Jailbreaking, on the other hand, breaks into the iPhone’s file system to modify the user interface so that you can install third-party apps.
When the iPhone was launched in mid-2007, it was a watershed in the history of cellular phones. In fact, all of Apple’s 1,800 stores in the US had sold out within the first 24 hours.
But there were issues. The quad-band phone with cutting-edge touch-screen technology, media player, web browser and wi-fi technology also unleashed an undercurrent of resentment as it locked users into network provider AT&T and for the GSM version, Verizon and T-Mobile. Moreover, it also meant that you could use only Apple’s apps.
Some even called Apple’s revolutionary baby a smartass, not a smartphone!
But hackers and software developer devised ways to bypass the lock and web forums were abuzz with every new development. Of course both unlocking and jailbreaking were both illegal though unlocking is relatively easy and legal today.
For many, it didn’t matter that they owned what is arguably the world’s sexiest cell phone. They felt that holding a customer prisoner to Apple’s apps was downright devious.
Why should customers who paid good money for the iPhone be held to ransom? How could users be restricted to Apple’s software? And the fact that Apple was the only phone company that had these restrictions in place made people even more angry. Some even called it a violation of a phone user’s fundamental rights!
But soon, hackers came to the rescue, suggesting ways to break into and modify the user interface that broke past software restrictions – or file system – that didn’t allow you to even add your own custom ringtone!
The most popular software developed to date to jailbreak the iPhone 3G is the Pwnage Tool. There are various versions and they were developed soon after Apple released its first-generation iPhone.
But a word of caution. Many have found that jailbreaking the iPhone 3G damaged the phone. Others found quite the opposite. These users claim that a jailbroken iPhone can be restored to factory using Apple’s iTunes. This also means that you can retrieve all your data because its backed up on iTunes.
But jailbreaking and hacking aside, the iPhone remains the most coveted smartphone to date. Imagine downloading music and videos via a device that fits into your shirt pocket!
Just before it was launched Apple’s Steve Jobs called the iPhone a magical device that was five years ahead of its time. Many would agree that it still is.