When Apple unveiled their new iPad on March 7th they also rolled out iOS 5.1. This was great news for most iOS users, but frustrating for those (like me) who prefer their iPhones jailbroken. As expected, iOS 5.1 possessed none of the vulnerabilities that had been used to crack its predecessor, iOS 5. What's more, iOS 5 proved especially difficult to jailbreak, especially on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, both of which run on Apple's A5 processor. Would-be jailbreakers with those devices had to wait just over three months for an untethered jailbreak (i.e., one that doesn't require the phone to be re-jailbroken every time it's rebooted).
When iOS 5.1 released, then, there were fears that we would have to wait a similarly long time for an untethered jailbreak. Early signs after the release of the new iPad two weeks ago, though, suggested that the wait might not be quite as long. The day before the new iPad hit stores, noted jailbreak developer i0n1c posted a video and pictures of a jailbroken iPad 2 running iOS 5.1. The next day, just hours after the new iPad hit stores, another iPhone hacker, MuscleNerd, posted screenshots from a new iPad running an untethered jailbreak.
All of that looked pretty promising. Such progress so rapidly suggested that maybe an untethered jailbreak would be a little quicker in coming this time around. Maybe not, says jailbreak developer pod2g, who was an instrumental member of the team that developed the iOS 5 jailbreak. On his Twitter account today pod2g said that he was spending hours per day looking for vulnerabilities, but that a public jailbreak tool was still "weeks" away. Check out his tweets below:
About 5.1 jailbreak for A5+ devices : it's not out and I have no clue when it'll happen. I'm working some hours per week on finding vulns.
But right now we (cdev) have some pieces of a userland jailbreak, but we miss some, and even if we had them all, there's weeks of work...
... to put them all together in a public ready tool.
So there you have it. If you have iOS 5.1 and want to jailbreak your A5 (iPhone 4S, iPad 2) or A5X (new iPad) device, you've got some waiting to do. On the other hand, if you're using a jailbroken iPhone 4S or iPad 2 running iOS 5.0.1, then you'll want to avoid updating to iOS 5.1, especially since Apple has taken measures to prevent users who have updated to iOS 5.1 from rolling back to iOS 5.0.1.
Unfortunately, a jailbreak dev's work is never done. The longer it takes to get an untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.1, the closer it will be to the release of the next iPhone. Not only is it likely to be running on a completely new processor, the A6, it will also coincide with the release of iOS 6. Whatever exploits are used to jailbreak iOS 5.1, you can bet that Apple will fix them in iOS 6. And so the jailbreak war goes on.
Do you have a new iPad you want to jailbreak? Are you eager to get iOS 5.1 on your iPhone 4S or iPad 2, but don't want to lose your jailbreak? Are you prepared to wait a few weeks before jailbreaking your device? Let us know in the comments.