11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 18, 2013 12:44 PM by David Pennell
Apple3.1416 Level 1 (0 points)

I have the latest version of iTunes (10.7) for my iMac (Mac OS 10.6.8), but I have only 1 iPod. It is an old 2G Touch. The latest version of iOS for this Touch is iOS 4.2.1. I recently noticed that iTunes was updating some of my apps to versions that are TOO NEW for this version of iOS. Once a newer version is downloaded, the older versions are removed. But the newer versions will NOT install on the Touch, because they need a newer version of iOS. This has happened to me with the following iOS apps: Facebook, iBooks, Craigslist, and Distant Suns. I don't remember when this started, but I would say about 2 or 3 months ago at the longest.


I noticed that I can use time machine to recover the older versions of the apps. Once I put them back in the mobile applications folder, remove the newer version, and re-locate the older file within iTunes, then I can re-install the app to the Touch.


Restoring my Touch did not help this issue.


How do I keep this from happening again? Also, iTunes keeps telling me that there are updates for these apps, but they are the newer versions that WILL NOT WORK with my LATEST version of iOS for this iPod. Is there any way to stop the updates for certain apps?


Anyone else having this issue?


Any ideas on how to fix this?

iBook, iOS 4.2, iPod Touch 2G
  • planb77 Level 7 (32,315 points)

    Unfortunately, there really isn't much you can do other than to individually check app updates to see if iOS version requirements have changed for each individual app that needs updating.


    There is no way to have iTunes not show you (hide) pending app updates.



  • LostOnline Level 1 (0 points)

    This is a really stupid design in iTunes. I have an old iPhone 3G as well an iPod Touch 4G. I cannot update my iPod without it Updating the one in iTunes. Fortunitely it keeps the old one on the iPhone when syncing even though there's a new version in iTunes, but when I had a problem with the iPhone, I was forced to do a restore, the backup didn't work because apparently it backed up the problem. So now I cannot access Facebook on my iPhone. I was able to recover the old version of Facebook Messager with an advanced undelete program, but I haven't yet found the Facebook one (There are over 2,000 recovered App (.ipa) files, most with names like $I560G3B.ipa. the only way to determine which one it is is to try to add it to iTunes & get the "You have a newer version of Qrafter, are you sure you want to replace it?" or "This is not a valid App file" (becasue the file wasn't fully recovered). After much work I was able to find a recoverable Facebook App, unfortunitely it's "Facebook 3440.ipa", the last one to work with 4.2.1 was "Facebook 4110.ipa" & the current one is Facebook 5.0.1.ipa" so it's quite a jump backwards

  • planb77 Level 7 (32,315 points)

    Yes. Unfortunately developers are the ones who update their updates to require newer versions of iOS.



  • LostOnline Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, but most sites keep previous versions of old software for people who have compatibility issues, at least the last 2 releases. & if not, they could, I dunno, release an account-free version (Since it's FREE ANYWAYS) that you could download & manually add to iTunes. & Since Apple has a rediculous, long vetting system for apps, not to ensure operability, since there are plenty of apps that crash constantly, but to ensure they have the least amount of function possible, The developers would have to release a NEW app. Since one of Apple's things is that "There's already an app for that" it would never be approved because there is, in fact, that exact app, just newer. But they want their customers to HAVE TO buy another overpriced piece of equipment, even when the one they have would be just fine if it weren't for the fact that they can't get the apps for it


    Or, how about at least letting you keep the older version if you have a device that doesn't support the newer one instead of replacing the old one for the new device & saying the old one can suck it

  • planb77 Level 7 (32,315 points)

    since there are plenty of apps that crash constantly


    The developers are to blame for most such crashes.


    Or, how about at least letting you keep the older version if you have a device that doesn't support the newer one instead of replacing the old one for the new device & saying the old one can suck it


    You can.  Just don't update to the newer version of the app.  Of course, that adds a bit of complexity when updating the apps via iTunes or the iPod, but it's better than nothing.



