On Monday we ran a story about a popular iOS jailbreak blog playing an April Fool's Day gag. They published a post claiming that a jailbreak tool for iOS 5.1, cleverly named AprilRa1n, had been released. Unfortunately, not everyone got the joke (despite plenty of clues), and a few updated their iOS devices to 5.1, leaving them stuck waiting for the real jailbreak.
AprilRa1n was clearly a joke and not meant to do any harm, but not all claims of an iOS 5.1 jailbreak are so good natured. A press release has been making the rounds today - published on Yahoo!, for example - claiming that BestUnlockiPhone.com has an untethered jailbreak of iOS 5.1 available. According to the press release and the website, the software - which can be had for $24.99 - will both jailbreak and unlock your iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS whether it's running iOS 5.1 or 5.0.1. They also claim it works for the iPad running iOS 5.1 or 5.0.1 (they don't specify which model of iPad).
Unfortunately, this is almost certainly a scam. There are a few clues that suggest it is. For one thing, there's the fee. You should never have to pay to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad. What's more, as Softpedia points out, tools like this are often just older jailbreak solutions re-packaged and sold for a fee.
The other big clue that this is a scam is the timing. As we reported last week, the best iOS hackers are saying that an untethered iOS jailbreak is still weeks away. While it is hypothetically possible that the people behind BestUnlockiPhone have succeeded where pod2g, chpwn, MuscleNerd, and the rest of the Dev Team have failed, it's not very likely.
So, while many of us are impatient for a jailbreak solution for iOS 5.1 to finally be published, that doesn't mean we should stop exercising a bit of caution. If you're waiting to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad (or to update your jailbroken devices to iOS 5.1), your best bet is to pay attention to the "official" jailbreak sources: the Dev Team Blog, as well as the team members' twitter accounts. You can also, of course, find more information on our own Jailbreak page.