The iPhone 4S has quickly become one of Apples most popular handsets to date. Despite originally being considered a disappointment following Apple's announcements in October of last year, the 4S turned out to be a spectacular device with an amazing camera and minimal bugs and glitches. Like the iPhones before it, the iPhone 4S has become the choice device for many. In fact, just last week, I recall walking through The Venetian in Las Vegas with four colleagues, all staring down at our own white, 32GB iPhone 4S.
One thing you will commonly hear amongst iPhone and other iDevice users is talk of jailbreaking, a means of installing non-App Store applications. When you "jailbreak" an iOS device, a third-party application catalog, called Cydia, is installed. Within Cydia, you will find many applications that would not make it through Apple's thorough application approval process and all sorts of tweaks and mods, like different icon packages, different icon layouts, lock screens, etc. In essence, it's a way to unlock the full potential of your iPhone.
Some of the changes introduced in the iPhone 4S, however, have created a few hurdles for iOS development teams: a more secure software version, iOS 5, that patched previously used exploits and the use of an A5 processor instead of the older A4 chip. Late last month, iOS 5 users with iDevices that use A4 processors and earlier technology were finally graced with an untethered jailbreak, codenamed corona. Still, iPhone 4S and iPad 2 owners have yet receive the same jailbreak.
You wouldn't believe the number of times I heard my colleagues complain about not having a jailbreak for their iPhone 4S last week. And all of my 4S-toting friends have been blowing up my phone, Facebook messages and literally every other means of communication, asking if and when the jailbreak for the 4S would be released. ... Because I'm supposed to know everything.
Lucky for them, all of my colleagues who have been dying on their completely stock iPhone 4S and you all, the corona A5 jailbreak was announced on the Dev-Team Blog earlier this morning. The jailbreak isn't quite ready for public yet, though, as the developers are still ironing out the few remaining kinks and putting it through a few more trial runs before publicly distributing the exploit software.
There are, however, some hitches to know about the jailbreak. It currently only supports iOS versions 5.0 and 5.0.1. If you have updated to anything beyond 5.0.1, you're out of luck ... for now, unless you can find a way to downgrade. And if you've been waiting for a software-based carrier unlock (which is why some of my friends have been pestering me), you're better off on iOS version 5.0. The unlock is not available yet, but will be at some point.
The wait isn't quite over yet, but it's coming to a close. As soon as testing is finished and the developers confirm this isn't going to cause a mass bricking of A5 devices, corona will be released and you will be able to suit your iPhone 4S with Cydia and all sorts of other goodies.
Update: About the time I clicked publish, the jailbreak went public. As usual, proceed at your own risk.
Personally, I don't care for jailbreaking at all. I've done it several times to different iDevices and never really enjoyed doing it or benefited from it. I prefer to do all of my tweaking and modding on Android and leaving iOS to do what it does best: simply work. This time, however, since my iPhone is a global device, I'm thinking about sticking it out and waiting for a carrier unlock ... just in case. And I am getting pretty bored with my iPhone. Maybe I could spice it up a bit with some new icons or color scheme while I'm at it.
Tell me, 4S and iPad 2 users, have you been dying to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad? Are you doing this in preparation of unlocking your iPhone? Or are you just ready to tweak your phone seven ways to Sunday? Do you even care about jailbreaking?