At long last I’ve jailbroken my iPhone 3GS. In case you’re curious, here are the resources I used:
- greenp0ison (the app I used to do the actual jailbreak)
- A text and video guide to using greenp0ison
- Info on how to reset/reboot an iPhone
- Info on DFU mode vs recovery mode, and how to get into each
I had never done a jailbreak before. For a while, from what I understand, there was no known way to jailbreak my phone (with the newer bootrom), and then there was a way, but it required your phone to be connected to your computer if you ever needed to reboot it. Anyway, it looks like even the newest phones can now be jailbroken, provided you haven’t moved up to iOS 4.2 yet.
My jailbreak experience was painless. The only tricky part was getting the phone into DFU mode, but that was mainly an issue of timing. Once I had accomplished that, it was smooth sailing.
For those who are unfamiliar, jailbreaking an iPhone basically allows you to install applications outside of the app store. Why would you want to do that? Mainly because Apple is very restrictive about what it will allow into the app store. In some ways this is good — you don’t have to worry so much about getting malware if you only use the app store. But the downside is that Apple restricts your phone from doing many things of which it is capable.
For example, with my old Nokia phone I was able to connect it to my laptop and then have my laptop connect to the internet via my phone — a process called tethering. That was useful for cases when I wasn’t near a wifi hotspot. With the iPhone, you cannot do that by default unless you pay AT&T extra money per month. However, if you jailbreak your phone, there are apps that will let you do this.
Another example is running apps in the background. You may recall that prior to iOS 4, you were not able to run any apps in the background — if you switched from one app to another, the first app would be closed. iOS 4 added backgrounding to the iPhone 4, but even prior to iOS 4, if you had a jailbroken iPhone, you could run apps in the background.
Basically, an unjailbroken iPhone is kind of like a bike with training wheels — or better yet, like a chastity belt! It helps protect you from yourself, but it also restricts you from doing things you may want to do, provided you are willing to assume the risks.
For those of you who have had your phones jailbroken for a while, please feel free to recommend any favorite apps to me.