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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/00-Inside-Jail.jpg”>Aside from the legality issue and the warranty, the major reason why most iPhone owners who fall into the novice category (myself included) feel reluctant to jailbreak their precious iDevices in the past was because the process of jailbreaking is not for the faint of heart.
Our Assistant Editor, Jackson, explained the complication of jailbreaking perfectly in his article A Newbie’s Guide to Jailbreaking [iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad].
“Be sure to find the right method for the right device for the right firmware. Inappropriate jailbreaking may render your device into a “brick”. Taking the term literally, that means your device will be as useful as a piece of brick – it won’t turn on. Jailbreaking will also void your warranty, so I reiterate – make sure that you know what you’re doing.”
But it seems that those days are over since two important things happened in the jailbreaking world recently.
It Takes Two To Tango
The first is the announcement from the United States government that jailbreaking and unlocking an iPhone is completely legal as long as you are not violating copyright law. Meaning that you are allowed to run unauthorized applications and use your iPhone with any carriers without having to worry about going to jail.
But be warned that learning how to jailbreak an iPhone and doing so will still void its warranty. Moreover, the law might be different in other countries. Simply said, jailbreak at your own risk. Please also note that jailbreaking does not give you permission to install copyrighted applications which were acquired illegally.
The second important thing is the return of [NO LONGER WORKS] JailbreakMe – the web-based jailbreaking tool and the easiest way to jailbreak your iPhone. All it takes to jailbreak is a stable internet connection and the ability to touch and slide. No hacking skills required.
These two things might change the minds of most people about breaking out of the jail.
It’s So Easy That…
The jailbreaking process using JailbreakMe is so easy that anybody can do it anywhere. Some people even go as far as doing it inside the Apple Store just to prove that they can.
If you’ve decided that you are up to the task, plug your iPhone to your computer and sync. This step is required to make sure that you have a backup of your phone. Just in case. The back up process will also allow you to restore your iPhone should you decide that you want to go back to jail in the future.
After the sync, open the Safari browser from your iPhone and visit the [NO LONGER WORKS] JailbreakMe site using a stable internet connection (it doesn’t have to be very fast, just stable) to make sure everything will go fine.
I tried to do this the first day JailbreakMe went alive and I had difficulties accessing the site. One of my friends recommended an alternative site and everything went smoothly.
After the famous “slide to jailbreak” process is finished, you will get the notification that Cydia has been added. Congratulations, you have successfully jailbroken your iPhone!
Some might wonder “is that it?” Yes, that’s it. Told you it will be easy, didn’t I? And if you are up for more adventure, let’s explore Cydia a little bit.
The Unofficial App Installer
Using layman terms, Cydia is the iTunes App Store for unofficial iPhone apps. Here’s the place to get many kinds of apps that will enable cool features on your iPhone that are not officially available from Apple.
The first time you open Cydia, you will be asked what type of user you are. Unless you are a hacker or a developer, choose “User (Graphical Only)“. You will also be asked to download “Essential Upgrade” to avoid any possible errors.
The download process for the upgrade looks similar to other download processes, starting from the confirmation window, the download process itself, and the extraction and installation.
After the basic configuration is set, you can start browsing around to familiarize yourself with the Cydia environment and the best Cydia tweaks, and see whether there are any particular apps that you like.
Most of the apps can be found in the “Sections” and “Manage” tabs at the bottom of the screen.
Browsing for apps is fun and you might come across several great items that you didn’t even know existed. But if you already know what you are looking for, the easiest and fastest way to find the app is by using the search function. Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom right of the screen.
There are lots of cool apps inside the Cydia repository, but first timers might want to try SpringBoard and WinterBoard (plus all the pre-made themes) that allow you to modify the iPhone theme beyond what Apple allows you to. Also try “What’s Next” which will tell you what things you can do after jailbreaking, and “UnlimTones” to modify and add ringtones. We’ll keep the discussions about Cydia apps for future articles.
Have you tried jailbreaking? Will you now try jailbreaking with JailBreakMe? Share your comments below.
Image credit: Casey Serin