HP tweaks servers, may inhibit backups from meta-doctored phones, but probably won't | webOS Nation

HP tweaks servers, may inhibit backups from meta-doctored phones, but probably won't

by Derek Kessler Wed, 10 Aug 2011 11:33 am EDT

In an announcement posted on HP’s Developer Center forums, Developer Community Manager Chuq Von Rospach indicated that recent security enhancements to their Cloud Services would prevent devices “reporting invalid Software versions” from using the backup and restore features of webOS.

The update supposedly will affect older devices that have been upgraded to webOS 2.x using the Meta-Doctor. Said Von Rospach:

“If you have used a Homebrew tool (such as meta-doctor) to update your device to webOS 2.x and above (a version not officially supported on your device) in a way that also allows the device to identify itself as having webOS 1.x, the device will no longer be recognized by our Cloud Services as having a valid Software version.”

Of course, the question is who will be affected. According to WebOS Internals chief Rod Whitby, this shouldn’t affect those who have used the Meta-Doctor, for all that is reported to the servers is the “proper” version, e.g. a Sprint Pre that’s been upgraded to 2.1 tells the servers that it’s running 1.4.5. The question is how HP’s new security enhancements will detect the invalid software versions, and what a Meta-Doctored Pre owner is to do? According to HP, you should Doctor your device back to the proper software version, a prospect that we personally find a bit unsettling.

We’ve reached out to HP for comment on the specifics of how this is going to work, but in the meantime we can tell you that our “invalid Software version” devices (including a Sprint Pre 2) are backing up just fine. That could just mean that the security enhancements haven’t been enacted yet, but if there’s a problem on the horizon, we don’t doubt that the homebrew community will be able to find a way around it.