Welcome! Take Control of iPhone OS 3 couldn’t hold everything we wanted to include. But we still wanted to provide some of the most noteworthy information. So we came up with a solution: Offer additional information online. Here it is!
Some of what follows is based on material cut from the previous edition of the book, necessary to keep the latest edition within page count limits. Other material remains from the online FAQ supplement for the prior edition. In a few cases, these items may need further updating; I’m working on it. The rest of the items are newly added for this edition.
For much more information about the apps included with an iPhone, check out our companion book, Take Control of Your iPhone Apps.
Note: This list is current as of February 25, 2010. Check back periodically for further updates.
This section covers a range of related topics, from setting up a new iPhone to problems syncing, updating, or backing up an iPhone. It extends the information presented in the Sync Your iPhone section of the book.
Assuming nothing goes wrong, the setup procedure is sufficiently simple and self-evident (especially if and when activation is handled by your iPhone carrier at the time of purchase), that I did not feel it necessary to provide details in the book. Essentially, just connect your iPhone to iTunes and follow the prompts. The process is similar to what happens after you select to Restore your iPhone (which is described in the book).
Yes you can, as detailed in an Apple article. Doing so requires that you keep the SIM card that came with the original iPhone. Simply reconnect the iPhone to iTunes and follow the prompts to activate it. The activation will succeed, but there will be no phone service or fee associated with the iPhone.
Otherwise, to simply replace an original iPhone with an iPhone 3G or 3GS or a 3G with a 3GS, see this Apple article.
I covered this in the book (in Solve Sync Failures and Errors > The iPhone Doesn’t Appear in iTunes). There is one less common fix, not covered there, that is worth mentioning: The Apple Mobile Device Service, installed when you installed iTunes, may need to be removed and re-installed. To do so:
/System/Library/Extensions. Locate AppleMobileDevice.kext, and drag it to the Trash.
/Library/Receipts. Locate AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg and drag it to the Trash.
See this Apple article for more details.
When this happened to me, I was able to fix things by reinstalling iTunes. I suspect the AppleMobileDeviceSupport component of the iTunes software (just cited) was the specific locus of the trouble, but I did not confirm this. In any case, a simple reinstall was sufficient to get the update to appear.
Yes, by all means update. As described in an Apple article: "Carrier settings updates are small files (about 10k) that are downloaded from iTunes to be installed on your iPhone. The carrier settings can include updates to the default APN (how iPhone accesses the carrier’s cellular data network), special dialing codes at Settings > Phone > [Carrier] Services, default settings for Stocks, Maps, Weather, and other items." You can determine the currently installed version of your carrier settings by navigating to Settings > General > About on your iPhone. Once there, look for the Carrier item.
For much more detail about carrier settings, including how and why to modify these settings, read my article in Macworld.
Verify that your SIM card is inserted properly. If you’ve enabled SIM PIN, enter it when prompted. If the symptom persists, you’ll have to restore your iPhone.
A similar situation exists if you get a message that displays the default IMEI (00 499901 064000 0) and an ICCID of "Unknown," as explained more in this Apple article.
According to an Apple article: " iTunes may show the error message if the existing backup file is locked, damaged, or unreadable." The simplest fix is to go to iTunes Preferences, select Devices, locate the backup for your iPhone in the Device Backups list, and click to Delete Backup. The next time you attempt to sync or backup your iPhone, the error message should no longer appear.
For more general information about exactly when backups are created, as well as how to restore from a backup, see the relevant (backup) sections of Take Control of iPhone OS 3, as well as in two Apple articles: one and two.
This is a bug that was supposedly fixed in iTunes 9.0.1. However, I still have it in iTunes 9.0.2. I still haven’t figured out an adequate work-around. The main solution will be for Apple to eradicate the bug altogether in a future iTunes update.
This is a messy topic. And too long for me to go into details here. My best advice is to check the Web for answers to specific questions. A good place to start is this Apple article.
Yes, using the Backup and Restore from Backup commands, as described in the Create or Update a Backup section of the book, you can back up to and restore from a computer other than the one you use for syncing - such as if you sync to your desktop Mac but want the option to backup and restore from a laptop that you use only when traveling.
