Updating and Jailbreaking my iPhone, reconsidered

Recently, I recommended against jailbreaking an iPhone running the latest software, unless you were in a risk-taking mood, especially with the SDK's arrival expected so soon. If you were already using a jailbroken iPhone, running iPhone software 1.1.1 (as was the case for me), I recommended sitting still, again until after Apple's SDK release.

However, as is common in the rapidly-changing world of jailbreaking, I have already changed my tune a bit.

First off, jailbreaking methods have improved and become more reliable. And don't worry if you've just upgraded from version 1.1.3 of the iPhone software to version 1.1.4; most 1.1.3 jailbreak methods still work for 1.1.4.

Second, what I predicted in a previous blog entry has apparently been confirmed — at least as much as these things can be confirmed in advance of Apple's official announcements — by iLounge.com. In particular, Apple's SDK announcement coming this Thursday is not likely to signal an end to the advantages of—or need for—jailbreaking. Jailbreaking is likely to remain the only way to get third-party applications onto your iPhone for months to come—and perhaps much longer, if ever, for applications that don't make it to Apple's "approved" list.

As a result of these two converging facts, I decided the time was ripe to update my iPhone to version 1.1.4 and jailbreak it. So I did it today. Even if it turns out that the news on Thursday is better than I expect, I no longer see a downside here. Still, if you are thinking you'd rather wait before jailbreaking, I wouldn't argue with you.

For the record, I used ZiPhone to jailbreak my phone. I highly recommend it. It worked perfectly and took only a couple of minutes. To avoid some potential problems, I restored my iPhone before doing anything else. This had the side-effect of updating my 1.1.1 iPhone to 1.1.4. I next launched ZiPhone and selected the "Jailbreak" option. ZiPhone did all the rest, including installing the key Installer application. After that, I added my selection of "hacked" applications and resynced the phone. Done.

One caution: ZiPhone still does not work on the latest iPod touches. Otherwise, it seems as easy and as solid as you could hope for.

Next stop: Waiting for Apple's March 6 iPhone event.