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I thought once the Dev Team got on board with George Hotz (better known as Geohot, the man responsible for the very first iPhone jailbreak), all differences between the two would be resolved and he would quietly rejoin the fold. Not so, apparently, as he continues to release new software using the Purple prefix, with a new iPhone 3GS unlocking program dubbed Purlesn0w…like what Prince would name his song if he grew up north of the tree line.
The new unlocker, which is out, albeit in beta form (and the source code is available now via Geohot’s blog), is meant to improve upon thee somewhat clumsy solution currently used by Ultrasn0w, which doesn’t actually truly “unlock” anything. Instead, it uses a daemon to generate a ticket that allows the baseband to support carrier sim cards other than the official one. Purplesn0w likewise can’t “fully” unlock anything, but it does use a more elegant solution that takes up fewer system resources.
As a result of his improvements, Hotz also claims that users who unlock via Purplesn0w will sidestep many of the problems plaguing many early Ultrasn0w adopters, including spotty Wi-Fi, battery and unlock failures. There are some caveats, the biggest of which being that you can’t unlock using the new software if you don’t have a legit SIM card with which to activate. Hacktivation support is supposed to be coming in a future iteration, though, so unofficial users won’t be left completely out of the loop.
While some may see the apparent split between Geohot and the rest of the Dev Team as a “breaking up the band,” negative thing, I think it’ll be good for the jailbreak community as a whole. Teamwork is lovely, but a little productive competition never hurt anyone, and usually helps push the envelope. Check out detailed instructions about how to get Purplesn0w on your phone at Hotz’s blog.