All Praise the Jailbreak!

I’ve got an iPhone 3gs, which I’ve been very happy with.  It’s very well designed, reliable and has a good form factor.  The only frustration I’ve had with it is the way that Apple goes to great lengths to prevent me from modifying the product I own.  To a certain extent I can understand this attitude, they put a lot of work into making a robust product with a good user experience and they don’t want people screwing it all up.

The problem is that in their pursuit of elegance they dropped some basic things that I miss from my old smart phone.  One simple key feature is ring profiles.  Why the hell can’t I set this phone to not ring at certain hours?  Sure I can mute the whole thing, but then what if I forget in the morning to turn the ringer back on?  How hard is it to add a timer in software to control the sounds my phone makes?

And why not allow input from bluetooth keyboards?  I guess I should just be happy they’ve finally given me the ability to cut and paste text.
All these little frustrations finally added up to the point where I was willing to take the risk of jailbreaking my phone so I could use Cydia to add missing functionality.  I had fears of bricking my phone, but it turns out I had nothing to fear.  Thanks to the brilliant simple process allowed by the freely available blackra1n my iPhone now feels like MY phone.  I can enable features that were missing and modify the little annoyances this device shipped with.

Certainly Cydia is a lot uglier than the app store, and there is the very real possibility of bricking your phone – with great power comes great responsibility – but after a month or so of freedom I am so very glad I busted this mobile phone out of Apple corporate lockdown.

One note: After the 40th week of manufacture Apple changed the bootrom on the 3GS which adds an irritating limitation to the blackra1n jailbreak.  If you ever need to reset your phone, or your battery runs completely down, you’ll need to reconnect your iPhone to your computer and run blackrain again to reboot.  If you’ve got one of the early models, you’re in luck, you can reboot with impunity.  You can tell the week of manufacture by the 4th and 5th digit of the iPhone serial number. If that number is below 40 you’ve got an early phone.

You can download blackra1n for Mac or PC here.

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