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TUAW How To: Getting early access to 1.1.2

Quite a number of people have asked me over the past few days: how did you find the 1.1.2 iPhone firmware update before it appeared in iTunes? The answer is simple: Apple publishes its most recent version releases on the web. You'll find this version list at in gzip format. To see this from the command line, issue curl -s -L | gunzip. You'll probably want to pipe it through more, which shows a page at a time, or open the entire results in TextEdit, i.e.

More: curl -s -L | gunzip | more

TextEdit: curl -s -L | gunzip | open -f

The results are published as standard xml. Since I knew that the European iPhone would ship with version 1.1.2, I set up a shell script a couple of days in advance that searched through this feed to find "1.1.2". Eventually it showed up and I could download the firmware several days in advance of the iTunes release.

Getting such an early head start is truly the exception rather than the rule. This is a good trick to put into your arsenal when you're waiting for a specific release.

Updated to add " curl -s -L ". Thanks Justin.

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