The typical fix for this is to deauthorize and then re-authorize your computer in iTunes. To do this:
This section covers tips regarding the swipes, flicks, drags, pinches and taps that you use to interact with the iPhone’s touchscreen.
An important principle with the iPhone is that if you touch the screen and do not lift your finger immediately, iPhone will not treat it as a tap. The converse is true as well: lift too quickly and the iPhone can think you tapped when you intended a drag or flick.
Suppose you want to scroll a Safari Web page that contains a list of links to other pages. You intend to use a flick to scroll quickly. If you touch the screen directly over a link and lift your finger too quickly, the iPhone will treat your action as a tap rather than a flick. The result is that the link will be selected, opening a new Web page rather than scrolling the existing one.
The most reliable way to avoid this problem is to hold down your finger a bit before releasing it. Or, if there is not much to scroll through, drag instead of flicking. Alternatively, if you are careful to initially place your finger on a portion of the screen where there is no Web link (or any touchscreen button), your flick cannot be misinterpreted.
The problem is that if you lift your finger too soon, the iPhone treats your action as a tap and opens the full email message instead. If you move your finger too slowly, the iPhone interprets it as a drag rather than a swipe, and nothing happens.
The solution is to practice until you have a feel for the precise speed and distance needed for your iPhone to know you swiped. If it makes you feel better, I still can’t do this successfully all the time! Perhaps Apple will improve swiping in later versions of the iPhone.
It’s called the iPhone. Why? Because, first and foremost, the iPhone is a phone. Here is a collection of tips that deal with common questions and problems regarding the iPhone’s Phone app.
Yes. You can initiate a phone call from almost any iPhone app, not just the Phone program. For example, if a phone number is in a text message in the Text app, just tap it to dial the number. Same thing for a phone number that appears in a Web page or an email message. A message may pop up asking you to confirm that you want to call the selected number. Tap OK and you are on your way.
Yes. To turn these options on or off, tap Settings > Phone. Call forwarding is almost certainly among the least used iPhone options. However, consider using it to route your iPhone number to your landline when you are home, consolidating all incoming calls to one line. The only problem here is remembering to turn call forwarding off when you leave the house.
Yes. Briefly, tap the Add Call button and make the second call. Then tap the Merge Calls button.
Yes. Should you wish, you can temporarily force your iPhone to route all calls directly to voicemail, rather than even try to ring. Doing so requires using the keypad to enter some odd AT&T numbers, as explained on this Web page.
Yes. After you tap Delete, the selected message is moved to the Deleted Messages folder. Apple says that messages stay here for some unspecified time before they are permanently deleted. In the meantime, you can tap the Deleted Messages folder and, from the list that appears, play any messages there. Or, if you wish, tap the a message’s Undelete button to return the message to the active list.
When you tap a name in Phone’s Favorites, Recents, or Voicemail screens, the iPhone immediately dials the phone number of that person. To instead access the person’s information in your Contacts database, tap the More Info icon to the right of the name.
When you go to the Contacts database by tapping More Info from Favorites, Recents, or Voicemail, no Edit button appears. To edit the entry, you must instead tap the Contacts icon at the bottom of the Phone screen and then access the name.
To enter the + as part of a phone number, tap and hold the 0 key.
Prior to iPhone 3.0, the Messages app was called Text. As Text, the app could only send/receive text (SMS) messages. The new Messages app supports MMS in addition to SMS. This means that, with an iPhone 3G or 3GS, you can send photos, contact information, voice memos and video (iPhone 3GS only) assuming the receiving device is similarly MMS-capable.
Starting in iPhone OS 3.0, you can selectively delete parts of a saved conversation. To do so, tap the Edit button in the upper right corner. Next, select the items you wish to delete. Finally, tap the Delete button at the bottom of the screen.
Using this same basic method, you can instead select to forward a message to someone else. Just tap the Forward, rather than the Delete, button.
Yes. Just tap the More Info (>) icon to the right of the photo. Then tap the arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen. From here, tap Save Image.