  • David Pennell Level 1 (0 points)

    I have read that Apple pressures developers to requre the latest version of iOS if at all possible. Is there any way to find out for sure? These are my rules, so far:


    1. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Whenever you do update, first sync your .ipas (your ~/Music/iTunes/Mobile Applications folder)  to another folder. They all have versions in the name, so if you don't "Mirror" you should be fine, new files won't overwrite old because the version # in the name will be different.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! I didn't do that in the past, my Time Machine backups either were poorly set up or there's a problem with Time Machine and Mobile Applications folder or the backups don't go back far enough. I think it's a problem with Time Machine, because, frankly, I had some much older files that had been changed backed up, but not some much newer . The short version is, some apps that used to work on my iPod Touch I'll never see again - the files have your Apple ID in them. Apple's indefensible on this score, in my opinion. If you don't feel like setting up a Sync, just literally copy every file (or list it by date, descending, and copy the top X files) to your backup folder. Then to save time, when it tells you there are duplicates, say don't replace and apply this to all files. If you know AppleScript you could create an AppleScript to do this before you hit the Download All Free Updates button.


    1A. If you feel like you're already screwed (yes, your apps work now, but if you have to restore, you're screwed) get DiskAid for your OS. It's quite cheap and irreplaceable. Get all your apps to disk (vs. iTunes). Make that the basis of your backup folder.


    2. Having done the above (backed up your old applications files) you now should "Download All Free Updates"). Why? To give you something intermediate to back up. Yes, it will delete your current apps quite often and replace them with unworkable ones. It will also update things over time to just at the edge of usability on your device.


    3. It wastes a great deal of time if you do #1 and #2 out of order, so don't.


    4. To find out what apps have become bad, you look at your ipod touch or iphone in itunes and look at sync apps. The ones iTunes won't import to your device are unchecked after the sync. You can color them red in your folder, and color your good apps green and if there are white apps, check if they imported or not, and color them accordingly.


    5. If you need to restore, restore, then simply add the apps you really need to iTunes (it'll copy them) from your backup folder.


    6. Apple really should have old apps to download, especially if you paid for them. That's customer abuse, and frankly, they don't have the whip hand here. Most old devices aren't on warranty anyway, so the incentive to not jailbreak them and just go get whatever old app you used to use is pretty much nil.

  • planb77 Level 7 (32,315 points)

    You can leave them feedback regarding the ability to retain old apps here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipodtouch.html


  • Heegaards Level 1 (0 points)

    How did you use the time machine to recover? same thing happened to me with a texing app I really really really value! Could you let me know how to use that? I have no time machine in my menu bar...PLEASE LET ME KNOW DESPERATE!

  • euniqe Level 1 (0 points)

    You cannot get iPod touch 1st and 2nd gen Apps anymore. Apple is forcing it's previous customers to upgrade by removingh all of the apps from them, forcing customers to use buy newer ipods, often just to get ALREADY PAID FOR SOFTWARE to work.


    It's just another Apple Scam, something Americans seem to be brilliant at.

  • tsh206 Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple does not force developers to abandon support for older versions of iOS.   The developers choose to only embrace iOS back to a certain version as there is increased cost and development time to ensure that changes work across all versions of iOS.  


    If you're really too cheap to keep your hardware up to date with the software, then maybe you should consider writting the apps yourself.

  • David Pennell Level 1 (0 points)

    tsh206, this is entirely incorrect, and therefore entirely unhelpful in a how to post.


    I have contacted developers. And written apps myself. $100 a year fee and all. Provisioning profies and all.


    The issue is entirely one of only App Store apps being downloadable and installable on (non-jailbroken) iOS devices. The developers have zero control over that, it's entirely an Apple process, mandated by their DRM and technology locks, built into every app.


    Routinely, only the latest, often quite incompatible, version of an app is available, and that's under any circumstances.


    My suggestion shouldn't be overthought:


    1. Never update all. Never.

    2. Keep every version - synchronize them into a special folder. Time Machine is inadequate because it won't go back far enough when you have a phone or pod or pad crash and need to restore and then get your software back.


    Do those two things and you're golden. Either one is usually adequate.


    If even that's tricky (you don't like setting up syncing or backups for your app folder) you can replace it with one step:


    1. Always update on the device only. Never update an app via iTunes.


    I did mention as a prod the simple well-known fact that if people really lost a lot of valuable apps due to this, they really do have a workable, non-Apple solution: since the devices that lose a lot of apps are often past or near the end-of-AppleCare date, if that's the case, they really have nothing to lose by jailbreakng the device then going to sites where they can get old apps. If the Apple people feel that would be unethical piracy (getting back the apps, sans DRM, that Apple itunes app update deprived you of in this not-at-all-straightforward process), they might consider that, on balance, people would be better off in this updating regard simply switching to Android as an alternative.