Expat Tech: New iPhone Jailbreak Released For All iPhones

A new, incredibly simple iPhone jailbreak has just been released for all iPhones, including the new iPhone 4.  Whereas previous jailbreaks required some technical knowledge and figuring out what software package to download, this new jailbreak is as simple as visiting the jailbreakme.com web site from your iPhone’s Safari browser.

Now, while this new tool will easily jailbreak your iPhone, it will not activate or unlock it.  Activation is required whenever you update the iOS of the phone.  If you’re not upgrading and already syncing with iTunes, you’re good to jailbreak.  If you need to upgrade your iOS, then you also need to re-activate using a SIM card from your approved carrier (AT&T in the US) or via the hacktivation method.

Unlocking your iPhone requires that you install the Ultrasn0w app from Cydia once you have jailbroken your phone.  Ultrasn0w does not currently work for the iPhone 4, but an update is expected soon. (If you first want to confirm that your iPhone can be jailbroken and unlocked, there is a great guide at jailbreakmatrix.com.)

My iPhone 3GS was still running iOS 3.1.3 since that was the only version that could be jailbroken and unlocked until tonight. Following are the steps I took to back up my iPhone, upgrade to iOS 4.0.1, activate it, jailbreak and then unlock it.

  1. If your iPhone is already jailbroken, open Cydia and make sure that the SHSH files are backed up.  You should see a notice at the top of the Cydia main screen.  You may need these SHSH files if you ever need to downgrade to an earlier version of iOS.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer. In iTunes, right-click on the iPhone icon and select “Backup.”
  3. Once backed up, click on the “Update” button in iTunes to download and install the latest update from Apple. This will take awhile.
  4. When this finishes downloading, choose to upgrade your device and wait for that process to finish.
  5. When finished, your device will reboot into iTunes. You will need to have a valid SIM card installed in the iPhone or use the hacktivation method mentioned above to activate it now.
  6. Once activated, make sure your iPhone is connected to the Internet via WiFi. Open up Safari and go to www.jailbreakme.com.  Follow the instructions on the screen there.
  7. This process should complete in a few minutes and once it does, your iPhone is jailbroken.
  8. Now, open up the Cydia app on you iPhone. When it opens, install any updates it asks you too.
  9. In Cydia, search for and install the Ultrasn0w app.  Reboot when prompted.
  10. Install your carrier’s SIM card.

That’s it.  After this step, you now have a jailbroken and unlocked iPhone and can use any mobile carrier you want. I now have my iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.0.1 on Movistar pre-paid and it’s working great.

The iPhone Hacks web site has some more detailed instructions if you’re interested. Oh yeah, the US Library of Congress has now made jailbreaking legal as well, though it will void your warranty.