Go to Settings > Messages and make sure that MMS Messaging is on. If you do not see this option, this means that your carrier does not yet permit MMS for your iPhone or you need a carrier settings update to enable it (see this Apple article for more details).
If you see a red exclamation mark next to your MMS message, after attempting to send it, this is typically due to a temporary problem with the network. Try again in a few minutes, by tapping the exclamation mark and then tapping the Try Again button that appears. If this fails, check this Apple article for more on troubleshooting MMS.
If you received an error message stating "Handling the Error Message. Your MSG could not be delivered because InvalidPDUContent," this typically means either there is a problem with the recipient’s phone number or there is some unusual character in your message that cannot be transmitted successfully. You may also receive this message if you attempt to reply to a text message received from a free Web-based message service.
More generally, make sure the number to which you are sending includes an area code.
If you are trying to send a text message to multiple recipients and you type in each number manually instead of using the contacts list, make sure you tap return instead of space to separate each one (for more details, see this Apple article).
Yes. Go to Settings > Messages and move the slider to turn off Show Preview.
One of the biggest conveniences of the iPhone for road warriors is its ability to check your email. This section delves into an assortment of questions and problems you may have regarding the iPhone’s Mail app.
When you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, you may find that you can receive email successfully but that you get an error message when attempting to send email. This typically happens because of anti-spam actions taken by the ISP for your currently connected Wi-Fi network. To work around these restrictions, so as to send legitimate email, try one or more of the following:
If a message fails to send, the message is stored in the sending account’s Outbox. You can select the message from the Outbox and attempt to send it again. This saves you from having to retype the message from scratch.
Additionally, you can move email in the Outbox to another folderso as to save it or resend it later, as desired.
Your iPhone doesn’t have a spam filter, so if you have an email account that regularly receives a boatload of spam, you may see more spam than when you check the same account on your Mac. Much more. If so, you probably don’t want to access email from that account via your iPhone, unless you can set up server-side spam filtering with your ISP. However, an often recommended alternative is to set up a Gmail account and route all your other email accounts through Gmail. Gmail has a built-in spam filter that should prevent most spam from reaching your iPhone. See this article for details.
Yes. Go to the folder in Mail that has the messages you want to delete (most likely Inbox). Tap the Edit button in the upper right corner and, for each message you wish to delete, tap the circle icon to its left. When done, tap the Delete button at the bottom.
Note: You can instead mass move messages to another folder, by tapping Move rather than Delete.
The most likely reason is that the attachment is in a format that is not compatible with the iPhone. The iPhone’s Mail app supports a limited set of file formats, including common graphic formats (JPEG, GIF, and TIFF), several audio formats (MP3, AAC, WAV, and AIFF), Apple and Microsoft application documents (Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), as well as PDF, plain text, and HTML files.
Documents in incompatible formats (including RTF files, Safari Web archives, and compressed ZIP files) will not open. Neither will applications or any other non-document type of file. Period.
If an attachment is not opening, try the following fixes:
To manually create a new email account on your iPhone:
You can return to these settings, for any account at any later point, to do further editing as needed. Should you wish, you can even tap Delete Account to remove the account altogether.
Most email accounts are either IMAP or POP. The iPhone’s Mail application works only with these two types of accounts. Exchange, a third option listed in the Add Account > Other settings, must be set up as IMAP to work with the iPhone.
Some email services support both POP and IMAP, allowing you to choose the method you prefer when setting up your account. Check with your email service for details.
The main difference between POP and IMAP is how they handle received messages:
To receive mail, you don’t necessarily have to do anything at all. Your iPhone checks for and receives email based on the time interval you selected in Settings > Fetch New Data. If you selected Manual, however, it checks only when you open the Mail program. In addition, you can tap the Refresh (circular arrow) icon in Mail to force a check for new messages at any time.
When email has arrived, the Mail icon on the Home screen displays a number, indicating how many unread messages are waiting.
To view your email, start by tapping the Mail icon on the Home screen. Mail’s Accounts screen displays a list all of your accounts. To the right of each name is the number of unread messages in that account. Tap an account to access its messages. From the list of folders that appears, tap Inbox to view new messages (as well as any old messages that you have not moved into some other folder).
