The iPhone 5 was announced last week, released today, and apparently, it's already been jailbroken by Grant Paul, a notable iOS jailbreaker.
iOS's massive hacking community is hardly ever noted for its slothfulness. "Jailbreaking", a process which removes Apple's limitations on iOS devices, is often possible very soon after new software and hardware updates.
But, for lightning-speed development, well-known jailbreaker Grant Paul's accomplishment just might take the cake – less than twenty-four hours after the iPhone 5 hit the shelves, he has released an iPhone 5 screenshot, with Cydia among the applications on the homescreen.
The screenshot was posted from Paul’s Twitter account, @chpwn.
Cydia is an extremely popular application for jailbreakers, granting access to a plethora of "homebrew" applications, themes, etc. While such a screenshot is, of course, fakeable, Paul’s reputation makes that concern mostly irrelevant.
New methods for jailbreaking are generally needed for each new generation of iPhone, and each firmware upgrade. This is because of changes in hardware and software, which Apple uses to quietly patch up older exploits. No word has been given which exploit Paul used this time around, or whether he developed a brand new one (although that’s doubtful), but it still seems a fairly impressive feat that he managed to get Cydia onto a device that hasn’t been around a single day yet.
Jailbreaking is becoming increasingly common, a growth trend that started a long time ago, and has continued uninterrupted as new exploits and easier methods make the process easier and more painless for the masses. Often, simple utilities are released that can be downloaded to a users’ computer with a small set of instructions to carry out the process.
But sometimes no downloading is necessary at all, and a browser exploit is created, allowing users to jailbreak by visiting a website on the iOS device itself.
But at the moment, nothing has been released except fairly solid proof that it can be, and has been done. Packaging the exploit into a neat little tool for the public usually takes a while longer, and shouldn’t be expected anytime soon – though, it could happen at any time. It’s considered rude to bug developers for ETAs, and they rarely offer any, so nobody ever really knows.