Jailbreaking iOS 5: Status Update

BY Jason

Published 10 Oct 2011


Apple will be finally releasing their most eagerly awaited next generation mobile operating system – iOS 5 on October 12th, which includes more than 200 new features such as iMessagerevamped notification systemPC Free, Wi-Fi Sync etc.

We take a look at the current state of jailbreaking to see if you should jailbreak your iOS device when iOS 5 is released.

Status Update:

Jailbreak Tools:

iPhone Dev Team and ih8sn0w have been releasing Redsn0w and Sn0wbreeze for the beta versions of iOS 5 and recently released Redsn0w 0.9.9b3 for Windows and Mac and Sn0wbreeze 2.8 beta 8 for Windows that can jailbreak iOS 5 GM. Since iOS 5 Golden Master is the shipping version of the software, we expect them to be able to jailbreak iOS 5 that will be released on Wednesday.

iOS Devices Supported:

Both these tools support the following iOS 5 devices:

  • iPhone 4 (CDMA)

These tools cannot jailbreak iPad 2, which means that it also won’t be possible to jailbreak Apple’s new iPhone 4S as both are powered by Apple’s A5 chip.

Chronic Dev Team have apparently discovered 5 new userland exploits in iOS 5 for iPad 2 and potentially even iPhone 4S, so it remains to be seen when they will release greenpois0n for iOS 5 to jailbreak iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

Untethered or Tethered:

Redsn0w and Sn0wbreeze currently supports only a tethered jailbreak for all the iOS devices mentioned above, except for iPhone 3GS with the older bootrom.  With a tethered jailbreak you need to connect your iOS device to the computer on every reboot.

We hear that the Chronic Dev Team is working hard on an untethered jailbreak for iOS 5. We’re also quite sure that iPhone Dev team is also working on it.

Update: It looks like an untethered jailbreak for iOS 5 may be released soon.

OTA Updates:

With iOS 5 users will be able to update the iOS software over the air. There have been some concerns raised whether this would have an impact on jailbreaking. iPhone Dev Team has clarified that OTA Updates should not affect jailbreaking. iPhone Dev Team has mentioned that by design, the OTA updates won’t be automatically applied to jailbroken devices, which means you won’t lose the jailbreak due to OTA updates. So if you’re jailbroken, you’ll need to use the standard iTunes method to update your iOS device to the latest iOS 5 software update.


Redsn0w does not preserve the baseband, so if you depend on Ultrasn0w to unlock your iPhone, you should not use Redsn0w. Sn0wbreeze for Windows currently allows you to preserve the baseband so you can install Ultrasn0w to unlock it. We expect iPhone Dev team to also release PwnageTool to preserve the baseband for Mac users.

However, it is important to note here that Ultrasn0w works for basebands (01.59.00 / 04.26.08 / 05.11.07 / 05.12.01 / 05.13.04 / 06.15.00) and there hasn’t much progress on the unlocking front for quite a while.

Update: To avoid any confusion please note that Ultrasn0w is currently not compatible with iOS 5. Dev Team are expected to release an update after iOS 5 is released, however there is no ETA currently.

Compatible Jailbreak Apps and Tweaks:

BigBoss tell us that Apple has made a lot of internal changes in iOS 5, so jailbreak apps and tweaks need to be updated for them to work on iOS 5. Dev team’s had released Redsn0w for jailbreak app/tweak developers so that developers can update them for iOS 5. We’ve seen developers release popular apps such as biteSMS, MyWi, My3G, TruPrint, SBSettings released for iOS 5 but there still seem to be quite a few apps like Lockdown Pro that are not compatible with iOS 5. We hope to see an official list of iOS 5 compatible apps, which should make you decision a lot easier.

So should you upgrade and jailbreak iOS 5?

It really depends on you, here are some of the things you should consider before upgrading and jailbreaking iOS 5:

  1. If you want iOS 5’s 200+ new features more than the jailbreak apps and tweaks, then it is a no brainer, you should upgrade to iOS 5.
  2. If you don’t mind the hassle of a tethered jailbreak, then you can upgrade to iOS 5 and jailbreak it .
  3. If you can’t live without an untethered jailbreak then you should wait.
  4. If you can’t live without your favorite jailbreak apps and they’re not compatible with iOS 5 then you should wait.
  5. If you depend on the Ultrasn0w to unlock your iPhone, you should use tools like Sn0wbreeze for Windows or wait for PwnageTool for Mac to preserve the baseband while upgrading to iOS 5 and points 3 and 4 are not applicable to you.

We hope this answers most of your questions about iOS 5 and jailbreaking. Please feel free to drop us a line in the comments if you’ve have other questions and also don’t forget to let us know what you plan to do.

Update 1:

Updated with the news that an untethered jailbreak for iOS 5 may be released soon.

Update 2:

Since the launch of iOS 5, iPhone Dev team has released Redsn0w, which also includes the PwnageTool functionality and iH8sn0w has released Sn0wbreeze for iOS 5. Both tools currently support only a tethered jailbreak (except iPhone 3GS with older bootrom).

Update 3:

You can checkout our step by step guides to jailbreak iOS 5 using Redsn0w:

Update 4:

BigBoss has released a package on Cydia called SemiTether that brings semi tethered iOS 5 jailbreak for iPhone, iPad an iPod touch.