So, you want to enable multitasking and other iOS 4 features on your iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2G? We’ll walk you through how to enable many of the new iOS 4 features that got left out on some of the older devices.


So, you want to enable multitasking and other iOS 4 features on your iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2G? Well then let’s get to it!

You’ll need an iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2nd-gen, as well as the redsn0w jailbreak, which you can download from here. Now you’re set to do the real work, but first a disclaimer: the procedure is rather simple, but be warned that you could easily brick your device if you’re not careful. Also, jailbreaking will void your warranty, so be smart and restore your device with iTunes before you take it down to the Genius Bar.

Got it? Great.

If your device is still running on iOS 3.x, you’ll need to upgrade to 4.0 before you proceed. Just go into iTunes, click on your device in the sidebar, and check for updates.

The Nitty Gritty

1. When you start-up redsn0w, you’ll need to point it to the iOS 4 IPSW, which, if you’ve already installed iOS 4 on your device, should be at ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates/ and will be named something like iPhone1,2_4.0 for the iPhone and iPod2,1_4.0 for the iPod.

2. If you’re using an iPod, redsn0w will ask you to clarify whether it’s one of the newer models that start with “MC.” You can check this by going to General -> About on your iPod and scrolling down to “Model.”

3. Now you can decide what features you want redsn0w to enable. You can choose to install Cydia (which is like an unwalled version of the App Store), Verbose boot (which gives you every detail of what’s going on while your device boots), Custom boot logo, and Custom recovery logo. That’s nice, but you can also enable multitasking, home screen wallpapers, and the battery percentage indicator, which are the really great benefits from doing this.

4. Connect your device to your Mac and turn it off by holding down the lock button until a red slider appears, which you should then slide. Make sure your device is completely off before you continue, meaning there should be no spinning progress indicator, or anything, on the screen.

5. Be prepared for this part, because redsn0w will start on this step immediately once you click “Next.” You’ll need to put your device into Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode. redsn0w will walk you through it, but you’ll need to be quick. The process basically goes like this:

  • Hold down the lock button for 3 seconds
  • Without releasing the lock button, hold down the home button for 10 seconds
  • Without releasing the home button, let go of the lock button and continue holding the home button for 30 seconds, though redsn0w should start doing its thing before the 30 seconds are up. Once you see a grey background on your screen, you can let go of the home button.

6. Watch while redsn0w jailbreaks your device and enables all the features that Apple left out. Do not yank the device of the cord, no matter what happens. That’s a recipe for bricking your device. Just relax and go get some coffee, or drool over the new Mac mini. When you come back, your device will be running with all the features you envied the 3GS for. Tip: You can enable the battery percentage indicator by going into Settings -> General -> Usage and turning it on.

How does the old hardware handle multitasking?

4.0 was already sluggish for me without multitasking. Rest assured, your performance won’t improve if it was already sluggish. But it hasn’t gotten worse, at least on my device, and if you’re going to use a sluggish OS, you may as well have all the features enabled, right?

Is your device running faster after the 4.0 update? Slower? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

  1. OR…

    You could just buy the latest iteration of the product and use it as it was designed, rather than cheaping out and using it with a crappy user experience

    1. Haha. Good one Ben. :)

    2. yeah, _if_ you have it in your country…

    3. So Ben, are you going to pay that for me?

  2. Why should anyone have to do all this? The issue isn’t whether an iPhone 3G can handle every iOS4 feature that an iPhone 4 can handle. I am sure it can’t. It’s whether it’s given those features it can handle.

    Apple could have easily given 3G and iPod touch 2G devices the two things users want most: multi-tasking for music and a Bluetooth keyboard. Any hardware that can stream iTunes music in the background can stream Paradox music. Any hardware that can talk to stereo Bluetooth headsets can certainly talk with a much-lower-bitrate keyboard. The problem isn’t the hardware. The problem is Apple.

    Nor is jailbreaking a solution. Adequate, one-generation-back product support from Apple is what we need.

  3. Does this will support iPod touch 2G with MC as their model no?? If not, any other alternatives? I’m hungry for jailbreak…

    1. Yes, you just need to clarify what model you have.

      1. Disregard this comment. redsn0w will NOT work for MC devices.

  4. @Mike,
    You have one-generation-back support. iPhone 3G is two generations back.

  5. My 3g runs just as fast with the ios4 and multitasking enabled I see no reason why apple left it out since it doesn’t work like other multitasking with the app constantly fully running so it is very little drain on the cpu so much as if you don’t even notice you have multitasking going on.

  6. can’t locate ios4 on my computer even though I downloaded it to my 3g phone.

    1. Are you using Windows?

  7. I enabled multitasking and backgrounds on my 3G and it seems to be running OK. I have ordered the iPhone 4 and can’t wait to get rid of my 3G.

  8. Hello!
    just 3 questions before jb:
    1-Can I restore my iPod 2G to the original iOS4 after jailbreaking? how? (simply clicking restore on iTunes?)
    2-Can I enable/disable multitasking funcion?
    3-What happens when apple will send out the iOS4.1 update, and I’ll click on the “Update” button? (boom?!)

    thank you guys

    1. 1. Yes.
      2. No.
      3. Safe practice is to not update until it’s clear if the update will break your device, however you can always RESTORE your device to the newest firmware.

      1. ok! thanks!

  9. Is this a joke when you select that your iPod is an mc model it tells you that this version of redsn0w is not meant for your device. So why are you saying it works.

    And giving people the wrong info

    1. Wow, you’re right. I don’t have an MC model, so I never checked what it would say. Sorry.

      Apparently, a new version of redsn0w is in the works that’ll support MC devices, though.

  10. thanks everything worked great


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