There are a couple of important points I need to make before you can go any further.
- If you have one of the newer iPhone 3GS or iPod Touch 3G, your Jailbreak will be what's called a "Tethered jailbreak". This means that the tools available are not 100% compatible with your device and you will need to connect it to your computer every time you want to reboot it. Granted, you should not need to reboot all that often, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.
- If you have an iPod Touch with a model number starting with MC, you will also be limited to the Tethered Jailbreak. To determine if this affects you, go to Settings -> General -> About and scroll down until you see the model number. If it starts with MC you are stuck with the tethered jailbreak.
When I first got my iPod Touch I was limited to a Tethered Jailbreak for the first month or so. This is only inconvenient if you need to reboot your device. The teams that come up with the Jailbreak tools will find a way to fully support the newer devices, just like they did with mine. You can either go ahead with the Jailbreak, or you can wait for the tools to support it. If at any time you feel it is too inconvenient, you can always restore your device in iTunes to default and this will remove the Jailbreak.There are two main methods of Jailbreaking your device. The first is Blackra1n, which will NOT work if you have the newest 3.1.3 firmware from Apple. However, if you are on 3.1.2 it is the easiest and fastest method. The second is Redsn0w which has been modified to work with the new firmware. I have not had the chance to upgrade and test mine yet, so I cannot confirm the functionality yet. Please go here for detailed instructions on using Redsn0w.
If you have an iPhone and plan on Unlocking your device, there are new tools available as of today that will allow you to upgrade, jailbreak and unlock. Please go here and here for specific information. I do not own an iPhone so I have not been able to test these methods. If you attempt these methods and run into any problems you can always restore your device to factory default to undo them.Let's do the actual Jailbreak now shall we?
If you are still reading, it must mean you are not on the 3.1.3 firmware and want to use Blackra1n to jailbreak. YAY!
- Perform a backup of your device in iTunes. This will protect you in the unlikely event something goes wrong and you are forced to restore your device. Do not upgrade your firmware at this point unless you want to use Redsn0w instead.
- Go to Blackra1n and download the appropriate version for your operating system.
- Once it has been downloaded, connect your device and run the blackra1n.exe file. Click the "make it ra1n" button. In about 30 seconds your device will reboot itself, display a picture of Geohot (the person who made blackra1n) and reboot itself again. At this point you should have a new icon on your device called Blackra1n. Congratulations, you have now jailbroken your device. (wasn't that easy?)
If, when the device reboots, you get a Conenct to iTunes message, it means you are one of the unlucky people to have a device which requires a "tethered jailbreak" If you get this message you can simply connect it to your computer and run the Blackra1n program to boot your device. You will be forced to do this every time you reboot the device. If you don't like this, simply launch iTunes and choose to restore your device.Now you are thinking to yourself, "now what?" On your device, click the Blackra1n icon and select to install Cydia. Cydia is the program that gives you access to all the wonderful jailbroken applications that you have heard so much about. After it has installed you can now start searching through and start installing all the applications and themes.
If you have an iPhone 3G and want to be able to unlock your device, the Blackra1n application that was installed will have an option to install Blacksn0w. This will unlock your device.
The unlock is different than the jailbreak. The unlock gives your phone the ability to be used on a different carrier than the one it was originally "locked" to. This will be handy if you purchased a used iPhone as you can then use it on any mobile provider.My favourite Cydia Applications
Now that you are jailbroken and have installed Cydia, I am going to simply list the applications that I have installed which are cool. If you do a simple Google search there will be TONS of suggestions as to the best applications to get.
- Winterboard - this application allows you to install custom themes on your device. This is one of the best reasons for jailbreaking your device.
- Five Icon Dock - allows 5 icons to reside in the Dock area of your device (bottom of the screen)
- Five Column SpringBoard - allows a 5th column to be added to your screen, so instead of 4 icons across, you can have 5.
- MakeitMine - allows you to change the carrier information at the top of your screen. On the iPod Touch it will usually just say iPod, with MakeitMine you can change that be whatever you choose.
- OpenSSH - Allows SSH access into the device itself. If you are not a power user, this app might not be for you. If you do install it, make sure you change the default password!!!
- ProSwitcher - Allows you to multitask, which is something Apple doesn't want you to do. Another great reason to Jailbreak!
- SBSettings - adds a dropdown menu to give you instant control over important settings on your device. The ability to turn on/off Wifi, 3G, Bluetooth, SSH.
- Shrink - Cydia includes some apps that you have to pay for, just like the Apple App store. Shrink is one that I use to reduce the size of my icons. This is really handy with the use of the Five Column SpringBoard application. I highly recommend it!
- CyDelete - allows you to uninstall Cydia applications the same way you uninstall App Store applications. Really handy!
- Simple iPad Theme - This theme adds some of the look of the newly announced iPad to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Spiffy!
There are thousands of great applications that you can now install, and thousands of themes to customize the look and feel of your device. Have fun!
Thanks go out to the iPhone Dev-Team and GeoHot for all the specific information and tools used to jailbreak! Without you guys we would be locked into what Apple thinks we should be.
Thanks also to Redmond Pie for the tutorials on using the newest tools available.