Want to run iPhone apps that aren’t available in Apple’s App Store? Then you might want to think about jailbreaking your iPhone or iPod touch. But up until today there was not easy method for jailbreaking a device running iOS 4, including the new iPhone 4 or older devices that had been upgraded.
Basically, all you have to do is open Safari on your mobile device, visit jailbreakme.com, and slide to unlock your phone. Once it’s finished, the unofficial Cydia app store will be added to your home screen.
As the FAQ says, jailbreaking lets you run apps and install themes that aren’t approved by Apple, and federal courts have recently ruled that it’s legal for users to jailbreak their devices in the US (although it’s not entirely clear if it’s legal for hackers to provide the tools to do so).
While this is one of the first mainstream tools for jailbreaking iPhone 4 devices, the browser-based tool also works with devices running earlier versions of the iPhone operating system including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 3.1.2 and up. Some users are reporting that jailbreaking their phones is causing problems with Apple’s FaceTime and MMS apps — although a solution to those problems appears to be in the works.