Sunday, July 20, 2008

Upgrade your iPod touch to 2.0 for Free

The iPhone Software 2.0 update is free for iPhone users, but is $10 for those who have iPod touch. I found out you can get it for free.

Upgrade your iPod Touch to 2.0 for Free
Apple released their newest software update for both iPhone and iPod touch just about a week ago, July 11. It includes bug fixes and the anticipated App Store, which allows you to purchase and download third-party applications right to your iPhone or iPod. The update is free for iPhone users, but is $10 for those who own an iPod touch.

But I recently came across this method of upgrading your iPod to the latest version of the software (firmware, too). It involves tricking iTunes into restoring your iPod to software 2.0. However, it also involves wiping out your music and video collection in your iPod. Hence, the word 'restoring' your iPod. If you don't mind this, or if you have complete backup of your music collection in your PC, then this won't be an issue for you.

For this to work, you need a legitimate iPod Software 2.0 Restore file. Back in July 11 or 12, a link that directly points to an unrestricted Apple Phobos site leaked on the internet. A backdoor to the Apple Software server was available, which allowed the free download (and fast, too, as the file sharing sites give you a measly 5 kbps download rate) of the restore file. However, it's now currenly patched (as well as the link I used to get the file) and locked, and the only way to get the software restore file, iPod1,1_2.0_5A347_Restore.ipsw, is through torrents or file sharing sites. I got one from the Apple server itself, so I'm sure it's legit. I'm not so sure about those circulating in torrents and file sharing sites.

When you plug in your iPod, the little iPod window appears in iTunes. That's where the device info is shown - the iPod model, how much space it has, and how your music, videos, and photos take up that space, shown as a bar at the bottom. You'll also see two buttons - the Check for Updates and the Restore button. We're interested in the Restore button, since the Check for Update only prompts us to buy the update. We don't. We want it free!

If you hold Shift on your keyboard while clicking on Restore, a little window will appear that allows you to select which Restore file iTunes will use to restore your iPod to. Get it now? By selecting the Software 2.0 version (iPod1,1_2.0_5A347_Restore.ipsw) as a restore file, iTunes inadvertently updated your firmware version to version 2.0.

It will take a long time to prep your iPod for the restore, so be patient. There won't be any disk activity or CPU usage for that matter - just a window telling you that it's preparing your iPod for restore. Be patient.

After that, the restore (or upgrade) will happen - your iPod will reboot, and an Apple logo with a spinning throbber will appear. Wait until it's finished, and your done!

Reboot your iPod, and viola! An App Store icon right on the Home screen! Check the firmware version by going to Settings > General > About. Mine says Version 2.0 (5A347). It's only a matter of restoring your music and video files back to the iPod (as well as a restore from a backup) and you're good to go.

If you have an iTunes account, you can now purchase or download free applications for your iPod touch. Just go to the iTunes Store and download those applications.

Great! I just feel bad that Apple is forcing you to buy an upgrade now. Before (think iPod mini and nano), the updates for the firmware is free. And the discrimination between the iPhone and the iPod touch (remember, the update is free for the iPhone, original and the 3G version) is just wrong. But then again, it's just $10.

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