restoring older versions of iPhone apps


2011-12-4

Sometimes, updated go bad. It's a fact of software life that newer is not *always* better... at least not for everyone. What do you do though, if the iPhone App Store offered you a shining update for one of your day-to-day essential apps, you upgraded, and not it will no longer run on your device?

This has happened for me with beloved Stanza eBook reader. I love Stanza and use it all the tome. But my iOS device is slightly on the dated side of fresh (it's an iPod touch 2nd Gen. and that means I'm stuck with iOS 4.2.1 for ever). The latest update for Stanza that will install on my device is version 3.2... and that crashes on startup each tome, while the previous versin (3.1) worked just fine.

So the solutions seems clear: go back to the version that is known to work, yeah? Yeah right, but HOW? There's two stumbling blocks here:

Rest your nerves, no jailbreacking required here, promise.

Where: if you are lucky, and haven't synced since you upgraded via the App Store on your device, you will still have the older version on your Mac. You can check in iTunes in the Apps section: find the app in question, select it, right-click and choose Show in Finder. Copy the file to a save place.

If you can't it this way, you might want to try two things: Time Machine backups (yeah right, you do have those), or, as im my case, the Trash! This an often overlooked place to check.

Note the the file you are looking for will have the app name plus a version number in it's name and have the suffix of .ipa

How to put the older version back:

this is the fun part, hahaha.

Important: Do NOT ever choose to update the app again - if you are not sure that there now is a version that will not crash as the one you just backed out of. Avoid using 'update all' from now on.

This trick worked just fine for me, I'm happy back to reading in Stanza 3.1, only hitch was that I lost all the stored books I had on there, lucky me I have them all on my Mac anyway ;)

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