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iOS 4.1 Jailbreak Achieved, Hackers Say

A member of the notorious iPhone Dev Team says users are now free to run unauthorized apps on the iPhone 4.
Hackers have managed to jailbreak Apple's new iOS 4.1 operating system just a day after it was officially released, according to numerous blog reports.

The first hacker to manage the feat was apparently a hacker who goes by the name pod2g. Part of the notorious iPhone Dev Team group, pod2G's jailbreak method is said to target a low-level part of iOS 4.1, meaning it could be difficult for Apple to patch the vulnerability.

Jailbreaking allows the iPhone and other Apple devices to run software not formally authorized by Apple.

The practice was recently declared legal by the Library of Congress, which has governing authority over such matters in the U.S. LOC ruled that jailbreaking does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and thus is not against the law.

Still, Apple has warned iPhone users that it reserves the right to disable jailbroken iPhones, and the company recently filed for a patent on technology that would allow it to remotely "brick" devices that are being used in an unauthorized manner.

iOS 4.1, as the upgrade is called, offers a number of enhancements over the original. It adds the Game Center social gaming platform, 99 cent TV show rentals through iTunes, and social music app iTunes Ping, which lets users track what songs and artists their friends are listening to.

iOS 4.1 also adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography to the iPhone and iPod touch. The HDR feature lets users capture a wider range of light intensity and can combine multiple exposures into a single image.

Beyond adding new features, iOS 4.1 also fixes some noteworthy bugs. It corrects iPhone 4's hyperactive proximity sensor, improves Bluetooth connectivity, and speeds up iOS 4 performance on iPhone 3G.

iOS 4.1 is available as a download from iTunes. It's compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G, as well as the second, third, and fourth-generation iPod touch models. iPod 4G, released this week, runs iOS 4.1 natively.