The next screen shows a summary list of all the messages in your Inbox. A blue dot means that a message is unread. A paperclip means that a message has an attachment.
To view a message, tap it. Depending upon the nature of the content, the message may take a few seconds to load.
Here are some tips for loading and reading messages:
If you have an account set up as IMAP on your iPhone but POP on your desktop computer, a sequence of events can lead to this odd result:
The message appears on your iPhone, but you do not check to view it. Later, you access the message from your desktop computer, which typically removes it from the server after downloading it. When you finally go to check the email on your iPhone, the message will vanish as soon as you select to read it. There is nothing to be done for this. You can still read the message on your desktop computer, if needed.
To send an email, tap the name of the account from which you wish to send the message. From the screen that appears, tap the Edit button at the bottom right to bring up the New Message screen. From this screen, you can address and compose the text of the message, using the same virtual keyboard available in other iPhone applications.
Tap the "Cc; Bcc; From" item to separate edit each of these categories.
When you are done creating your message, tap Send. That’s it. However, if you tap Cancel rather than Send, you are given a chance to Save the message. If you select to do so, the message is saved in the Drafts folder for the account. You can return to the message later, continue working on it, and then send it.
Yes. Normally, When you start typing in the "To:" section of a New Message, Mail displays a continually updated list of all the people in your Contacts list that match what you’ve typed. You can tap any listed name to select that person as the recipient.
If the person you choose has more than one email address in their Contacts listing, Mail selects the address that is considered to be the person’s default (it should be their first listed address). If you want to use a non-default address, do not select the person’s name from the auto-complete list. Instead, tap the + button to the right of the To: or Cc: box. This brings up your Contacts database. From here, choose the person’s name and desired email address.
When using Mail, the sending account is determined by which account is active when you tap the Edit button to create a new message.
If you have more than one email account in Mail, use the Default Account setting in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar to assign one account as the default. This default account is used when sending email from applications other than Mail.
By the way, from the same screen, there is a similar option to set a Default Calendar. This calendar is the one that is used for any events added outside of the Calendar app.
The first step to deleting an email is to move it to the Trash. There are several ways to do this:
Messages moved to the Trash are typically not immediately deleted. This means you will have a chance to recover a message, should you change you mind about deleting it. To do so, go to the Trash folder, open the message and tap Folders to move the message to another folder.
To permanently and immediately remove a message in the Trash (rather than waiting for an automatic removal), go to the Trash folder and delete the item, using the same procedures as just described for moving an item to the Trash.
This can happen if the email attachment is especially large. If so, restart the iPhone and try again. If this fails to work, the simplest solution is to give up. That is, delete the message from your iPhone and wait until you are at your desktop computer to read the message.See: "I received an email attachment but cannot view it on my iPhone. What do I do?," in Appendix B of the book, for related information.
Yes. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar and tap Import SIM Contacts.
It’s not recommended, but it can be done. Apple states: "The ability to use POP3 is disabled by default for MobileMe accounts created on or after 7/10/2008. If you would like to use POP3 with an existing (.Mac) email account, you can contact MobileMe Support and request that POP3 access be enabled."
Here are some ways to add to the default functionality of Safari.
Just tap the status bar at the top of the screen. The address bar and Google box will pop up.
In general, having the iPhone load pages optimized for mobile devices is a good thing. The pages load faster and display better within the iPhone's smaller screen. However, if for some reason, you prefer the full-sized pages for a given site, you can usually make the shift. In most cases, the Web page includes a button to force the switch. Just click it. With Amazon.com, for example, click the "PC Site " button in the upper left corner.
If you can't find such a button, it can be difficult if not impossible to avoid loading the mobile-optimized version. There is no setting on your iPhone that you can change that controls this. Hopefully, a future version of the iPhone OS will add such an option.
I have seen these databases appear mainly after using certain Google apps (such as Google Talk, which creates a database named Google Talk Asset Cache).
From this setting, you can check on the size of the database. If you are running short of disk space on your iPhone, you can tap the Edit button and select to delete any or all of the listed databases. You might especially want to do this if you never again intend to visit the site that created the database.
