How to update Jailbroken iPhone to 4.3.3 [solved]

After having some problems with my home button, I tried taking my iPhone to the Apple store, who told me it would cost $200 to replace the hardware button on my iPhone. They also mentioned there were some home button issues with 4.3.1, the version of my iPhone OS, and to try updating. (They also said they had to mention the jailbreak could be my problem and to remove it).

I went home, determined to either fix the home button myself (they cost $5 online) or try a software update. I tried updating to 4.3.3 first, the latest untethered jailbreak. This is trickier now that 4.3.5 is out.

First, I ran AptBackup, a package you can find in Cydia to save all of your jailbroken apps for restoring later. (Edit: AptBackup deleted all my AppStore apps, people recommend PkgBackup instead.) I also saved my SHSH blobs in Cydia (important) when it prompted me, so that I could upgrade or downgrade my iOS freely.

I downloaded iOS 4.3.3 from here and tried option-updating or option-restoring in Itunes, but it gave me the error “The device isn’t eligible for the requested build.” I learned this is because Apple stopped signing iOS 4.3.3 in an effort to prevent jailbreaking.

I followed Saurik’s old guide, adding the line “ gs.apple.com” to my /etc/hosts file to have Saurik’s Cydia server spoof apple’s verification servers. This bypasses the “eligible” error in iTunes, but as described, at the end of the restore I got the error message The iPhone “iPhone” could not be restored. An unknown error occured (1015)” Saurik writes that you should restore twice, but that you will get this message both times and get stuck in recovery mode, and then you should jailbreak.

Then, I tried using the latest version of RedSn0w to jailbreak. RedSn0w requires you to enter DFU mode by turning off the phone, but in recovery mode the phone turns on automatically when it’s plugged into USB. Regardless, I was able to enter DFU mode by holding down power for 2 seconds, pressing the power and home button for 10 seconds, and then releasing the power button and holding home for 10 seconds. Then, the phone hung on the “Installing Activation Bundles” screen and then rebooted and was stuck on the recovery screen.

I tried the application “fixrecovery43″ but it didn’t work. (I got the error: libusb:error [darwin_transfer_status] transfer error: timed out)

What did work for me was installing TinyUmbrella and clicking the “Exit Recovery” option. TinyUmbrella crashed a few times on me, I think because of conflicts with Apple’s httpd server. I had to disable websharing and type “sudo killall httpd” in Terminal first. Then I clicked TinyUmbrella’s “Start TSS Server” and then it ran better. Open up /Applications/Utilities/Console.app for more details on what’s happening if you’re having trouble with TinyUmbrella. Evidentially you can use their TSS servers to restore the phone via iTunes as well but it didn’t work for me (I got a “could not connect to apple servers” error in iTunes).

Note: TinyUmbrella edits your hosts file and deletes everything except the gs.apple.com line. If you have other lines in your hosts file I suggest backing it up.

First I tried DFU mode, but the “fix restore” button didn’t work (the phone got stuck on a greenpois0n screen with the message “unable to find gbdevlist” and “unable to find fs_mount”). What worked for me was leaving the iPhone in recovery mode (iPhone screen on, usb cable icon pointing to iTunes icon), and then it shows up in the list of devices in recovery mode. Then I simply clicked on “exit recovery” and my phone booted normally into 4.3.3. Whew!

Finally, I reinstalled AptBackup and clicked “restore”, which restored all of my Cydia apps, but deleted all of my appstore apps. None of the suggested online fixes (installing an appstore app, resyncing with iTunes, turning on and off restrictions) worked. People online recommend PkgBackup instead of AptBackup, note to self. Anyway I restored my apps and settings from backup again using my old backup in iTunes and all is good. So far so good with the home button. If your iPhone 4 home button is still on the fritz, there are some good voodoo tricks in the comments here.

Back up iPhone SMS messages into an excel database without jailbreaking [solved]

So here’s a somewhat complicated but entirely graphical way of backing up your SMS messages from your iPhone into an excel spreadsheet. I couldn’t get Syphone to work so here is my solution.

The first thing you’ll need is iPhone Backup Extractor. It’s a mac program, but there are other cross platform backup decoders out there such as mobilesync-inspect. You’re looking for the SQLite SMS database (iPhone Backup Extractor calls it SMS.db). iPhone Backup Extractor is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0 yet but it does work with 2.2.1. Hopefully 3.0 will work soon.

Run iPhone Backup Extractor and select your most recent backup. Scroll down to the bottom of the applications and choose iPhone OS. Choose a folder to save it in.

iPhone Extractor

Then, use an SQLite browser such as SQLite Manager (don’t know why this is a firefox addon, but it rocks) to view the database.


All of the SMSes are stored in the messages table – you can right click on it and export it as a CSV. Alternatively you could export the whole database as an SQL or XML file. But open up the CSV in excel and you’re done! Sweet!

