smoothly.Is Your Device Compatible?iPhone OS 4.0 is expected sometime this month for the iPhone and (at additional cost) iPod touch. Sadly, Apple has already stated that the iPad won’t get any OS 4.0 love until the fall, so if that’s your only iDevice, enjoy your summer and don’t bother looking for a major update until then.It’s important to note that not every iPhone and iPod touch is welcome to the OS 4.0 party -- specifically, the first-generation iPhone and iPod touch devices released in 2007 have been put on notice and OS 3.1.3 appears to be the end of the line for them. Recent reports claim that there’s no real technical reason to exclude them, and early beta builds of OS 4.0 have even been shown running on the original iPhone -- just don’t expect Apple to officially support that configuration, and you’ll still be limited as to what new features you’ll have access to.Likewise, even if your device can install iPhone OS 4.0, you may not be able to use every new feature -- for instance, the iPhone 3G will not support multitasking. iPhone 3GS and third-generation (32GB or 64GB) iPod touch owners are good to go, as well as those of you holding your credit cards in your sweaty little hands waiting to buy the newest iPhone, expected to be announced at WWDC on Monday, June 7.*****Now that all of that hard work is over, only one thing remains: Waiting for iPhone OS 4.0 to actually be released. Hey Steve Jobs, maybe you can help us with that…? 
     

http://www.maclife.com/article/news/it%E2%80%99s_coming_preparing_iphone_os_40
   
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