Friday, 8 May 2009

How and Why to Jailbreak the Apple iPhone 3G

I'm a self confessed gadget freak. I can spend hours browsing in electronic shops drooling over the next gadget I'd like to own. I've owned various different electronic organisers over the years (yet managed to maintain a respectable level of tardiness) and until recently was a die hard Palm devotee. Smart phones are great for reducing the clutter in your pocket (phone, organiser, MP3 player, camera - all in one) so I was happy with my trusty Palm Treo 650 for years until it started to have battery trouble recently. I decided to splurge on the latest 16GB Apple iPhone 3G. In Hong Kong most mobile phones are sold unlocked i.e. you're not forced to stick with one carrier on a lengthy contract as in the USA. Furthermore you can get a month to month contract with PCCW mobile which is great if like me you don't know exactly how long you'll be sticking around but you want a data plan so you can surf the net and check email on the fly. (Month to Month not to be confused with 'prepaid' or 'pay as you go' although you can get those too but they have no data plan) For $110HK (11 Euros or 9GBP or u$d14) per month I get 600 minutes of out of network talk time 600 minutes of in network talk time 60MB of data (GPRS) Free in network SMS 60 MMS 60 minutes Video calls

I can cancel the month to month contract with 30 days notice and no penalty! I was immediately impressed by the core functionality of the phone and checking emails and surfing the web on the go was super fast.  Battery life is not great and requires a recharge practically everyday. The selection of over 23,000 apps you can add from the iTunes Store is mind boggling albeit some of these apps are pretty crap and some just add functionality which arguably should come shipped with the iPhone.
This brings us to an important issue. The iPhone comes shipped and out of the box with features that are blocked or purposefully not enabled. That's like buying a car where the engine automatically cuts out if you go above 50kms an hour. People have developed apps to turn on some of these features but since Apple vets and approves every app in the iTunes Store none of these are accessible thru 'legitimate' means. So if you want to get the full functionality for your iPhone (e.g. use it as a video recorder, running apps in the background, changing the look n' feel and adding apps that Apple doesn't approve of because they'd rather you buy them etc) you have to use a process known as 'jailbreak'. If your iPhone is locked to a specific carrier you can also unlock using a program called Yellowsn0w. This link here explains the jailbreak process in detail and the nice part is you can always restore your phone to its original state and hence maintain its warranty using this link here

Note: 'Unlocking' and 'Jailbreaking' are 2 completely different processes so read the links above carefully. So 'how you like them apples?'

Tags: .How and Why to Jailbreak the Apple iPhone 3G..

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Stevo May 08, 2009 6:40 pm  

I've been thinking about getting an iPhone. I have a dopod, which is great with the slip-out keyboard, but it is weighty. Some of the Chinese knock-off iPhones are way better than the original Apple version. One day soon I'll take a bite.

Baino May 09, 2009 7:48 pm  

Aha must pass this onto the son who loves his gadgets too but I think he's just about got every app you can get from a screen of tic tacs to a whoopie cushion . . silly me, I thought he needed a phone!

Nomadic Matt May 10, 2009 11:55 pm  

u can get them unlocked in bangkok

Quickroute May 12, 2009 1:34 am  

@Stevo: I have been wondering about the knock offs - I heard the 'Meizu' is identical but not that much cheaper

@Baino: uz men luv our gadgets like women luv shopping

@Matt: you can unlock them yourself pretty easily

ellie May 20, 2009 10:29 pm  

It is possible to be a woman and love gadgets too, I have my iPhone jailbroken and use Cydia for apps. Mind you, when all is said and done, the best thing about my phone is that it looks so damn cool when I'm out shopping!

Quickroute May 22, 2009 11:05 am  

@ Ellie: LOL - you just had to one up us men didn't ya!

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