Gruber rage: Jailbreaking edition

Daring Fireball, huh? Often interesting, sometimes Completely Damn Infuriating.

Today is one of the completely infuriating days, as he talks about jailbreaking.

Defending Apple’s institution of measures to prevent downgrading from one official OS version to another, he says:

Apple isn’t going to support downgrading to an older version of the OS with known security vulnerabilities.

The thing is, Apple isn’t simply “not supporting” downgrading. They could do that, and not provide any mechanism to downgrade, perhaps by making iTunes refuse to downgrade a device. Instead, the device itself will only install firmware that Apple signs as appropriate for the device, and Apple take away the mechanism for signing firmware as appropriate to the device when they want to make a release un-installable. That is to say, they actively prevent the installation of past versions.

There is a difference between “we don’t support that, it voids your warranty” and devoting substantial technical effort to make sure something never happens. And Gruber’s confusion between the two has brought me to gruber rage today.

In his most recent post on the matter, Gruber writes

I didn’t say Apple doesn’t have a stance regarding jailbreaking. But judging by their actions to date, they’re treating it as nuisance, not a significant problem

That clarified version of his argument is not one that I particularly want to argue with. I just object to his claim that deprecating old versions necessitates preventing downgrades.

(incidentally, stuff like the whole SHSH nonsense is why I was never able to bring myself to jump on the iPhone bandwagon)

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