Occasionally, you may want to save a particular Web page for later viewing. This works two ways: you might be working on your Mac and want to look at a page later on your iPhone, or you might be working online on your iPhone and want to read a page later, perhaps when you are not online.
To accomplish this, you can use third-party apps, such as Instapaper:
There are two other options for saving components of a Web page:
The simplest way to install a bookmarklet on your iPhone is to start from Safari on your Mac. There are several ways to accomplish this. For example, starting with a Web page such as the one just cited:
A new bookmark should now appear in the main pane. From here, you can drag it to whatever Bookmarks location you wish. After you next sync your bookmarks to your iPhone, the link will be accessible from MobileSafari.
No. Using its built-in features, MobileSafari can’t search for text on the active Web page. For example, it can’t jump to the word “iPhone” in an article you are viewing. However, you can add this capability via a bookmarklet, such as Find in Page (cited in the previous item).
To use Find in Page on your iPhone:
Now, all matches are highlighted in yellow. Simply scroll through the page to view them.
Yes, in most cases. Just press and hold down on the link until the pop-up menu choices appear. One of these will be Open in New Page. Select it. Done. To switch among different open pages, you still need to use the Pages button at the right of the toolbar.
If you find links for which this does not work, you can install yet another bookmarklet: Open Links in New Window, as noted previously. Once installed, select Open in New Tab to make an icon appear after every link on the active Web page. Tap the link icon adjacent to your desired link. The iPhone will open the selected page in a separate window, without closing the currently displayed page.
Here is a collection of tips to help you solve problems with playing audio or video in the iPod app.
Yes. iPod audio can continue to play even if you exit the iPod app. In such cases, a Play icon appears in the status bar, serving as a visual cue that audio is playing. iPod audio can play from the Lock screen or even after the iPhone screen shuts off altogether, allowing you to conserve the battery while music is playing.
To quickly pause the iPod audio, without returning to the iPod app, just double-click the Home button to bring up a set of iPod play controls.
To enable or disable this feature, go to Settings > General > Home Button and turning on or off iPod Controls.
Occasionally, a playing song may stop unexpectedly while you are outside the iPod app, typically because the iPod app has crashed. When this happens, the “Now Playing” selection is forgotten and you’ll need to return to iPod to reselect it.
When using iPod, the iPhone’s auto-lock feature may be disabled. For example, the iPhone will not sleep while a video is playing. Should you forget about this, you may accidentally let your iPhone continue to play after you are no longer attending to it. To prevent the battery drain that can result, you can set the iPhone to automatically turn off after a specified period of time: Go to Clock > Timer. Set a desired time interval and, from the When Timer Ends list, select Sleep iPod.
Yes. You’ll need an Apple Composite or Component AV cable to do so, as detailed in this Apple article.
This connection will still not allow you to mirror the iPhone screen itself on another device. To do that, you’ll need to jailbreak your iPhone and use an app such as ScreenSplitr.
A video may be displayed either to fill the entire screen or scaled to fit the video’s display ratio. When the iPhone is in the fill-screen mode, part of the display may be cropped from view. To toggle between these two modes, double-tap the screen. Alternatively, you can single-tap the screen and tap the double-arrow icon that appears in the upper right.
A video played on an iPod touch may have clipped edges no matter what option (fill or fit) you select. To fix this, go to Settings > Video and set the Widescreen option to Off.
Multiple, often overlapping, controls affect the iPod’s volume settings:
This section contains FAQs that didn’t fit in any of the above categories and don’t necessarily justify having their own categories.
Typically, this would occur the first time you connect your iPhone to iTunes after a potential problem such as a sync that was interrupted because you disconnected the iPhone before the sync was done.
If iTunes detects that such an event occurred, it triggers the verification. As I understand it, this means that iTunes checks the integrity of the data on the iPhone's drive, similar to what happens if you verify a disk using Disk Utility's First Aid on a Mac.
When this occurs, the iPhone's screen will show that it is "syncing." This happens even if you have disabled automatic syncing. However, it is not the typical sync that would occur if you clicked the Sync button.
