Jailbreaking Programs for a variety of platforms
Modify Phone Settings at your own Risk!
Very Special Note: This site does not advocate hacking or any illegal activities. The assumption is that you own your own phone and you are assuming the risks of software and hardware modifications.
You can get a lot of extra features out of a phone or personal media player (particularly the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch OS) by jailbreaking. Essentially, you are unlocking the firmware and software on the phone or device so you can run modifications, or use it on a different network. Jailbreaking lets you upload unapproved applications that can be found on several online sources. Unlocking lets you use the phone on other networks, but you need to jailbreak before you can unlock, so for many people the terms are synonymous. There are jailbreaking tools for Windows and Mac, but ironically Windows tools are more common and prevalent. A jailbreak for 3.1.2 Firmware is the most recent one available. Once again, even though this site gives links to jailbreaking instructions hosted elsewhere, we strongly recommend against making modifications that can come back to haunt you later. Many firmware upgrades and software updates contain settings that will either render your device inoperable (or "brick" it) or may contain hidden traps that create problems when you try to jailbreak your phone/ipod later.
You can also experience viruses as a result of jailbreaking, either through the software used or vulnerabilities created in the process.
The most popular software providers (or hackers, depending on your point of view) include Cydia, Icy, and the iPhone Dev Team. Some of these sources even allow for SIM unlocking, which is not usually part of the jailbreaking process.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: Apple has recently hired people to combat jailbreaking, and modifying your phone software or hardware settings may void your warranty. As 1 million people with XBox 360s have found out, modifications can result in losing priveledges. Ipod and Iphone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc, but when people refer to jailbreaking, they almost exclusively are referring to Apple products.