At this point we probably shouldn’t need to start a jailbreaking post off with a disclaimer about how doing it with your iPhone is not condoned with Apple (s aapl), and may void your warranty, so you should approach doing so at your own risk, but a friendly reminder never hurts. Now, on to the reason behind the disclaimer: The iPhone 3GS, after only three weeks on the market, has been successfully jailbroken, and the software that allows it is now available online. Happy Independence Day.
The iPhone Dev Team, who are behind this and almost every previous iPhone jailbreak, actually hadn’t planned on releasing this particular jailbreak yet. George Hotz (aka Geohot), a member of the Dev Team and the first to unlock the original iPhone, seems to have gone behind the team’s back and leaked the software early. The Dev Team was holding out for iPhone OS 3.1 to drop, in order to hopefully avoid Apple patching the vulnerability that allows jailbreaking with that update.
For now, the hack, called purplera1n, is Windows-only (and doesn’t work with the Windows 7 Release Candidate), and obviously you need an iPhone 3GS to use it. People hoping to unlock their 3GS for use on other carriers will also have to wait, since unlocking is not yet available for Apple’s newest phone. It will, however, allow you to install unofficial third-party apps, like Backgrounder, which might prove far more useful given the iPhone’s new, more muscular hardware specs.
Geohot explains his decision to leak the release early on his personal blog:
Normally I don’t make tools for the general public, and rather wait for the dev team to do it. But guys, whats up with waiting until 3.1? That isn’t how the game is played. We release, Apple fixes, we find new holes. It isn’t worth waiting because you might have the “last” hole in the iPhone. What last hole…this isn’t golf. I’ll find a new one next week.
In the same blog post, Geohot also goes into detail about how to find and install the purplera1n tool, and steps you can take in case anything goes wrong. Check it out if you’re a Windows user and you’ve been eagerly awaiting a 3GS jailbreak.