If things go well, the verification process should take a minute or so. After that, all proceeds as normal.
I am less certain as to what happens if things do not go well (this is not a well-documented feature). I don't believe that iTunes has the capability to repair a drive (as First Aid can do for a Mac). Most likely, one of two things will happen: (1) A message will appear indicating that your iPhone has a problem and that you should select to Restore it or (2) the verification process will hang. In the latter case, if a verification lasts more than about 10 minutes, I would assume that a problem has been confirmed. In either case, I would restore the iPhone. Similarly, if the verification occurs every time you connect your iPhone, even if it only lasts a minute, I would consider restoring the iPhone.
Typically, the app will initially indicate that you no longer have the in-app purchase. It will say that you need to buy it again. However, if you proceed to do so, you will eventually get the message that you have previously made the purchase and can download it "for free." I go into much more detail on this matter in this Mac Observer article.
By the way, if you want to prevent yourself (or whoever is using an iPhone you own) from making in-app purchases, you can disable the feature via an item in Settings > General > Restrictions. However, a reader informs me that this option is not entirely effective. While it blocks most in-app purchasing, it does not prevent upgrading from a free to a paid version of an app.
Go to Settings > Store and tap the Sign Out button. You can then sign back in to a different account.
Unfortunately no. Even worse, the message that pops up does not identify which app is the problem app. The only good news is that, often, when downloading individually, the "problem" vanishes and all downloads are successful. If not and if you do hit an app that refuses to download, wait awhile and try again (the cause of the problem is usually at Apple's end and should eventually be fixed). Otherwise see Manage App Store Apps in the book for further advice.
Google’s Street View is a navigable, 360-degree, photographic view of a location. While it's a great feature of Maps, you may have a bit of trouble finding where it is. To access Street View from the Maps app, you first need to have a pin for the desired location (either a red one, created by entering a destination in the Search box, or a blue one, created using the Drop Pin button). Next tap on the pin.
If a Street View is available for a pin’s location, an icon of a person appears on the left side of the pin’s flag. Tap it to display the Street View. Tap the map inset in the lower right of the screen to exit Street View.
Most likely the Wi-Fi router to which you are connected is using MAC Address Filtering and your iPhone’s MAC address has not been entered into the filter list. To correct this, make sure your iPhone’s MAC address (as viewable from Settings > General > About) is entered into the router’s filter.
This may also occur if the WEP password was entered incorrectly. To check for this, tap Settings > Wi-Fi. Then tap More Info ( > ) next to the Wi-Fi network name and tap Forget this Network. Now, attempt to reconnect to the network, entering the correct password.
If this problem persists, or similarly if you get an error message such as "Unable to Join Network Failure (error -3)." tap Settings > Wi-Fi. Then select Other... (from "Choose a Network..."). From the screen that appears, enter the Wi-Fi Network Name, select your Security setting and enter your password.
Apple states (in this article): "iPhone OS (beginning with the iPhone OS 3.1 update) can enforce the Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policy requiring encryption on the device." Unfortunately, only the iPhone 3GS and the Late 2009 iPod touches support this feature. This means that, unless your administrator turns off the requirement, an older iPhone or iPod touch model will no longer be able to connect to the Exchange server. Instead, you will get an error message.
You're probably referring worms such as the ones described in this Mac Observer article. First, jailbreaking your iPhone does not by itself make you vulnerable to this worm. You also have to enable SSH (a network protocol for allowing remote access between computing devices). For your iPhone, this is a separate step that you optionally do after you jailbreak. If you do enable SSH, the problem is that your iPhone uses a default name and password (root and alpine) that is the same for all iPhone users. This is not just a problem for the aforementioned worm; it means that anyone with this knowledge can gain access to your iPhone over SSH. This is no different than if the name and password for your admin account on your Mac were public knowledge. To protect yourself, you need to change the iPhone's password. You do this via the Terminal app, which you can install on a jailbroken iPhone. Detailed instructions are given in a tutorial built-in to the Cydia installer app, included on jailbroken iPhones. It's a basic UNIX procedure that anyone familiar with using Terminal should know how to do.
If you want to avoid all of this hassle, but still jailbreak your iPhone, just don't enable SSH.
