Thursday, December 1, 2016

Apple’s New OS “Activation” for Touch Bar MacBook Pros

Erik Gomez (via Hacker News):

Last week Joe Chilcote discovered an interesting message when imaging a Late 2016 MacBook Pro TouchBar […]:

A critical software update is required for your Mac. To install this update you need to connect to a network. Select a Wi-Fi network below, or click Other Network Options to connect to the internet using other network devices.


Attempting to skip this page would lead to an additional failure […] Even more worrying was the final note:

Your Mac can’t be used until this update is installed.


Welcome to the future of Apple’s hybrid ARM/x86 platform.

It’s also quite clear that destroying entire disks is going to lead to some pain points for people still imaging.

Erik Gomez:

Online Activation is typically required after Internet Recovery or a full disk wipe and subsequent re-image.


Offline Upgrades seems to occur each time the machine there is a new firmware detected in the iBridge1_1Customer.bundle.


My spidey sense tingled when I first noticed offline activations and offline upgrades. It was clear that Apple didn’t want to force a “Critical Update required” screen every time there was a new point release and we could use this to our advantage.

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His crucial question, to my mind:

Will there come a time that much like iOS, a MacBook Pro cannot be restored to an older OS?

I'd guess the answer is almost certainly, yes. And probably not too long in the future in coming...

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