About one million people have jailbroken their iPad 2 and iPhone 4S devices since Friday thanks to a recently released untethered jailbreak. The jailbreak is designed for iOS devices with Apple's dual-core A5 chip and running iOS 5 or iOS 5.0.1. More than 950,000 A5 untethered jailbreak devices visited Cydia, the iOS "app store" for jailbroken devices, between Friday and Monday afternoon, according to a post on the Dev-Team blog. The Cydia app is the most popular method for jailbroken iOS devices to download apps and tweaks.
An untethered jailbreak means that a jailbroken device can retain its jailbreak exploit without having to be connected to a PC during a reboot. This is important as jailbroken devices sometimes require rebooting to finish installing new features.
The new jailbreak, dubbed Absinthe and part of the Chronic Dev Team's GreenPois0n jailbreak tool, arrives about 10 months after the first A5 device, the iPad 2, hit store shelves. Hackers found the A5 a particularly tough nut to crack, so the Dev-Team, creators of ultrasn0w, and Chronic Dev Team joined forces to create a user-friendly jailbreak. "The ridiculously complex combination of exploits-within-exploits that make this iOS jailbreak possible have consumed thousands of hours of brain power and effort," the Chronic team said Friday.
Hackers may have had a hard time getting this jailbreak done, but based on the latest tutorials published to the website iClarified the new Absinthe jailbreak is as easy to use as previous jailbreak tools. All you have to do is download the jailbreak software from greenpois0n.com, plug in your iOS 5 device to your PC via USB (making sure to remove any pass codes or VPN settings) and then follow Absinthe's onscreen instructions.
Newly jailbroken iPad 2 and iPhone 4S devices now have access to a wider variety of apps and customization tools that Apple prevents non-jailbroken devices from accessing. Some of the tools are simply novelty items such as the Fake Carrier app that lets you modify the carrier name in the upper left corner of your iPhone's status bar.
Other features, however, offer new functionality you can't get without a jailbreak. Veency, for example, lets you connect to your iOS device using your PC; Display Recorder lets you record a screencast on your iPhone or iPad; and the ever popular Winterboard lets you customize the look of your iOS device with themes, new icons and other customizations. You can use Winterboard, for example, along with a series of add-ons to turn your iPhone into a replica of the computer in Star Trek The Next Generation. For more examples of what you can do with a jailbroken phone see 15 Apps and Tweaks That May Convince You to Jailbreak Your iPhone.
While jailbreaking adds a lot of potential new functionality and features to your device there are also downsides to jailbreaking such as possibly bricking your phone and voiding your warranty. But if you're tired of only getting your iOS apps only from the App Store or are looking for more control over how your device works then jailbreaking just might be for you.