A ‘dream team’ of hackers have joined forces to develop a way to perform an untethered jailbreak on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, a task described as ‘ridiculously complex’.
Absinthe A5, an addition to Chronic Dev’s Greenpois0n jailbreaking tool, allows device owners to bypass the restrictions on code and applications placed on the devices by Apple. Although this voids Apple’s warranty, it also means owners can find alternate ways to add apps to their devices, without having to go through the app store.
The jailbreak comes three months after the release of the iPhone 4S and 10 months after the release of the iPad 2.
A member of the Chronic Dev team, posixninja, says in a blog post that the jailbreaking process becomes ‘more and more difficult with each new device released’, and Apple’s A5 chip ‘only proved this further’.
"We finally admitted that the escalated obstacles presented by Apple’s new A5 processor would not likely be overcome by one individual or team,” posixninja writes.
"As such, a diverse group of iOS hackers all decided to set aside our personal goals & egos, relax our die-hard team loyalties, and pool our respective skill-sets, talents & exploits to form an iOS Super-Hacking ‘Dream Team.”
Absinthe A5 is available for Mac and Windows, and can be found here.
Update: The frontman for the hacking team responsible for the jailbreak has told Cult of Mac the hack was downloaded 1 million times in its first day online.
Even more impressive is that this figure is for Mac users only, as the Windows jailbreak wasn't released until the following day.
Several commentators have questioned the enduring appeal of jailbreaking given the updates Apple introduced with iOS 5, many of which were based on jailbreak hacks.
However, it seems likely that as long as iOS is a closed system, there will be people who want to open it up. No-one likes being in jail.