Following last week's ruling by the US copyright office that made jailbreaking iPhones legal, the first jailbreak for the iPhone 4 has appeared. The new jailbreak is browser based and while it works there have been some reported cases that certain features such as FaceTime and MMS don't work with it.
The successful hacker known only as "Comex" is said to be a member of the iPhone dev team and launched the hack on jailbreakme.com, accessible through the iPhone's Safari browser. The website subsequently crashed due to the stampede of people wanting to jailbreak their phone. The problem has been fixed though with the help of Jay Freeman aka Saurik providing a second site, jailbreakme.modmyi.com, to handle the load. Saurik is well known for working on Cydia for jailbroken iPhones.
The site makes the process of jailbreaking easier than before when software was required, now all users have to do is go to jailbreakme.com and follow the instructions, it's all done through the browser. And its not just the iPhone it works on, it can also be applied to the iPod touch and iPad, although it won't work on the iPad's iOS 3.2.1.
The jailbreak is free, though anyone who uses it is invited to make a donation, and the site comes with the reassurance that the jailbreak can be reversed if the user is worried about damaging their iPhone.
It's worth noting though that after the jailbreak has been performed updating the iOS legitimately with iTunes will result in the phone becoming "bricked".
The benefits of jailbreaking are that third-party apps which aren't approved by Apple can be downloaded, often free, and it gives the user much more control of the device, allowing them to change things such as the wallpaper which can't be done on an un-jailbroken device. According to his twitter feed, Comex is said to be working on a fix for the problems with FaceTime and MMS.
To see the full implication of the ruling by the US Copyright Office be sure to check out Rethink Wireless' coverage [http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2010/07/27/iphone-jailbreaking-declared-legal-voids-warranty.htm] from last week.
This article originally appeared in Rethink Wireless