Jailbreaking my iPhone 4 running iOS 4.1 using Limera1n
My first iPhone was an iPhone 3G. I jailbroke it after having it for about a year and loved it. When the iPhone 4 came out this summer, it was time for me to upgrade. I skipped the 3GS upgrade and had used my good ol’ iPhone 3G for almost 2 years. With multitasking and folders, the new iOS 4 included a lot of the features that were previously only available with a jailbreak. I got my iPhone 4 and was pretty happy with it. There were a few things I missed about having a jailbroken phone, but I never really got around to jailbreaking my iPhone 4. For starters, it hadn’t been jailbroken yet when I got my iPhone 4. It has basically been one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things…until this weekend.
I work with a guy from India who came over to the United States on a 3-month Visa. His Visa was about to expire, so he had to go back to India to get a new Visa stamped. He flew out yesterday and should have just arrived to his hometown in India. I still had my old iPhone 3G sitting in a desk drawer at home and have been meaning to sell it on eBay lately but haven’t due to how busy I’ve been. My Indian buddy mentioned that he was looking to buy an iPhone that he could unlock and use when he went back to India. I told him that I would sell him my 3G at a discounted price since I wouldn’t have to deal with selling it on eBay. So my Friday night was spent wiping all of my data, restoring, jailbreaking, and unlocking my old iPhone 3G. I first tried using geohot’s blackra1n, but Cydia was giving me some problems. Others had reported reported issues with Wi-Fi and Cydia not working well together on blackra1n. It would get stuck on the Reloading Data screen then quit. I restored to the 3.1.2 ispw (I’ve heard iOS4 is slow on 3Gs) and went back to using the beloved iPhone Dev Team’s redsn0w (the first program I ever used to jailbreak my iPhone). I used redsn0w 0.9.2. It was pretty straightforward:
- Plugged the iPhone into my computer
- Ran redsn0w
- Selected the 3.1.2 ispw file
- Waited while redsn0w patched the ispw
- Followed a few steps holding down the home button and off button in a few different sequences
- Device reboot. Once the phone booted back up, it was jailbroken and had Cydia installed.
- Launched Cydia and added blackra1n to the apt repository list
- Installed blacksn0w to unlock it.
After messing with my old iPhone 3G, re-jailbreaking it, and unlocking it for my Indian buddy I got to thinking about my iPhone 4. I went to see what was available and found that geohot had just recently exploited iOS 4.1 a few weeks ago – what good timing! This time he called it limera1n. Love the Ascii art green raindrop, btw geohot. After downloading limera1n, it was simple to jailbreak the iPhone. It was more similar to the previous redsn0w than the blackra1n jailbreak. The blackra1n jailbreak consisted of pretty much clicking one button to make it rain. You do the same thing for limera1n, but you also have to do the home/off button combinations in order to put the phone into DFU mode to complete the jailbreak.
It reminds me of when you purchase something on woot and it says to click this stupidly large button before completing your order. On Saturday I jailbroke my iPhone and am still playing around with all of the cool things on it. Here are several reasons that I jailbroke my iPhone – I’ll do some follow-up posts as I refamiliarize myself with the jailbroken software and see what new stuff is out there since I jailbroke my iPhone last.
- SB Settings. Being able to turn Wi-Fi on/and off without having to go into Settings–>Wi-Fi every single time is great. I get so tired of leaving the house and driving somewhere, continuing to have the Wi-Fi trying to find something to connect to. Apple should give you the ability to toggle Wi-Fi off if it pops up. Here is what it looks like:
- SSH – If you look closely, you’ll notice that SSH is also one of the quick toggles. I installed openSSH from Cydia and now have the ability to SSH to my iPhone. Once you install this, be sure to SSH as root and change the root password, as this is a big vulnerability if you don’t do this and have openSSH running. The default password is “alpine”. This essentially turns my iPhone into a portable flash drive that can be accessed as long as I’m on the same network.
- Winterboard Themes – there are tons of free Winterboard themes and ways to skin your iPhone. Here is one I found that I’m trying out right now (Glasklart):
- Battery Percentage Indicator – you’ll notice in the screenshot above, besides the fact that I need to recharge soon, that it shows a numeric percentage of battery life left next to the battery symbol.
- For some reason Element didn’t work out of the box initially – I’m still trying to figure out why 🙁 It is a lockscreen summary that has weather, calendar, email preview, missed calls, sms, etc. I had it on my iPhone 3G, but it was a little slow there. I’m sure with the iPhone 4 it could handle it…if I can get it to work.
- WiFi access point using your 3G. I haven’t gotten this working yet, but will be playing around with a few of the ones available. The main popular one has a free trial, but then wants to charge $20 for it. I’ll have to do some more reading and decide if it is worth it to shell out the $20. It would be nice, though, when travelling to be able to connect my laptop anywhere to the network using my iPhone’s 3G data connection that I already pay for instead of having to pay extra for tethering through AT&T.
As much crap as some people give Apple for their control over the iPhone platform, I understand why Apple does what it does. They want a clean polished device. I will say that once you jailbreak your iPhone you gain some cool features, but you do lose some of the Apple polish. For example, check out what it looks like when you install an app via Cydia:
Cool looking for a geek like me? Yeah. Polished look for the general public? Not so much. I understand that Apple wants to have control over what goes on their platforms. The way I look at it is if you don’t like like it, don’t buy an iPhone. If you want to install more than what Apple approves, jailbreak your iPhone like I did. Done.