Sunday, February 17, 2008

Apple iPhone 1.1.4 firmware to come during SDK launch?


Apple have been very proactive with their iPhone and iPod Touch updates, regularly delivering new updates and fixes, while also foiling the iPhone hacks that allow anyone to use their iPhone with any GSM telco. Now an online ‘hint’ has appeared suggesting 1.1.4 firmware may well be arriving soon, perhaps alongside the soon to be unveiled iPhone SDK.

Mac news website ‘Macenstein’ has uncovered evidence of an iPhone software developer specifically mentioning the as yet unavailable 1.1.4 firmware for the first time.

That third party developer is ‘Tiny Code’, whose website first mysteriously went offline – and now diverts to the official Apple iPhone Developer website instead, adding even more fuel to our mysterious firmware fire!

Tiny Code, the company, produced a range of fixes and applications for the iPhone, originally without Apple’s authorisation, just like every other iPhone developer out there who wasn’t creating ‘web applications’ as Steve Jobs originally wanted developers to do.

Their website used to say: “Tiny Code no longer produces fixes or applications for firmware 1.1.3. We can’t say much, but we are working with Apple and with their SDK [software development kit] for the next firmware release and SDK applications and we shouldn’t be missed for long. We will no longer update our Installer.app repo[sitory] for legality reasons and you should see us soon on iTunes”.

It always surprises me that companies make these kind of statements, especially when you’d imagine they’d be under an NDA (non-discloure agreement), but then perhaps that’s why the website disappeared so quickly, first replaced with nothing, and now a link that the official developer website.

And it’s no surprise to hear that Apple will be selling iPhone and iPod Touch software through iTunes – it’s how they distribute, sell and give away content now.

So – what was the specific hint at the Tiny Code site that gave life to the 1.1.4 firmware rumour?

Not long before Tiny Code’s website was taken off the Internet, someone had the presence of mind to capture a screenshot of what they said.

You can see this screenshot at Macenstein’s website, and elsewhere on the Internet, but as Macenstein have reported, you can see that an update on the Tiny Code said explicitly mentioned that they were “Now targeting fw 1.1.4 Alpha2”.

Macenstein speculates that anyone wanting to run new software developed in conjunction with the official SDK will need to download the new 1.1.4 firmware first.

They also note that it is a little surprising that, if this is indeed the case, the 1.1.4 firmware still appears to be only in ‘alpha’ stage, a stage of software development that is earlier than beta and definitely in the ‘not ready for prime time’ category, with the iPhone/iPod Touch SDK due to arrive in only two weeks.

Still, as Macenstein says, Apple has a lot of programmers working on the iPhone’s version of OS X, especially now that Leopard is complete (despite receiving updates of its own), so perhaps they can go from alpha to beta to complete in only two weeks time.

Apple are miracle workers after all, bringing us the iPhone and iPod Touch in the first place, so it’s eminently possible.

Macenstein also repeats a long held request from users of Apple’s two handhelds, one which we are happy to repeat too: can we please have the ability to copy and paste?

As one inventive YouTube user has shown in their own home made video an easy way Apple could offer iPhone and iPod Touch the ability to copy and paste - without stuffing up the revolutionary ease of use both devices offer.

It’d certainly be a ‘one more thing’ all iPhone users would dearly love to be surprised by. C'mon Apple - we all hope you'll make it happen!

1 comment:

Alex said...

Hey, thanks for blatantly stealing my story without ANY attribution or backlink. If you are going to copy other people's work, please at least link to the original story, which is at

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/16691/1103/

Alex