The first jailbreak application for Apple's new iPhone 3GS has been made available just two weeks after the iPhone debuted. George Hotz, a 19-year-old Google employee originally from New Jersey, created the application.
Jailbreaking the iPhone 3GS allows a user to install any programs directly onto the iPhone, including applications that are not from Apple.
Hotz, at the age of 16, was credited with being part of the team that unlocked the first-generation iPhone. The unlock, announced in a blog post, allowed users to operate the first-generation iPhone with any SIM card. Hotz traded his unlocked iPhone for three regular iPhones and a Nissan 350Z.
"Normally I don't make tools for the general public, and would rather wait for the development team to do it. But guys, what's up with waiting until 3.1? That isn't how the game is played," Hotz wrote in his blog Friday. "We release, Apple fixes, and we find new holes."
In his blog post, Hotz provides a step-by-step explanation of what users need to do to jailbreak the iPhone 3GS and teases that a jailbreak for the Mac OS is coming soon.
Before jailbreaking the iPhone 3GS, Hotz warns users to be prepared by having Windows (not Windows 7) installed on a PC, the latest iTunes installed, and an iPhone 3GS with 3.0 firmware. He also warns potential jailbreakers to first back up all their files and programs.
Once the preparations are complete, Hotz urges those interested in completing the break to go to purplera1n.com.
Once at the Web site, Hotz instructs users to click "make it ra1n" and wait. On bootup users need to run Freeze, the purplera1n installer app.
"Hopefully you'll figure out what to do from there," Hotz wrote. If not, users are instructed to e-mail purplera1n support or call a support hotline.
Purplera1n is small enough, Hotz wrote, that there's no need for a 20MB file to be torrented. "This is how jailbreak should be," Hotz wrote.
Complaints And Compliments
Not long after Hotz's blog post, some people posted concerns about their jailbreaking attempts, while others praised him and his development team for their hard work.
Several iPhone 3GS owners were stuck with a frozen iPhone after installing WinterBoard, an open-source application that allows users to apply themes to their iPhone. "The iPhone crashed, went into safe mode, and is now frozen," said poster CDC515.
Other posters from Brazil, India and the U.S., however, thanked Hotz for taking the time to jailbreak iPhones and thanked him for his continued game of cat and mouse.
"I've followed you from day one since the test point days and am amazed and shocked at how you always manage to outdo yourself and how modest and cool you always are," said one poster with the screen name iexpert.