How to Get the iPhone 2.0 Upgrade Right Now - For Free

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You don't have to wait until tomorrow to get iPhone 2.0. You can download it and install it to a first-generation iPhone right now.

iPhone 2.0 is the upgraded version of Apple's phone software. It includes a variety of new features, including App Store support (so you can install third-party applications and games), the ability to search through contacts, and more. It will be pre-installed on the new iPhone 3G when that becomes available at 8 a.m. (local time) July 11, and it's also available as a free software upgrade for current iPhone owners.

The alert bloggers at Macrumors discovered that the OS upgrade is available now, almost 24 hours before the phone officially launches.

Here's how to upgrade your iPhone today.

WARNING: Back up your iPhone (by syncing) before you start. This could wind up zeroing out your data. We've haven't heard of anything more serious than music not syncing properly after the upgrade, but as with any early software release, things could go wrong and you could wind up losing data or worse.

1) Sync your iPhone with the current version of iTunes -- this is to make sure that all your data is backed up.
2) Download iTunes 7.7. This is the version of iTunes with support for the App Store. Double-click the installation package to upgrade iTunes.
3)Download the install package for iPhone 2.0. It's a 225-MB file and the server may be pretty busy, so be prepared to wait. The file should have a .ipsw extension. If it has a .zip extension, remove that part of the extension.
4)Connect your iPhone to your computer and select it in the iTunes window. Hold down the Option button (Alt button for Windows users) as you click on the Check for Updates button.
5)A dialog box will pop up. Use it to select the iPhone 2.0 install package you just downloaded.
6)Once your iPhone has been updated, it should be ready to go. Be patient: It took about 15 minutes to complete the process on my iPhone.
7)Once the update is complete, iTunes will ask you if you want to set up your iPhone as a new phone, or restore the backup that you did in step 1. Obviously, you'll want to restore from the backup. That will require another sync.
8)Now you're ready to start getting iPhone apps onto your phone. Not seeing the App Store in iTunes? Click on this link: iTunes App Store
9)Browse the 550+ applications (including 135 free ones) that are already available for download, and have fun!

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