iPhone 4S and iPad 2 Get Proper Jailbreaks at Last

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Suzanne Plunkett / REUTERS

Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPad 2 proved particularly difficult to jailbreak, but the hackers have finally prevailed.

The so-called Corona A5 jailbreak is the first “untethered” hack for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, meaning users can boot up without first plugging their devices into a PC. The jailbreak tool, called Absinthe, is ready for download on Macs, although the host website is having trouble meeting demand. Windows and Linux versions are reportedly coming soon.

(MORE: Man Hacks Siri to Start His Car)

Why jailbreak? Your main reason would be to access apps or capabilities that Apple has not allowed. Plenty of useful apps have relocated to jailbreak app repositories after being kicked out of the iPhone App Store. Jailbreaking gives you the freedom to install them.

Of course, jailbreaking also voids your warranty, which can be a huge problem if the hacking process goes wrong. Also, jailbroken devices can’t get official updates from Apple, so users have to wait for hackers to release unofficial updates. I wouldn’t recommend jailbreaking unless you’ve got specific needs that a non-jailbroken device won’t accommodate.

If you’re going to give it a shot, and can get through to the download site, check out the iPhone Dev-Team Blog for additional tips.

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