Apple released iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad today. And you can already jailbreak it.
Before you do that though, there are a few caveats. First, this is a “tethered” jailbreak, which means that if you need to reboot your device, you’ll have to connect to a computer and run the jailbreak utility again. There’s currently no untethered jailbreak available for iOS 5.
Second, if you jailbreak, you may not be able to access all of the new features in iOS — such as over-the-air operating system updates.
Third, if you have a carrier unlocked iPhone, which allows you to do things like use an AT&T iPhone with T-Mobile’s network, you may want to wait a little while before you update. While the ultrasn0w unlocking utility reportedly works, it hasn’t officially been updated for iOS 5 yet.
Jailbreaking an iOS device allows you to access settings that are normally unavailable — and to install apps that aren’t available from the App Store. This includes apps which can dramatically change the look and feel of the iPhone by altering features such as the boot animation, keyboard, or notifications.
Not all apps written for jailbroken devices have been updated to support iOS 5 yet, and this method for jailbreaking doesn’t yet support the Apple iPad 2.
OK, if you’ve read all of that and you still want to jailbreak iOS 5, here’s how to do it:
The first thing you need to do is download and install iOS on your device using iTunes 10.5. Once that’d done, you can follow the steps below.
1. Connect your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to your computer with a USB cable and power it off by pressing-and-holding the power button until you see an option to “slide to power off.” Swipe that slider to turn off your device.
2. Download the latest version of redsn0w from the iPhone Dev Team. Version 0.9.9b5 for Mac or Windows should be able to automatically select the appropriate IPSW file. If you’re using an earlier version you may have to manually select the IPSW. I’m using a Windows computer, so the rest of my instructions will assume you are as well — but the steps should be similar on a Mac.
3. Unzip redsn0w to a new directory and then double-click on the file labeled redsn0w.exe.
4. Click the button that says “Jailbreak.”
5. As long as your device is plugged in and powered off, click “next.”
6. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter DFU mode. This involves holding the power button for 3 seconds, continuing to hold it while you press the home button for 10 seconds, then releasing the power button by continuing to hold the home button for another 15 seconds.
7. Select the “install Cydia” option and click “next.
8. Redsn0w will do the rest of the work and you’re device will be jailbroken.
But you’re not entirely done yet. This is a tethered jailbreak, so if you ever have to reboot your device you’re going to need to connect to a computer and run redsn0w again.
In fact, you may not be able to use the Cydia store to install third party apps until after you’ve rebooted your device, so you’ll probably have to take the following steps.
1. Connect your device to a computer with a USB cable.
2. Fire up redsn0w 0.9.9b4 or higher.
3. Select “extras” from the start screen.
4. Choose the “Just boot” option.
Redsn0w will give you instructions again for entering DFU mode and then it will help your device boot. This time the process should be much quicker since you’re not jailbreaking your device again, you’re just booting it without losing your jaibreak.
You won’t have to do this every time you tap the power button on your device, since that typically just turns off the screen. But if your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad crashes or you need to power it down completely for another reason by holding the power button and sliding to shut down, you’ll need to use redsn0w to reboot.