updated 02:03 am EST, Thu January 31, 2013
Creators start to wobble on firm release date, however
A "supergroup" of well-known iOS hackers now called the Evad3rs have launched an official website to promote the team's jailbreak for a wide variety of iOS devices running iOS 6 or 6.1, the latter of which was just released on Monday. The jailbreak should enable most recent iOS devices to be able to further customized and let users install apps unavailable from the official App Store -- but as with any jailbreak, the exploit required for it to work could be used for pirating and malware as well.
Jailbreaking is not illegal, and most users who choose to engage in the option do so for the ability to run apps available through Cydia and other repositories that offer features Apple or other legitimate developers have chosen not to make available -- anything from an easier way to turn Bluetooth on and off to apps that feature adult content. Some use the jailbreak to illegally pirate apps -- though two of the main sources of pirated apps closed not long ago, perhaps due to the pressure from authorities, developers and Apple.
The Evad3rs include names such as pod2g, planetbeing, pimskeks and musclenerd, the latter of which has acted as the group's spokesperson. Running the jailbreak -- which is scheduled to be released on Sunday, February 3, though a post from planetbeing suggests that the team is not tied to a particular date -- requires connecting the iOS device to a Mac or PC (running OS X 10.5 or later or Windows XP or later, respectively). The jailbreak will work on older devices running iOS 6.x, including the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Essentially, any iPhone or iPad that can run iOS 6 is eligible.
The jailbreak is said to take only five minutes, but the team has not said anything about the possibility of an unlocking solution for those who can't get their carriers to unlock their devices. Unlocking without carrier permission is now illegal in the United States, but other countries have not addressed the issue or do not consider it illegal.