What is the problem with a changelist, Apple?

Apple released the 1.1.4 update for both the iPhone (163MB) and the iPod touch (166MB) today. Unfortunately, they only listed the changes as “Bug Fixes”. Less than helpful.

On TUAW, they quickly reported that ZiPhone works with 1.1.4, but then followed up with a plea from Zibri to wait for the firmware to be checked and that a new version would be available in 2 days. (BTW, where is that 16GB touch version of ZiPhone that was promised a few weeks ago?)

And apparently the placebo effect is as strong as ever because over at this blog, things like device responsiveness and faster browsing are listed as possible things fixed. Call me cynical, but I wasn’t buying into it.

So I figured that I should probably try to find out what was different, so I quickly generated a list of files that changed in the iPod touch version of 1.1.4. At first, my list of changed files included every binary that Apple shipped in the update. Clearly this was a big change, right? Well, not really… see, the binaries had new dates on them, and even differing MD5 sums. But most of them were the same size. And what is the chance that a binary would have changes and still be the same size? Pretty close to zero. Looking even closer, I found that for the files that were different, it was internal timestamps that were the culprit — so I weeded files out of the list that were the same size, and came up with this list of changed files for 1.1.4:

./System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist
./System/Library/Frameworks/CoreTelephony.framework/CoreTelephony
./System/Library/Frameworks/CoreTelephony.framework/Info.plist
./System/Library/Frameworks/CoreTelephony.framework/Support/CommCenter
./System/Library/Frameworks/MoviePlayerUI.framework/MoviePlayerUI
./System/Library/Frameworks/UIKit.framework/UIKit
./System/Library/KeyboardDictionaries/en_GB-stems.dat
./System/Library/KeyboardDictionaries/en_US-stems.dat
./private/var/db/dyld/update-prebinding-paths.txt
./usr/sbin/BTServer

Not really a large update overall — and it certainly doesn’t look like it would have a lot of effect on “device responsiveness” and “faster browsing when connected with WiFi”. Even the kernel stays at exactly the same version for this release, not even meriting a rebuild by Apple.

I would also speculate that as far as jailbreaking goes, this update is exactly the same as 1.1.3 for jailbreaking intents. So, I wouldn’t worry too much about causing any problems with your touch or iPhone. Now unlocking might be a completely different issue — I didn’t even look at the iPhone packages to see what was changed, but I suspect that it’s most likely the same set of files.

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