Most people would never consider jailbreaking one of their Apple products. They might view it as illegal, or “hacker activity” and won’t have anything to do with it. And they would be HALF correct.
As it turns out, it is NOT illegal to jailbreak and iPhone, iPod, iPad, or even an Apple TV. But it will void the warranty. And it isn’t even a difficult or dangerous thing to do. You won’t ruin your device, it has a very minimal effect on battery life, and is easy as plugging your device into your computer and hitting a few buttons. Because of the way Apple designed these products, if there is ANY trouble it is a simple matter to reset and restore the device. You don’t lose your apps, your music, your videos, your pictures. You even have access to the App store.
So what are the downsides? Well, you can’t send the unit back to Apple for repairs. You lose maybe about 5% of battery life. You have to learn a new way of installing software. And there may be some issues with updating applications through the App store.
Meanwhile you can add pictures to the background (springboard), rather than sticking with the plain black. You can add multitasking to ANY of the “i” devices, something that those naughty hackers have had available on jailbroken units for quite a while, long before it was introduced on the iPad. The list goes on and on.
Be sure you do your research before you make a decision as to whether to jailbreak. Understand that it is easy to revert to a “regular” device as long as you have a backup before starting the process. If you do decide to give it a try, there are LOTS of links on the web to tell you how.
There are several ways of doing this, but I prefer greenpois0n.
The program will make the unit do all kinds of weird things. When it restarts, watch the Apple logo; it will slowly evolve. When it is finished, you have a jailbroken device.
Next step? Look for the green Loader app and run it. Use it to install Cydia.
Did you run into trouble? The text file that came with GreenPoison will give you a couple links and an IRC chatroom to visit. Trust me, no matter what problem you’re having, someone else has already solved it.
With a jailbroken device, there reall is an app for almost ANYTHING you want to do. Developers don’t need to go through the process of submitting apps to Apple, then having them possibly reject them, or force them to charge for it. Suddenly the world opens up.
Realize, however, that I am not condoning downloading and installing cracked or pirated apps. These are applications that have been downloaded, then had their security compromised so they can be installed on any i-device without paying. There are a ton of them out there, probably including all of the apps you may have purchased, and basically all free for the taking. Just remember that the developer doesn’t get a single penny if you choose do download a cracked app. Those pennies help keep them in business, and keep them motivated to update the app with new features. It also motivates them to write more apps.