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Before Jailbreaking and Unlocking iDevices Some Important Things You Should Know

I think all of the iDevices users are very smart and intelligent.They are able to jailbreak their own devices.Though this post is not much usefull for those smart guys but indeed it should be helpful for new iPhone users eager to learn more about jailbreaking…

What is Jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking is the process by which a user is given access to read/write access to otherwise locked files on the iPhone. Unlike what people might think, jailbreaking is fairly easy and safe.

It allows you to “unlock” your iPhone and activate it on another GSM carrier that doesn’t have bad Luke Wilson commercials. It gives you access to app stores like Cydia that offer programs that you won’t see in Apple’s popular counterpart. It’ll even give you the ability to customize the background of your home screen and change the look of your icons and menu colors.

Starting in early fall after the summer 2007 release of the original iPhone, jailbreaking began as a fairly complicated multi-step process. Things have definitely evolved over the last few years and the online jailbreaking community for iPhones is estimated in the millions with hundreds of blogs and forums scattered throughout the web dedicated to this crazy thing called jailbreaking.

What Are the Benefits of Jailbreaking?

Up until recently, if you wanted to shoot video with your iPhone, you had to jailbreak and download an app called Cycorder from Cydia that would let you shoot and save video, because your iPhone out of box couldn’t do it. Same with cut/copy/paste, MMS, all only available if you had jailbroken your iPhone.

It allows you to multitask and do things like listen to Pandora while writing emails, something you can’t do with your run-of-the-mill iPhone and iPod Touch.

What Are the Risks of Jailbreaking?

Now, although jailbreaking has become increasingly easier, there are still very complicated risks that go with it. If you have a newer iPod Touch or iPhone 3GS, or if you plan on unlocking your new device.An underground group of programmers known as the Dev Team, for the most part, spearheads all this jailbreak technology more or less without Apple’s permission. Think of the Dev Team as the LA SWAT team with huge awesome guns trying to get into a barricaded building, which is the jailbroken iPhone software.

Every time they find a way in, Apple comes along and puts another barricade up with a software update that closes the entrance they had. Then they have to find another way in. They are currently working on jailbreaks for 3GS and iPod Touch software version 3.1.3, so if you upgrade to the newest version of the firmware, you will lose the ability to jailbreak at this time.

So it’s just a best practice to check the latest firmware version jailbroken versus your own (go to Settings > General > Status). Aside from the above mentioned risks, there’s always the chance of your iPhone “bricking” or getting stuck in a non working state.

Several times during jailbreaks, mine would be stuck in phone purgatory for hours. Take just a few moments to browse any iPhone forum with jailbreaking topics and you’re sure to find several comments along the lines of “help!

So things definitely can go wrong, but generally it’s user error. Usually plugging in your iPhone to your computer, starting iTunes, and holding power for 5 seconds, power and menu button for 10 seconds, and then just menu for 20 seconds, tells iTunes your phones fried and it will do a fresh install of your most recent iPhone software.

Is Jailbreaking Legal?

Now you’re probably wondering if it’s legal.The fact of the matter is that Apple has verbally announced that they believed jailbreaking to be illegal and an infringement on their copyrights by way of complaint to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF last January.

But, the EFF sided with the consumer and stated that the “reverse engineering is a fair use when done for purposes of fostering interoperability with independently created software,” saying that yes, even though jailbreakers are using Apple’s copyrighted code, they are doing so in a way that allows them functionality that Apple doesn’t provide access to on their own.

On top of that, Apple’s legal team is probably too busy dealing with Nokia, Fujitsu, and Psystar to chase after people who are trying to customize their home screens.

Jailbreaking is now officially legal in the US.

But the cat and mouse game with Apple shows no sign of stopping as the Dev Team is furiously at work to break into the latest iPhone software to release to the public. Jailbreaking gives you complete control over your iPhone from customizing to 3rd party apps that didn’t for one reason or another end up on Apple’s App Store.

In fact the Cydia store is home to a lot of misfit apps that fell victim to Apple’s ever popular App screening process. Well, now that you’ve heard some background on jailbreaking, you’ve learned some of the benefits and risks, you may now make the choice, to jailbreak or not to jailbreak, that is the question.

If you decide to jailbreak, generally any app by the Dev Team such as PwnageTool or RedSnow is a safe bet, as long as the versions are compatible with your iPhone or iPod Touch firmware.

