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iPhone Jailbreak? There's An App For That

Developer releases software that lets iPhone customers bypass Apple's strict download guidelines.
Less than a week after copyright officials in the U.S. ruled that jailbreaking the iPhone is legal, a developer has released an app designed to do exactly that.




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The developer, who goes by the name Comex, released the app over the weekend. Known as Jailbreakme 2.0, the software is built to allow iPhone users to download and use applications that have not been through Apple's normal approval process.

Jailbreakme 2.0 works with iPhone 4, as well as iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch devices that have been upgraded to iOS 4. The developer is also working on a version for the iPad.

Demand for the app was such that Comex's Web site, Jailbreakme.com, was down for some portions of the weekend. "Um, I rebooted the server, let's see if it comes back up," Comex wrote Sunday in a post on his Twitter page, which has more than 58,000 followers.

The U.S. Library of Congress opened the door to iPhone jailbreaking last week when it issued a ruling that states that hacking the iPhone to circumvent Apple's approval process does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. LOC's chief librarian wrote that cracking the iPhone is "innocuous at worst and beneficial at best."

Apple, for its part, was less than impressed. The company issued a statement in which it said that, while it may be technically legal, hacking the iPhone will void the device's warranty.

"Apple's goal has always been to ensure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience," Apple said in its statement. "As we've said before, the vast majority of our customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can void the warranty and cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably," Apple said.

The stakes are high. Apple gets a cut of all paid downloads from its iPhone App Store, but obviously receives nothing from unofficial apps distributed by third parties.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
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