A few folks have requested that I write a how-to of sorts detailing jailbreaking (or hacking) the iPhone 3G (it is an identical process for the iPod Touch also).
I have had my jailbroken iPhone for a week now and dread the day I have to restore back to manufacturer defaults (this is needed when new firmware updates are released from Apple). But, worry not, my inquisitive readers: normally within a week or so after the release of a new firmware, a new jailbreak will come out and you will be able to put down the coke-ah-ina and revert back to the only drug that ever brought you any semblance of sustained satisfaction: hacking. Hackers have gotten better and more efficient in their jailbreaking methods and software. The latest jailbreak was accomplished in less than 24 hours after the release of the 2.1 firmware. Much respect to these hackers who spend countless hours (unpaid hours mind you) figuring out how to stop getting their shit pushed in by Apple. One of these days, I will donate to these relentless cats. Sooner, rather than later.
Soon…but not yet…not yet…
Anyways, on to jailbreaking.
For those who aren’t familiar with what jailbreaking is, let me bust out the cardigan, the bifocals, and take you new kids to class. Jailbreaking is a process which allows you to free up your phone to download 3rd party applications. Apple, being the benevolent dictator that they are, give the common user just enough to be satisfied. But if you’re like me and feen for more, then you have no choice but to jailbreak. Why Apple refuses to give their consumers the ability to customize their phone whatever way they see fit is beyond me. But, thanks to jailbreaking, you can do anything from customizing the themes to downloading music on the go – for FREE.
There are a few methods and software that are utilized for jailbreaking. In this crash tutorial, I will explain how to jailbreak an iPhone 3G on a Windows machine. The process is very similar on a Mac – maybe even more seamless and easier, but you would have to download Mac specific software. The process is probably similar, but I can’t say for sure. I used QuickPWN for Windows on an XP Pro machine (the Os version shouldn’t matter much…but…I canna guarantee…).
For my jailbreak, I used the program called QuickPwn (pronounced “Quick Pawn”). It is extremely easy to use and guides you through the jailbreak process step-by-step. This is the video (click on link or view video below) I used to perform my jailbreak (everything literally went exactly according to the video).
The only thing you need besides the QuickPwn software is a copy of the firmware which is currently on your iPhone (if you have kept up with the firmware releases, this should be 2.1). You will have to save a copy of the firmware version on your hard drive and browse to it when QuickPwn prompts you to. QuickPwn has to verify your firmware version, and that is why a copy of it is needed in order to jailbreak. You can download it from here (or google “iphone firmware files”).
If you still wish to download apps from the app store or purchase songs from iTunes, you still can. Your jailbroken iPhone will still sync with iTunes. Remember this though, if there is a new firmware that is released and you update your firmware, your phone will no longer be jailbroken and you will have to wait until another jailbreaking method is released for the new firmware version.
Once you have jailbroken your phone and your phone has rebooted, your phone will look the same – except for two new apps: Cydia and Installer. Cydia serves as a database for all 3rd party applications. There are a few in Installer, but the bulk of the jailbroken apps are downloaded through Cydia. It is fairly easy to navigate and you can download apps either via 3G or Wi-Fi (you may even be able to download via Edge – but I haven’t really tried that yet).
Anyways, just like the iTunes App Store, there seems to be as many useful apps as there are useless ones. But, there are some cool ones. For a week, I searched the web for the best jailbreak applications, but kept seeing the same list. So, after more thorough research, I came across some that weren’t as publicized, but equally, if not more, appealing than the more popular apps. Below are some of my favorite jailbroken applications.
Winterboard is a must download for folks who want to customize the look of their iPhone. You can have different themes on your iPhone and can change everything from the background wallpaper to your icon images. You can even have video playing in the background as a wallpaper – like this video.
That literally is too FIE…too fie! Beware on these video wallpapers though, they will gnaw away at your battery like a rat on cheese. Below is a picture of how I have my theme set up right now. Another cool thing you can do is prioritize how you want certain things to appear on your phone. If you have a customized slider on your phone, but choose a different type of theme – your theme would rate higher in priority than that slider. But, Winterboard allows you to prioritize tasks – so you can mix and match different features of different downloads. Themes and other modifications can be downloaded through Cydia.
Categories is an app that allows you to categorize (duh-duh-dumbass boy!) your applications and other downloaded programs on your phone. As you can see from the picture above, I created two categories (“Apps” and “Games”). This helps clean up your phone and makes it more organized.
dTunes is an application that allows you to download music on the go – for FREE. It is an app that redirects you to a website which allows you to search for music and then download that particular song to your phone. It is extremely simple – and convenient. You could be on the road somewhere, hear a song on the radio, and download it instantaneously. It is an amazing convenience and luxury. I’ve downloaded a new app called MewSeek that is a P2P file sharing application that may signal the end for dTunes – but for now, I have both on my phone.
(A side note: you should also download the “Safara Download Plugin” from Cydia. This allows you to download any media files from the internet directly to your phone. This ranges from songs to photos. I think that you may not need to do this for dTunes, but it will come in handy anyways)
Backgrounder allows you to run applications in the background while you multi-task on your iPhone. Pandora is a free application that will only play while it is open – but Background allows you to “minimize” the app and continue browsing through your phone while your music is still playing. This goes for any application. You can be downloading a file while you are surfing on another website or playing a game. But, remember to go back to that app once you are finished and hold the home key again until you are prompted with the “Backgrounding is disabled” pop-up box. If you forget to close out an app, it will continue running in the background and will hinder the efficiency and speed of your phone.
I rarely (almost never) use this, but it allows you to record video on the iPhone. What? You didn’t think that was possible? Think again. This brilliant app allows you to record video and save it directly on your iPhone. How exactly they’ve accomplished this – I’m not sure. But, if it ain’t broke, I ain’t lookin’ to fix it.
MxTube allows you to download videos from sites such as Youtube directly to your phone. This way, if there are any YouTube videos you want to show your friends, you can play them directly from your phone rather than having to go through the web and play them. Absolutely necessary for you YouTube whores out there. Please believe I downloaded “My New Haircut” to my phone already. “Not now chief….I’m in the zone.”
The NES emulator allows you to play Nintendo games on your iPhone. I’m pretty sure they have a PS1 and Genesis Emulator also, but the NES emulator is simple and its games take up less space on your phone. Below is a screenshot of a game I’ve downloaded (Punchout). Remember Soda Popinski and Glass Joe? Ahh…good times. In order to download a game, you have to download a ROM file (google “NES ROMs” and you will find a ton of websites to download games from).
These are just a few of many applications I have on my phone (most of which I rarely use). Like I said, once you jailbreak, you will NEVER want to go back. Trust me on this.
If any of you cool cats need more information on this, just leave a comment and/or some contact info and I’ll try to respond as best as possible.
Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 – go directly to JAILbreak.