The cat and mouse game continues between Apple and the Dev Team, a group of guys who are passionate about freeing Apple handheld devices from the company's short leash. The Dev Team has been jailbreaking new Apple firmware for years, and it just did so again--though this time around it seems Apple is still taking the decisive lead.
The team announced Friday the availability of PwnageTool 3.13, which allows for jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone 3GS running the latest firmware, version 3.1. Currently only a Mac version of the tool is available, but the Windows version will be out soon. (Keep in mind, however, that you download and use the PwnageTool at your own risk.)
The tool creates a custom firmware from the version 3.1 firmware released by Apple. To install it, you put the phone into recovery mode (turn it off, then plug it in while holding down the Home button) and use iTunes to restore the phone with the custom firmware (hold down the Option key while clicking on the Restore button).
The custom firmware, apart from jailbreaking, will not upgrade the baseband--the chip that connects the phone to a service provider--and therefore still allows the phone to be unlocked.
But there's a catch here. The tool only works with the iPhone 3GS that has been jailbroken with the firmware version 3.0 or 3.0.1. This means if you buy a new iPhone 3GS that already has version 3.1 on it or you have updated to version 3.1 using iTunes, there's still no way to have your phone jailbroken. There's even a rumor that there might never be one, unless a new exploit is found.
If this is true, it seems Apple has finally been able to gain significant ground in stopping the practice it claims could pose a threat to national security. And for thousands, if not millions of iPhone 3GS users who rely on jailbreaking and unlocking to use their phones with the service of their choice, this is sad news. … Read more