Yesterday we brought you news that Apple had released iOS 5.1.1, a minor update that focused mainly on squashing a few bugs that had been discovered since the release of iOS 5.1 back in March. As usual, those whose iOS devices are jailbroken were warned not to update to the newest version. We are, after all, still waiting on a working jailbreak of iOS 5.1. Even if we weren't, there's never a guarantee that the jailbreak that works on an X.1 release will also work on X.1.1.
In a cruel twist of fate, though, it turns out that iOS 5.1.1 has already been jailbroken, but that the wider jailbreak community won't be able to jailbreak their devices any time soon. Not long at all after Apple pushed out the update yesterday, Stefan Esser (i0n1c) posted the following tweet:
The tweet includes a picture of the Cydia store running on his new iPad with iOS 5.1.1 installed:
Now, you may be wondering why I called this a cruel twist of fate. After all, this is a working, untethered jailbreak. It's what we've all been waiting for for two months, right? Well, yes, but the problem is the source. You may recall that shortly the new iPad launched, we ran a story about iOS 5.1 being jailbroken on the iPad 2. Well, the dev who accomplished this wondrous feat back in March was none other than Stefan Esser. Of course, the fact that we're still waiting for a public jailbreak means that Esser didn't share what he'd learned with other jailbreak devs. A few weeks later he explained why. In a Twitter conversation last month with another jailbreak dev, pod2g, Esser expressed his opinion that releasing a free-to-the-public jailbreak tool like the one pod2g is working on was a waste, and that having iOS exploits that Apple didn't know about was a "huge research advantage."
So there it is: iOS 5.1.1 has, like iOS 5.1 before it, been jailbroken. Unfortunately, the person who did the jailbreaking isn't inclined to share with the rest of the class. While that's absolutely his prerogative, one could wish he would refrain from rubbing our noses in it.
On the bright side, if you're one of the few who is running a tethered jailbreak on an older device - original iPad, iPhone 4 or older - MusclenNerd tweeted yesterday that the redsn0w tool used to establish the tethered jailbreak for iOS 5.1 on those devices would also work for iOS 5.1.1:
On the other hand, tinkerers with older devices can tether jailbreak 5.1.1 using last month's redsn0w (just pre-select the 5.1 IPSW)
The fact that the tethered jailbreak solution works for iOS 5.1.1 gives some cause to hope that iOS 5.1.1 didn't close the exploits pod2g is working with. With luck, that means that the release of iOS 5.1.1 won't delay the jailbreak by much, if at all. Whatever you do, though, don't ask pod2g when it will be done.