Jailbreaking How-To: Enable Multitasking (and More) On iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2G


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.


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