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Jailbreak iOS 5.0.1 now!

A sickly feeling crawls up my spine as my iPhone refuses to reboot. Damn you Apple, damn you for making it so difficult to Jailbreak iOS 5.0.1. Three days and a hundred reboots later, the Cydia icon happily nests on my iPhone’s desktop, the sign of a successful Jailbreak. For hackers, it seems that no wall is too high too climb and no version of iOS is too tricky to crack.

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Jailbreaking iOS 5.0.1

Apple is proud of its latest iOS, especially its over-the-air (OTA) updates which limits the amount of time iDevice users spend updating their hardware. This is what made jailbreaking such a tricky affair as previous version of iOS required iTunes to update. Now, updates can happen at any moment (but are still optional) and the security features of iOS 5 become trickier than ever.

Before iOS 5, jailbreaking an iPhone was as easy as visiting a website on the device’s browser and tapping “jailbreak me”. Now, or until hackers create a simpler process, jailbreaking is a long and tortuous affair. But it can be done. So how did I do it?

I’m no hacker, all I want is a phone free of Apple’s limitations. I want to install my own themes, fix the speed issues, run “unauthorised” software and enjoy the full functionality of my iPhone. For I and many other iPhone users never truly “own” our devices, we are merely “renting” them until we next decide to upgrade to a new iPhone. The jailbreak legality issues only rears its ugly head when illegal software (such as a game you have not paid for) is installed to the iDevice. Outside of this, it’s a must for all iDevice owners.

For me, jailbreaking is a moral obligation. But iOS 5.0.1 presented a mighty challenge. While there are many ways to hack iOS 5.0, the updated OS was ever the trickier beast. So here’s what you have to do, iOS 5.0.1 users.

Important note: the jailbreak will currently only work on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4S and iPad are trickier due to the A5 chipset, but jailbreaking on these devices is imminent. This guide is for Windows users. Mac users can download the the appropriate jailbreaking software here (the same steps below will apply). Gearburn does not condone the use of illegally obtained software. Any reader following the steps below does so at their own risk of data loss or phone being damaged or “bricked” owing to an incorrect jailbreaking process or any other factor. You have been warned. Don’t do this unless you know what you are doing, and accept the risk you are taking.

  • Download RedSn0w 0.9.9b8 and install it to your computer.
  • Next, grab the iOS 5 IPSW (iPhone software) for either the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 3GS. This will be used to create a custom hack of the iOS firmware. RedSn0W, the weirdly named hacking software won’t run iOS 5.0.1 firmware, so iOS 5 has to be used.
  • Before connecting your iPhone to the computer for jailbreaking, make sure that it is turned off. Once your phone is both off and connected (close iTunes if it happens to open), run RedSn0w.
  • There are two options available on the RedSn0w main screen. For our purposes, you will need to click “extras”.
  • Click “Select IPSW” and choose your corresponding firmware, depending on which phone you have. Once it’s been loaded onto the system, you’ll fall back to the home screen.
  • You can now click on “Jailbreak”. For novice jailbreakers, this is a scary time but fear not the constant reboots and black screens, all will be well. You hope.
  • Again, RedSn0w will ask you to turn off your phone before it is connected. Jailbreaking the iPhone means placing it into Device Firmware Update or DFU mode.
  • RedSn0w will walk you through the DFU steps. You will know if you have been successful if the iPhone screen turns black and displays a very faint line vertically down the screen.
  • The iOS 5 firmware is hacked by RedSn0w and uploaded to your phone in DFU mode. During the rebooting stages, you should not have to touch your phone. If you see an image of an iPhone cable connecting to iTunes on your devices screen, you will need to restart the DFU process.
  • As the hacked iOS 5 firmware loads, relax and enjoy the three to five minutes waiting period. Your iPhone will reboot a few times, the screen will go black and eventually, code will begin to stream down your device. This is a sign of a successful jailbreaking process.
  • When your phone is stable once more, select “Just boot” from Redsn0w’s “extras” menu to complete the process. This is what is known as a “tethered” boot and owing to the nature of iOS 5, every time you need to reboot your device in the future, the tethered RedSn0w reboot will have to be used.
  • If all went well, the brown Cydia icon will be proudly displayed on your iPhone. If the icon is white, it means that you did not perform the tethered boot.
  • In the future, updated versions of RedSn0w may remove the need for a tethered boot, but for now this is the iOS 5 user’s only semi-stable option. The only untethered option is in an alpha form and instructions for its installation can be found here.

    With Cydia now installed on your iPhone, the path to greatness is revealed. Cydia is the main repository for all things jailbreak and from here, your phone can be turned into the device you always wanted it to be. Squeeze more icons into your dock, customise the home button, browse the iPhone’s file system and do so much more with your iPhone. With jailbreaking, your phone turns into the device it was always meant to be.

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