Jailbreak iPhone 3G

Jailbreaking iPhone 3G – Getting More Action!

Jailbreak iPhone 3G
Jailbreak iPhone 3G

If you are like me and have an iPhone 3G (or perhaps an older iPhone or iPod Touch 2nd Gen or older) you noticed that Apple will no longer be supporting your device. iOS version 4.3 came and went with no love for us folks with older devices. It is reasonable that Apple stop supporting older devices at some point. They are not the only company to do so and they will not be the last… but that still leaves us with limited options now:

  1. We can fork over some cash and upgrade now (or perhaps switch to a Droid phone or something)
  2. We continue using our old devices and be happy with whatever we can get that’s compatible with 4.2.1 and wait it out until we can afford an upgrade or are forced to buy an upgrade
  3. We can jailbreak our devices and get more options!

I don’t have the money for option #1 and I’m not content with option #2, so I opted for option #3!

To Jailbreak or Not to Jailbreak…

Now maybe you’ve heard of “jailbreaking” before, but weren’t really sure what it is or if it’s safe or whatever… I’ll try to put it as simple as possible: Jailbreaking means freeing your iOS device from the restrictions put on it by Apple. By default, you can only install apps from the App Store provided by Apple. They approve apps for distribution based on their own criteria and they make a percentage of the profits (I believe they make 30%, but I could be wrong and I don’t care to look it up right now). When you jailbreak your iOS device you are setting it free! Jailbreaking opens the door to many opportunities… I’ll list a few neat examples of what you can do with a jailbroken iPhone 3G or 2nd Gen iPod Touch that you couldn’t do before:

  • enable multitasking
  • record video
  • have wallpaper on your springboard (the thingy your app icons appear on)
  • use custom themes on your device
  • hide that annoying Spotlight
  • play NES and SNES games
  • and much much much more!

Still not convinced? Well there is also a way to increase your virtual memory and even overclock your processor so that your device will behave more like a 3rd Gen device… an iPhone 3G working more like a 3GS?! yeah, that would be sweet! (note: I haven’t gotten there yet, but when I do, I’ll tell you about it!).

Is it safe? Yeah, I know that is a question in a lot of people’s minds… But really, is anything safe? Sure there is some added security with the default setup because Apple has total control over what is allowed onto your phone and what isn’t, but there are still other vulnerabilities and risks… if someone really wants to get access to your stuff, they will find a way… As far as the safety of a jailbroken device goes, it really boils down to common sense… If you use some, it will go along ways… Change your root and user passwords, only install apps from trusted repositories, and etc…

Is it Legal? According to the US Court System and DMCA Law: Yes! According to Apple: No. Read here for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_jailbreaking#United_States_legal_issues

On with the show!

At first I tried following this nice guide provided by Lifehacker: The Always Up-To-Date Guide To Jailbreaking Your iOS Device, which recommended using GreenPois0n to jailbreak your 4.2.1 iOS Device, but I tried it 4 or 5 times (on Mac and Windows) and it never worked for me. Apparently I could not get my phone into DFU mode… at least not the way that GreenPois0n wanted… So I decided to go with RedSn0w and it worked like a charm! I found a nice guide here (Mac) and here (Windows).

It was very exciting, but didn’t otherwise seem any different at first… the only noticeable difference at first was the “Cydia” app that was now present… but once I started browsing the repositories, it became very clear just how right of a decision this was!

I will be posting a few things this week about my experience now with my newly jailbroken iPhone. Here are a few things I plan to write about so you can follow along if you are interested:

  • What apps to install first
  • Multitasking
  • How to fix MobileTerminal (I found a way to get it to work!)
  • How to fix Cycorder (Haven’t found a solution yet, but it wont be long)
  • Increasing your Virtual Memory (Sorry, it seems this is no longer possible)
  • Overclocking the CPU (Sorry, it seems this is no longer possible either)

Do you have an iOS device? Have you jailbroken it yet? Why or why not? If you care to share, please comment below. Thanks.


Alex is a professional web and mobile developer. He loves spending time with his wife and kids, and is still very much a kid at heart. He enjoys reading comic books, watching TV/Movies, playing video games, playing with action figures and Legos.

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5 thoughts on “Jailbreaking iPhone 3G – Getting More Action!”

  1. One app that I use is Backgrounder, even though multi-tasking is built into iOS 4 (supporting 3rd gen+ ipods I believe). The nice thing about Backgrounder is that you can set a global setting and also customize the settings for each app. For example, my global setting is to run apps in the foreground, but certain apps such as the calculator, mail, and settings I set to close when I exit the app so that it instantly frees up memory. There are more customizations to this app and I highly recommend it to utilize the multitasking feature that the iOS4 brought.
    iFile is an awesome app. There used to be a free version which only limited certain features such as search, but I believe now, the free version is an x day limited trial. Anyway, I think it’s only $4 and I think it’s worth every penny. iFile is a file manager, which allows you to edit, create, move, copy files and directories. Speaking of playing NES/SNES games on an ipod/iphone, I’ve seen a lot of people explain the process of doing so by downloading the ROM’s onto their computer and syncing them onto their device. With iFile, there’s no reason to do so and makes this process much easier! Use “aDownloader” to download the ROM’s (of course, I believe legally you must own the game), find where they downloaded to (I forget the path), move the ROM files into the designated location, and done!
    Another cool thing that I’ve learned to do with a jailbroken device is to do web development. Most people say, “what for?” My answer is usually, “because I can,” although it’s not my preferred way 🙂 It’s nice when I can’t or do not want to mess with getting on the computer. I found a program called “Lighttpd” which allows you to write php scripts locally without requiring wifi. I believe you can do some databasing as well, but I have not looked into that a whole lot.
    My purpose for this device is much different from the normal user. Originally, I wanted it check email, messages, and surf the internet without 1) needing a phone with a data plan (yeah, I’m a cheap skate!) and 2) carry around a laptop (yeah, I’m lazy too). After jailbreaking my device, I realized it is capable of so much more, after all, it’s like a little computer. Thanks to Apple, they have strictly limited it’s potential. It is sad, really. My goal now is to learn the in and outs of this thing–what is it REALLY capable of doing? How can I use this device best to my advantage, along with many other people?

    1. Hey Petro, thanks for your comment. As far as I can tell it is legal in the United States (based on court rulings… I think I posted a link to that info in the post). But I am not sure how legal it is in Europe.

  2. Yes, it is legal to jailbreak you device–google it 🙂 it only voids the warrenty, but if you are able to unjailbreak it, then you’re good before sending off to get it repaired. Although jailbreaking IS legal, somethings that you can do is NOT legal. For example, NES/SNES ROMS, you are legally supposed to own the cartridges.

    1. Thanks Phil. My phone’s warranty is expired anyway so nothing to lose for me anyway 🙂
      And regarding the ROMS: you are correct sir. If/when I write about that, I will be sure to specify that. I don’t want any legal trouble that is for sure. I would only use ROMS that I actually own the original cartridge of. Of course I hear there are “homebrew” ROMS too, but I’ve never tried any.

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