Said me ya goa jailbreak ♫
April 18, 2008 12:12 PM   Subscribe

[Jailbreaking-an-iPhone-Filter]: Seduced my the possibility of various apps upping my phone's usability (and thus my own productivity), I've decided I want to jailbreak my iPhone. What is the best way to do this? What are the probable the caveats?

    There are several really promising applications (like iphonenotes, fring [!!!!!], and drunknbass) that would significantly increase the value I get from my iPhone. I’ve already read this Lifehacker article, but certain issues (like that described in this comment) make me a little hesitant. So, I'm look to you for both your suggestions and anecdotal evidence to assuage my trepidation.

    Just to clarify, I do not want to 'unlock' my iPhone (I am content with my AT&T service); I merely want to jailbreak it to allow for greater feature implementation.

    So, onto my slew of questions:
    1. In your experience with jailbreaking your iPhone, have you run into any difficulties? What sort of obstacles can I expect?
    2. What is the best method of doing this? I’ve heard of ZiPhone, iPlus, Pwnage...which one did you use? Which would you suggest?
    3. I’ve heard conflicting reports Re: voicemail with jailbroken phones. If I jailbreak using ZiPhone, will I lose the “visual voicemail” feature? (That could potentially be a deal-breaker for me.)
    4. Will jailbreaking my phone significantly alter any of the pre-existing apps on my phone (i.e. Googlemaps, youtube, iTunes, Weather, etc)?
    5. Will jailbreaking my phone hinder my ability to use the multiple-alarm function?
    6. What will happen to all of the webclip icons (like the pretty metafilter one) that I’ve saved to my homepage? Will I have to reinstall these?
    7. Is there a possibility that I will be faced with having to repair specific drivers or anything?
    8. Since I’m not attempting to unlock my phone, do I still run the risk of bricking it?
    If there are any obvious concerns that I'm overlooking (or that I clearly haven't considered), please hell me get my head out of the sand. Thank you!
    posted by numinous to Technology (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
    Why not wait for the slurry of 3rd party apps that are coming out? Jailbreaking isn't too risky with ZiPhone from what people have told me, but if you want to keep your warranty, just be patient.
    posted by pedmands at 12:18 PM on April 18, 2008

    Response by poster: pedmands: That's my plan if jailbreaking my phone would compromise anything like visual voicemail. As it currently stands, however, there are certain things that I want to do with my phone that I simply cannot currently do. I am paying a pretty penny for service, and I'd really like to maximize my current usage of it now, instead of 2 1/2 months down the road. In addition to this, I'm not even sure that these types of apps will even be available via Apple (there is no word on what apps they plan to release as far as I know), so jailbreaking seems like an obvious solution.

    But this brings up another good question - if I do, in fact, jailbreak my phone - but reformat it later to its original factory settings, is my warranty still void?
    posted by numinous at 12:27 PM on April 18, 2008

    Ziphone is incredibly easy. It took me 5 minutes to jailbreak my iPhone (I'm living outside the U.S., so it was the only way to have a working iPhone). I don't know about the warranty, but I don't see how somebody could see if you've jailbroken the phone if you manage to restore it.
    posted by einarorn at 12:34 PM on April 18, 2008

    And what exactly is wrong with unlocking it? You can continue to use AT&T if you want to, but have the option of buying cheap SIM cards when you're traveling outside the U.S. instead of paying sky-high roaming charges.

    But to answer the specific questions

    1. No
    2. ZiPhone
    3 Don't know
    4. No
    5. No
    6. Nothing
    7. Don't think so
    8. No, you really shouldn't if you follow extremely easy instructions that comewith ZiPhone
    posted by einarorn at 12:37 PM on April 18, 2008

    I have, in the past, jailbreaked my phone. I used ZiPhone, and it was easy as cake.

    Visual voicemail, and all the other built-in software still worked fine. I think the point of confusion here is that if you unlock your phone (as distinct from just jailbreaking) so you can use it with a non-supported cellphone network, visual voicemail breaks.

