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Service Announcement: Upgrading iOS 4 GM

A not-to-be-named friend asked me:

I would like your opinion the GM build. Should I (not sure how) remove it and then load the new iOS 4.0? I know it wouldn’t have the game center, but I don’t use that anyway. I am afraid if I don’t remove, the software will expire (happened on beta 4 and then I couldn’t use the phone (or back up first) until I could load the latest.

If you’re one of those developers that managed to install the iOS 4.0 Gold Master right after Uncle Steve announced it, then you might wonder if you should update to the really final release that came out just now.

Wait! That’s a trick question…!


A version is called Gold Master if it is the final code that would be put on a master CD to be mass-produced by the factory. Since we are getting iOS updates via the Internet there is no longer any physical media involved. A different name, less anachronistic, would have been RTM (“Release to Manufacturing”). Or not, there is no manufacturing involved in unleashing Apple software upon the world.

So let’s see if that really WAS true and we got the really REALLY finaly 4.0 version after the Stevenote. To check on which version is the latest I used a trick I learned from TUAW to get a list of the ipsw restore files bearing version 4.0. They employed the OSX built-in text-to-speech engine to have the Mac tell you as soon as the 4.0 version became available on Apple’s servers. A cool trick! But we need only the first line of their script:

curl -s -L http://phobos.apple.com/version | grep -i Restore | grep -i iPhone | grep -i 4.0

This part gets an XML file from Apple’s servers and cuts out the lines that include iPhone, Restore and 4.0. You get several lines that all share the same build number: 8A293.

Now let’s cross check that against our own phone, that we have already be-goldened.

Down there at Version it also says 8A293. Heureka! Apple told the truth when they told us that we developers will get the final shipping version of iOS 4.0.

Check for yourself if you have this build number. If yes, then you might see if you can fool somebody else and ask them if they already upgraded to the really final 4.0. 😉

Categories: Q&A

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