It’s possible. In general, I have found that the BlackRa1n utility can jailbreak more devices than Pwnage Tool. In particular, I was able to jailbreak my second generation iPod touch (8GB) with BlackRa1n even though Pwnage Tool claimed to be unable to do this. As a bonus, BlackRa1n did the jailbreak in less time with less steps.
Yes. But I’m not going to provide instructions on how to do so. Why? Because it’s illegal. In any case, you first have to jailbreak your iPhone to do this. Plus, iTunes will not inform you if and when updates are available for apps you have cracked and installed (and you won’t be able to get them for free from the App Store, even if you discover them on your own). Bottom line: Even if it wasn’t wrong to do, pirating App Store apps is still not worth the bother.
Jailbreaking is defined as a procedure that frees your iPhone or iPod touch from its Apple-imposed “jail cell,” thus gaining unfettered access to the full (root) contents of the device’s directory structure. After jailbreaking an iPhone, you may also be able to unlock it. This refers to a separate procedure, modifying what is called the iPhone’s baseband, that allows the iPhone to work with a carrier other than its designated one (in the United States, for example, that would be a carrier other than AT&T).
Note: See Create and Sync Custom Ringtones for details regarding ringtone “hacks.” These do not require jailbreaking.
Before even thinking about jailbreaking your iPhone, know this:
These limitations and concerns remain a primary reason that jailbreaking is attempted by only a small minority of iPhone users.
The elephant question in the room is, of course, now that we have an App Store for third-party software, why do we need jailbreaking? There are several answers. For many people, the official App Store is all that they need. The assortment of games in the App Store, for example, is far superior to those you’ll find via jailbreaking. And App Store utilities such as the aforementioned FileMagnet and Air Sharing provide options that, prior to the App Store, you could obtain only by jailbreaking.
For me, however, there remain two major reasons to jailbreak:
In the end, should someone with an interest in what jailbreaking can do jailbreak their phone? I am currently on the fence. If the current jailbreak procedure does not seem unduly complicated, and you are willing to put up with the inevitable hassles that will occur after the release of each new iPhone OS version and iPhone model, I’d say go for it. Otherwise, no.
Describing how to jailbreak an iPhone for a book like this is an exercise in futility. What you can or cannot do, and how best to do it, keeps changing as Apple continues efforts to prevent jailbreaking and hackers continue to search for better solutions to circumvent what Apple does. There are also differences between iPhone and iPod touch models, and even between different iPhone generations, in terms of what you can do.
If you are interested in jailbreaking an iPhone 3GS, the situation is especially dire. In order to jailbreak this model, you may need the iPhone’s ECID SHSH data. If you don’t already have this data, it may be impossible to get (read http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/jailbreaking_iphones_going_going_gone/). Similar issues affect the latest iPod touch models, at least some of which are still not jailbreakable as of the publication of this book.
In a bit of good news, as of iPhone OS 3.1.2, you can bypass this ECID requirement for at least some iPhone 3GS units (discussed in http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/iphone_jailbreaking_the_landscape_shifts_again/). But don’t expect the situation to stay this way. It is entirely possible (I would even say likely) that jailbreaking may be impossible on future generations of the iPhone and iPod touch, as Apple continues to block the exploits that allow jailbreaking to work.
As such, it’s pretty much pointless for me to give step-by-step guidelines here regarding jailbreaking any iPhone or iPod touch. For a useful summary, see the Mac Observer article cited in the previous paragraph. It briefly covers how to jailbreak and how to use the Cydia and Icy installer apps to add or delete third-party (non-App Store) software. It also includes links to Web sites that contain even more details.
Warning! If you use iTunes to do a standard update or restore (rather than a custom jailbreak restore) on a currently jailbroken or jailbreakable iPhone or iPod touch, you may lose any ability to jailbreak the device ever again! That’s why, before you attempt any jailbreaking, updating, or restoring, you should check with sites such as iphone-dev.org (http://blog.iphone-dev.org/) and iclarified.com (http://www.iclarified.com/tutorials/iphone/) for the latest advice and step-by-step instructions.