Thanks to the release of redsn0w 0.9.6b2, you can now upgrade the majority of your Apple mobile devices to iOS 4.1, on either Mac or Windows. The new version is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, Apple TV (2nd generation), iPad and iPod touch.
Though a slightly complicated process, jailbreaking allows the use of apps and other software outside of Apple’s highly controlled App Store. The benefit is that you have more freedom to choose whatever you’d like; the downside is software isn’t necessarily held to the standards you’re used to in App Store offerings.
Redsn0w was developed by the Dev-Team, the people behind most jailbreak releases. The Dev-Team Blog mentions two new features in the update that will please advanced users. First, the software offers custom “bootlogos” for iPhone3G/iPhone3GS/iPod2G users. Second, they’ve added the DFU option when interacting with PwngeTool. Additionally, jailbreak developers can take advantage of the new iOS 4.2 seed, by using the 4.1 IPSW with this redsn0w version.
To be clear, jailbreaking (opening your device to new software) is not the same as unlocking (opening your device to different mobile data services/carriers). Software such as PwnageTool allows for unlocking and interacts with redsn0w, and it’s recommended that you wait to update your device to iOS 4.1 before attempting to unlock it.
Also, jailbreaking only applies to the current software update, so if updates happen in the next few months, you’ll be waiting for the next corresponding jailbreak update before you can take advantage of any new iOS additions in the future.
As always, remember that jailbreaking your device can create various problems, to the point of making your device unusable and/or voiding your warranty.
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