Jan 21, 2012
Good news for wannabe iPhone jailbreakers: The Chronic Dev Team and pod2g have finally released the first untethered jailbreak for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
"But wait," you ask. "Haven't we been able to jailbreak these devices for months now?"
No. Don't confuse iPhone 4S and iPad 2 jailbreaking with iOS 5 jailbreaking – apples and oranges, thanks to the inclusion of Apple's new dual-core A5 processor in these two devices. Prior to yesterday's release of the "Absinthe A5" jailbreak, there has been no working, public hack for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Other Apple devices running iOS 5 were first treated to a tethered jailbreak in late October, all of one week or so after the launch of iOS 5, with a full untethered jailbreak not arriving until late December.
"Ten months ago, I myself was live tweeting from a tediously long line at the nearest Apple retail store, where I anxiously waited to become one of the world's first owners (& hackers) of the newly-released iPad 2," writes the Chronic Dev Team.
"At that point, I don't know if any iOS hacker anticipated how much the A5 chip would completely change the game & up the stakes. The endless war we fight to jailbreak has become more & more difficult with each new device released, and our recent battle against A5 only proved this further."
To assist in exploiting the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, Chronic Dev Team members used a utility called "CDevReporter" to collect a war chest of crash reports for both devices – more than ten million flooding over to the Chronic Dev Team in less than a week's worth of time, they said. This allowed the team to crowdsource the process of discovering new vulnerabilities for A5 devices, or the act of transforming standard bugs uncovered during a normal device's operation into potential attack vectors for full jailbreak exploits.
So what's the benefit of jailbreaking your Apple product anyway? Unauthorized applications – specifically, you can now fire up third-party app libraries like Cydia to install apps you wouldn't otherwise be able to find on the official Apple Store. And these, in turn, can help you customize your device beyond what Apple itself would ever allow you to do, which includes turning your device into a Wi-Fi hotspot (and angering your wireless carrier in the process).
The downside to jailbreaking? You void your Apple warranty and could waste precious hours begging Apple Genius Bar employees to make your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 better should some part of the device's software or hardware go buggy. You're also likely going to be stuck waiting when future iOS updates are released, as you won't want to install Apple's update without first verifying that your jailbreak will still be able to function.
Provided the site isn't still getting slammed, you can download the Mac-only jailbreak utility (for now) over at greenpois0n.com.