30 Excellent Reasons to Jailbreak Your iPhone

1. It’s risk-free. Worst case scenario, you can restore your iPhone to factory settings
2. Install third-party applications with Cydia
3. Get MMS with SwirlyMMS
4. Add custom notification sounds and ringtones for free
5. Use a free turn by turn GPS with xGPS
6. Get video recording for your iPhone 2G or 3G with Cycorder
7. Stream live videos with Qik
8. Use Voice Over IP apps over 3G and Edge with VoIPover3G
9. Enable Flash with iMobileCinema
10. Download and save YouTube videos on your iPhone with MxTube
11. Tether your iPhone with PDAnet
12. View your iPhone on your TV with TVOut
13. Play Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, NES and PlayStation games with emulators
14. Watch every single episode of South Park, American Dad, Family Guy, the Simpsons, the Office, and Futurama for free
15. Filter incoming calls with iBlackList
16. Email your voicemails with Voicemail Forwarder
17. Customize the look and feel of your iPhone with WinterBoard
18. Quickly manage your settings preferences with BossPrefs
19. Sort your apps into folders with Categories
20. Run apps in the background with Backgrounder
21. Quickly reply to SMS with iRealSMS
22. Track your lost/stolen iPhone with iLocalis
23. Display information such as emails, SMS, calendar and more directly on your lock screen with IntelliScreen
24. Spoof your caller ID with 123Spoof
25. Change your iPhone fonts with FontSwap
26. Get haptic feedback for your keyboard with HapticPro
27. Show a picture of your contacts in your contact list with Cyntact
28. Transfer files via Bluetooh with iBluetooth
29. Enable battery percentage on the 2G and 3G with Battery Percentage
30. Unlock your iPhone

What Is Unlocking?

Unlocking is an extremely easy concept to explain, sort of . Unless stated otherwise, cell phones purchased from carrier retail stores are “locked” to that specific carrier. For instance, a Blackberry storm from Verizon won’t work on an AT&T calling plan. The Sprint Palm Pre won’t work on T-mobile. Even your iPhone from AT&T is “locked” to that infamous blue-mapped carrier.

So what do you do if you want to purchase a phone you like but use it with a different carrier, perhaps one that costs less or gets better reception in your area? For most folks I’d say ” eh fa-gettaboutit ! ”In a word,Unlocking is the removal of SIM restrictions on the modem, allowing the use of the iPhone on any carrier. There are 2 types of iPhone unlocks:

* software unlock: the iPhone is unlocked by a software
* hardware unlock: modification have to be made to the actual hardware to unlock the phone

Software unlocks are safer because they do not modify your device and can easily be reverted back. Soft unlocks are mostly developed for free by the Dev Team, an international group of iPhone hackers. Hardware unlocks are a little tricky and usually cost money. In clear, if you want to unlock your iPhone, you can do it for free by with a safe software unlock.

Who Comes Up With Unlocks?

The last part of our segment today on unlocking is software, pioneered by the great Dev Team and the prodigy kid from New Jersey GeoHot. GeoHot, who recently announced hacking the PS3, actually received media attention for his iPhone unlock and was given a new Nissan 350z by the co founder of Certicell, not bad eh.

But the backbone of the jailbreak/unlock community, the Dev Team, have been the steady frontrunners ever since. Their software QuickPwn, RedSn0w, and PwnageTool have been staples in the iPhone hacking community for years.

Is Unlocking Legal?

According to Wikipedia, “unlocking a phone without the permission or unlocking code from the provider is usually in breach of the agreement with the provider, though most countries do not make specific laws prohibiting the removal of SIM locks. In the United States the DMCA formerly was claimed to criminalize unlocking. However, an exemption that took effect 27 November 2006 specifically permits it.”

Why Unlock Your iPhone

The main reason to unlock your iPhone is if you want to use it with a different service provider (ie T-Mobile). An unlocked iPhone also has a better resell value.

Why Not Unlock Your iPhone

If you’re good with your phone carrier and will not use your iPhone internationally, there is absolutely no reason for you to unlock your iPhone.

How To Unlock iPhone?

Before unlocking your iPhone, you will have to jailbreak it. The unlock can either be done from a computer, or directly from the iPhone.Check out my iPhone unlock tutorials for step by step instructions.

What If Something Goes Wrong?

Although unlocks can sometimes mess up your settings a little bit, they are constantly improved to fix errors and bugs. If something goes wrong, you can always restore your iPhone to factory settings.

Well that’s unlocking in 10 minutes or less, the key really is what version your firmware/modem firmware you’re running, and understanding there’s no unlock for 3.1.3 firmware if you have 05.12 modem firmware (baseband).

The model of your iPhone matters as well, whether it is the iPhone 3G , 3GS, or original version. Model compatibility for any unlock software is generally noted in the description of the download. And if I haven’t completely crushed your dreams yet, there’s no way to downgrade your baseband.
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