Hackers have been jailbreaking iOS devices for years — but the Apple iPad 2 and iPhone 4S have proven particularly difficult to crack. Apple’s latest two mobile devices feature a brand new A5 dual core processor, and up until recently the tight security on these devices resisted all jailbreaking attempts.
But now the folks at the Chronic Dev Team have released a tool called GreenPois0n Absinthe which can be used to jailbreak the iPad 2 or iPhone 4S. It’s available for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.
To run Absinthe, you’ll need to connect your mobile device to a computer with a USB cable, run the desktop app, and then wait for it to do its thing. Eventually an Absinthe icon will show up on your iPhone or iPad, and you’ll tap that to reboot your device. When it’s done, the icon should be replaced with the Cydia Store for apps for jailbroken iOS devices.
The iPhone Dev Team has also release a command line tool which walks you through the jailbreaking process one step at a time to help troubleshoot any remaining bugs. It supports Mac or Windows.
Eventually the tools will be incorporated into a new version of the popular redsn0w utility for jailbreaking iOS devices.
Jailbreaking an iOS device is like rooting an Android phone or tablet — it provides access to files and settings that would otherwise be hidden or impossible to change. This allows you to make system-level changes. But it’s even more powerful on an iPhone or iPad than an Android device, since jailbreaking provides the only way to install the Cydia Store or other tools for loading app that aren’t available in the official App Store.