Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Installing a Previous Version of an App on your iPhone

As we know, Apple's wonderful App Store does not permit the iPhone user to download older versions of an application. This is a real problem if that new update just plain doesn't work (Tweetie didn't work for three updates on my phone). So what to do?

Well, the simplest thing to do is to jailbreak the phone if there is a version available out there (look at hackulo.us in the Cydia store, for example). There seems to be something inherently wrong to me that one would have to put warez of software you own to get it to work however.

My iPhone is one of the first generation models. That means it doesn't run the latest iOS (even Whited00r is really iOS 3 with iOS 4 add-ons). Some of the more recent updates I've seen take advantage of some of the iOS 4 feature set and no longer work on my iPhone. That's fine - the old versions still work and they were good enough for me. However, I usually find out that they won't work on my iPhone after I've downloaded the latest version to iTunes and tried to upload it to the phone.

Getting the old version of software back into iTunes on the computer (so that I can back-up the files) is actually pretty easy. Delete the application from iTunes but leave it on the iPhone. Sync the iPhone with the computer. iTunes will see that you have applications on the iPhone that it doesn't have a copy of and will ask you if you want to copy that software (the old version on the iPhone) to the computer. Say yes and you will have the old version copied back to your computer. Remember not to upgrade this software or you will have to repeat the process.

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