    However, I have to say that in all my time with a jailbreaked iPhone, I never found any "killer" features that we're added by third party software that I could not live with out. There's some cool stuff out there, but most of it's cool in a proof of concept kind of way rather than something I actually used frequently. Also, after awhile, my phone become somewhat unstable and battery life started to be drained much more quickly than it was before I jailbreaked it. At that point, I decided to restore my phone back to the non-jailbreaked state. I don't really miss anything, but I am looking forward to full, polished third party apps that the official App store will sell starting in June.
    posted by dyslexictraveler at 12:48 PM on April 18, 2008

    I used ZiPhone and it worked perfectly.

    Also, and perhaps most importantly, you cannot brick your phone using any currently available unlock/jailbreak method, and therefore stand no chance of affecting your warranty etc. If you ever want to go back to your un-jailbroken iPhone, just click the Restore button in iTunes to revert to the standard firmware (which you would do, for example, before taking it into an Apple store with a problem).
    posted by jon4009 at 12:58 PM on April 18, 2008

    Best answer: I JB/unlocked my iphone with Ziphone first and then (much later) Pwnage and my understanding is that Ziphone downgrades your bootloader to version 3.9 which, although doesn't effect the operation of the phone, should you ever need to take it in for warranty repair is a telltale sign to the Apple techs that the phone's software was altered.

    Pwnage on the other hand gives you the option of downgrading if you want (which you currently do NOT need to do bec of the technique it uses), and also gives you the ability to generate a custom firmware so if you ever need to reset or re-lock. or unjailbreak your iphone, you'd be able to do it straight through itunes.

    All that being said, the biggest problem I have after jailbreaking the phone (jinx) is that when I miss a call it displays "call failed" instead of "missed call". I got used to it after a while.
    posted by eatcake at 2:31 PM on April 18, 2008

    Response by poster: dyslexictraveler: That's great news about the visual voicemail; it's one of the iPhone's features that I appreciate the most, and I'd really hate to lose that function.

    jon4009: Do you know what does cause a phone to brick, then? I suppose I assumed that some glitch in the jailbreaking process caused the phone to lock-up. Is this not the case?

    eatcake: Thank you. This is exactly the kind of information I'm after. I've heard that there are some serious stability problems with Pwnage, though; have you come across any particularly buggy features? How is your battery life?
    posted by numinous at 3:30 PM on April 18, 2008

    Best answer: Battery life seems to be normal. I usually have about ~80% left at the end of the day with moderate use. Haven't noticed anything strange really. It did freeze up once or twice when I was trying to change too many settings at once but nothing that needed a complete restore or anything.

    It does act weird once in a great while but it hasn't been anything reproducible and I'm not sure whether it's Pwnage related or general software issues that would occur with or without the jailbreaking. Considering all the things I do with it (email, web. phone. sms, photos etc) I think it's behaves pretty (99.99%) predictably.

    I will say though that after using Ziphone I had to "fix" some things that it broke like safari's cookie handling, youtube and a couple of other things while with Pwnage everything worked fine. So in my experience Pwnage-ing has been more stable than with Ziphone and seems to be more reversible as far as the bootloader etc goes.
    posted by eatcake at 5:42 PM on April 18, 2008

    Also...I think I remember reading somewhere that the whole "call failed" message may be due to using the phone on a carrier other than att&t but I'm not 100% sure because I don't have a way to test it.
    posted by eatcake at 5:44 PM on April 18, 2008

    I used iLiberty+ and it was unbelievably easy. On there site they say that ZiPhone hacks something that cannot then be unhacked (bootloader or something).
    posted by dobbs at 8:10 AM on April 19, 2008

    posted by dobbs at 8:11 AM on April 19, 2008

    « Older Where should we go after Munich for our summer...   |   SQL CTE Question Newer »
    This thread is closed to new comments.