Update 12/27/2011: It’s now possible to perform an untethered jailbreak on iPhone 3S, iPhone 4, iPad 1, or 3rd or 4th generation iPod touch. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide.
The iPhone Dev Team has released an updated version of the popular redsn0w utility for jailbreaking an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Redsn0w 0.9.9b9b adds native support for iOS 5.0.1, which means that you can jailbreak most devices without manually pointing the tool toward an older IPSW.
The latest tool also includes a number of other updates including a fix that allows you to use Apple iBooks on a jailbroken device running iOS 5.0 or 5.0.1.
Users with an iPhone 3GS and old bootroms can also now create custom IPSW files without blobs.
There are still two things you need to know before you try to use redsn0w 0.9.9b9b though:
- The utility still doesn’t support the iPhone 4S or iPad 2.
- This is still a tethered jailbreak, which means that if you ever need to reboot your device you’ll lose most functionality until you connect to a computer with a USB cable and run redsn0w again.
Hacker pod2g is still working on the first untethered jailbreak tools for iOS 5.0 and up and those tools should be available to the public soon. Until now, redsn0w 0.9.9b9b is probably a jailbreaker’s best friend.
Jailbreaking an iOS device allows users to access files and settings that would otherwise be unavailable. This lets you install apps that aren’t available in the App Store, change the boot logo, and make other changes.
Unfortunately you may also lose some functionality if you jailbreak. For instance you can’t download over-the-air operating system updates from Apple on a jailbroken device, and the latest jailbreak utility seems to cause problems with the Skype app for iOS.