Sunday, 09 March 2008 12:45

iPhone 1.1.4 firmware solved my 1.1.3 Safari problems

I’d only just updated my iPhone to 1.1.3 and unlocked it using Zibri’s ZiPhone software when the 1.1.4 firmware seemed to come out of left field. But now that ZiPhone unlocks iPhone’s 1.1.4 firmware too, it’s well worth the upgrade, which fixed some annoying 1.1.3 Safari problems I was experiencing.

Ah, Apple. One of these days you’ll get around to launching the iPhone globally. Until then, people are importing and exporting them all over the place, leaving you with profits and a hacker problem that I’m personally very glad you’re having.

It’s a “problem” I’m sure you’ll continue to enjoy even after iPhone 2.0 software / firmware comes out and the SDK helps developers create all kinds of authorised applications.

I can only imagine that many of us will be enjoying two wireless iPhone stores – the official App Store and the unofficial - once the hackers figure out how to get around whatever new protections iPhone 2.0 firmware introduces, something that surely is inevitable.

Anyway I purchased my iPhone back in early August from a friend that bought it from eBay. At the time, the only hack was one that let you use the iPhone as an iPod Touch, something that didn’t yet officially exist.

But ever since the free iPhone unlocks came about, in mid September 2007, I’ve been able to enjoy my iPhone to the full, and all those juicy unauthorised third party apps have been lots of fun, too.

When I last updated my iPhone to 1.1.3 firmware, it was to get some of the cool new features within, from the wiggly icons to the “locate me” feature in Google Maps.

But aside from a range of problems that other people have reported with 1.1.3, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection problems, which I actually wasn’t experiencing personally, my biggest problem with 1.1.3 was iPhone’s version of Safari.

I hadn't wanted to upgrade to 1.1.4 yet, given Zibri's warnings to wait for ZiPhone to be updated. I realise it's probably been updated for several days, but I originally wasn't in any rush - until my Safari problems just got too annoying to ignore any longer.

So, what were the problems, and are they fully fixed now with 1.1.4 firmware? Please read onto page 2.

A number of sites that I regularly visit in iPhone Safari had previously always remembered my username and password details if I’d clicked the ‘remember me’ option. That was no longer happening in 1.1.3, and having to retype login details was becoming quite tedious.

Also, I was having problems with Gmail accessed via Safari. Not only was Gmail not remembering my login details either, but messages wouldn’t reliably open once tapped, and if I could get into a message, clicking the ‘Inbox’ button wouldn’t take me back.

At first I thought maybe something was wrong at Google's end, but as Gmail was working perfectly on my computer, I knew that it had to be something with the 1.1.3 firmware.

These were really annoying me something shocking, but I half heartedly accepted them and half heartedly hoped they would fixed themselves - perhaps I wasn't 'logging out' of the site properly or hadn't set cookies up to be saved correctly - but in truth I never needed to worry about those things before.

As the days went on, it became glaringly obvious that Apple must have stuffed up a bit with 1.1.3, and that some of the mysterious “bug fixes” that Apple said were in 1.1.4 would fix my Safari problems. Or, at least, I hoped so.

So, today was the day. I’d gotten absolutely sick and tired of re-typing in usernames and passwords, again and again, when in 1.02, 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 this simply wasn’t necessary.

I knew that Zibri had promised he’d get the unlock working with the 1.1.4 firmware, so I went to his ZiPhone site and downloaded it. Using the link at the site, I downloaded the 1.1.4 firmware from Apple, and then used iTunes to “restore” my iPhone to 1.1.4.

So what did I do next? Please read onto page 3.

Then I used the ZiPhone software to unlock the iPhone, a procedure that was slated to take 4 minutes, but surprisingly was finished in two minutes.

I immediately went to my network settings in the iPhone, entered in my carrier’s APN details, then fired up Safari, logged into my favourite sites, including Gmail, and tried them.

And... joy of joys... Safari can remember passwords again, and Gmail through Safari works properly too! For me, this makes 1.1.4 a must-download firmware, unlike the older firmware versions which I took my time upgrading from.

Finally, my iPhone surfing experience has been returned to its former glory. Hopefully I won’t find any ‘new’ issues, although as I’ve only had 1.1.4 on my iPhone for a couple of hours, I haven’t used it enough to find out!

Still... if you’re still on any previous iPhone firmware version, and especially on 1.1.3, now that 1.1.4 is out, and ZiPhone easily circumvents Apple’s decidedly unwanted protections, it seems a great time to upgrade, especially with the iPhone 2.0 software/firmware still around 3 months away, and especially if you’re experiencing the same Safari problems I was, but am no longer!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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