SMSes in excel

Sync notes with iPhone 3.0 beta

I’m trying the new iPhone 3.0 OS because I’m a registered developer. So far it’s sweet! My only issues so far are that wifi had trouble connecting at first, and my notes apparently didn’t sync.
Turns out my notes were in mail. They didn’t show up in my left hand navigation bar at first, but I tried doing “new note” and just writing “test”, and then the rest of them all showed up from my iPhone. (no clue where windows would put them.)

iPhone 2.1 cannot be synced – unknown error with iTunes 8.0 [solved]

For a while I was getting a maddening “The iPhone cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (13213)” error every time I would try and sync my iPhone. No amount of iphone resetting or iTunes restarting would solve my problem. Finally this apple disccusion solved my problem – I had to turn off iTunes Genius and then it worked fine.
But that sucks, I liked Genius, and iTunes stupidly got rid of the mini store so now I can’t see any reviews or album information of the tracks I’m listening to. (Genius isn’t much better actually, it shows you artists’ top albums by default instead of information on the one you’re listening to. Bring back the mini store!)
Anyway, the solution was to upgrade quicktime, which I had been avoiding because it requires a reboot. Actually my 10.5.5 update crashed and almost hosed my machine so I had to use the 10.5.5 Combo Update (which I highly recommend, as you still have Finder and activity monitor control as it works) to upgrade and then upgrade quicktime.
Anyway, after I installed the quicktime update and reinstalled Genius, my iPhone sync worked fine.

Read Safari on the iPhone while lying down (rotation workaround) [solved]

As neat as the accelerometers on the iPhone are for switching between portrait and landscape modes, it gets to be annoying as hell trying to read when you’re lying down. You naturally hold the phone sideways when you’re lying down, and then the screen rotates, turning the text 90° away from you in landscape mode. You rotate it back and it rotates the screen 90° away again. The makers of the eReader application have already noticed this was a big issue and corrected it with a lock orientation setting. Safari, however, still does not have this.

I just figured out a workaround: lie down and turn the phone horizontally so that it goes into landscape mode. Then, continue rotating the phone upside down. Unlike the photo application which will display photos upside down, Safari will only rotate 270° and will remain in landscape mode, so you can comfortably read google reader in bed.

Sync iPhone with Google Calendar and Outlook [solved]

I have too many calendars. I’ve managed to consolidate most of them though:

First, I synced my work Outlook calendar (on my PC) to my gcal with the fantastic app Google Calendar Sync. I gave it my info and told it to sync both ways every hour.

Then, I subscribed to my google calendar in iCal: First, in google calendar, click on Settings, Calendar Settings, Calendars, [your calendar], Calendar Address: and click on ICAL. Copy this URL, and then in iCal, paste it into Calendar: Subscribe… and have it update every hour.

And you’re done! My iPhone will only sync when I connect it to the computer, which is fine with me, but you can either subscribe to mobileme for push calendar notifications, set up text messaging alerts with google calendar, or use the web-based iphone version of google calendar in Safari.

Edit: The events show up as separate calendars on your iPhone.

It looks like this currently does not work with mobileMe. You can convert the items to your personal calendar in iCal by exporting them and then importing them. See macosxhints workaround here.

How to import contacts from windows mobile to an iphone with outlook [solved]

There seem to be a variety of ways to import your contacts from your windows mobile phone to your iphone. This is how I did it. You will need: Activesync and Outlook on Windows, and Address Book and iTunes 7.7 on OS X.

1) Sync your windows mobile phone with outlook with activesync.

2) Launch Outlook (I have v. 2006) and click on contacts. Your contacts should be listed.

3) To avoid syncing all 1000+ contacts I had, I scrolled right, and clicked on the ‘Mobile Phone’ column to sort by contacts with a mobile phone number. I then selected only contacts with a mobile phone number and right clicked and chose ‘Send as Business Card’. This step might take a while because it’s creating potentially hundreds of attachments as vCards to a new email.

4) I tried emailing this to my email account on my mac. My server basically said ‘Are you crazy?’ and blocked the entire message – one for having hundreds of attachments and two because .vcf is normally a hostile file format for email attachments (lots of exploit potential in ‘em).

5) However, I still had a copy of my message in my Outlook outbox, and was able to right click on the attachments and choose ‘Save all’. Then I transferred the folder I saved them in to my mac.

6) Simply double clicking on one attachment opened address book and asked me ‘do you want to import 1 contact?’ I clicked yes. Then I selected the rest and dragged them to address book, and it asked me if I wanted to import the rest and I clicked yes.

7) Plug your iphone in, click sync in iTunes and you’re done!

Other options I can think of:

• Take your sim card and put it in the iphone with the sim card ejection tool and go to Settings > Mail, Contacts and Calendars > Import SIM Contacts. I’m not sure if it will let you get this far if the card is from another network.

This link says you can click on the ‘MessageSave’ outlook toolbar button and select ‘Save all messages in folder Contacts’ and choose vCard in the format field, but this didn’t work for me (I don’t have that icon).