Hackers claim to be just days away from jailbreaking Apple devices running iOS 5.1.1, the latest firmware release for iPhones and iPads, letting users load applications from outside of Apple's iTunes App Store.
The new jailbreak will be untethered, meaning you don't have to reboot your device by plugging it into an external computer. That part of the code that will support devices outfitted with Apple's A5 chip -- iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and the new iPad -- will only support iOS 5.1.1, meaning users will have to update to the latest firmware version before running the new jailbreak.
The new jailbreak apparently will be added to a trio of existing jailbreak applications. Jailbreaking lets an iPhone or iPad user bypass the App Store, and load third-party apps from other sources, and lets unsigned code run and access a range of otherwise inaccessible files on the device.
A weekend tweet by a hacker with the handle @pod2g alerted other developers and users: "Thanks to awesome work of @planetbeing and @pimskeks, we're near ready for a release. Now it's a matter of days."
Another iOS hacker, @musclenerd, part of the hacker group known as iPhone Dev-Team, posted a handful of items about the upcoming jailbreak. In that post, he says that three jailbreak applications, Absinthe, cinject and redsn0w, "will all provide the same JB [jailbreak] in different fashions."
For those who are willing to jailbreak their phones, the pending code release raises several issues, according to the iDownloadBlog.
Users with an A5-based iPhone or iPad should plan on upgrading to iOS 5.1.1 if they haven't already, these sites advise, since it's a prerequisite for the jailbreak.
For users with a phone or tablet with the A4 processor, upgrading to iOS 5.1.1 will mean at least for now making use of a tethered jailbreak, such as that available with the RedSn0w application.
AbsintheJailbreak.com has posted a video of the as-yet-unreleased Absinthe 2.0 untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.1.1. It's a bit hard to follow given the low light levels, the bobbing camera, and the fact that you have to tilt your head to view it properly.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: @johnwcoxnww Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgBlog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed
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This story, "Jailbreak of Apple iOS 5.1.1 due 'in days'" was originally published by Network World.