Apple confirms that it is triggering (or unlocking) iPhone updates over the network

Apple confirms that it is triggering (or unlocking) iPhone updates over the network

Ben Wilson
2 min read

We previously speculated that Apple is somehow triggering or unlocking iPhone functionality over the EDGE network (or perhaps over any IP-based network, including WiFi connections). The reason for the postulation: the addition of a "Send to Web Gallery," button that appears in the Camera and Photos applications when clicking the share button (lower left corner when viewing a photo) that did not exist for any iPhone owner prior to August 7th, and did not require any iTunes-based software/firmware installation.

At the time, we noted that, in addition to there being no synchronization process, nor conspicuous software update to enable the new function, some users received the function early in the day, some later in the day, and some not at all.

Apple has now addressed this issue in Knowledge Base article #306272. The article outlines several requirements for invoking the "Send to Web Gallery" function, including:

  • "iPhone Software Version 1.0.1 or later
  • "An active .Mac account (full membership accountâ??not just email)
  • "iPhone configured with a .Mac mail account (the same account to which you published the Web Gallery)
  • etc."

What's interesting, however, is the following paragraph:

"If the Send to Web Gallery option does not appear on iPhone, and you have installed iPhone Software 1.0.1 or later, press the Home button to exit Photos, wait an hour before you tap Photos, and then try again. During that hour, it's OK to use other features of iPhone."

This essentially confirms that some sort of network-based trigger -- not a time-based mechanism -- invokes the "Send to Web Gallery" option. Once the appropriate software is in place and a valid .Mac account is detected on the iPhone, it appears that some sort of fetching process is performed that delivers the new functionality.

Apple is still not revealing, however, whether the update trigger happens only over EDGE, or can occur over any type of valid network connection. Nor is it saying whether any actual application data is being transferred over the network, or just a unlock trigger.

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