I’m so in love with my iPhone, and Cameron is also in love with it. I’d had my 3GS since it came out and had resisted the urge to upgrade to the 4, knowing that the 4S was on its way. Then I had to resist actually using the 4S until the Dev Team came up with an untethered Jailbreak for the 4S. I’d lived in the jailbroken iPhone world too long to be able to go back to just the standard iPhone. Finally, on my 28th birthday, the team released the 4S untethered jailbreak.
My History with My 3GS
When I jailbroke my 3GS, it was simple. I went to jailbreakme.com (now defunct), and clicked Jailbreak. A minute later Cydia popped up and that was it. It turns out Absinthe was easy, as well. I restored my 3GS’ data to the 4S, then plugged it into my Macbook, opened Absinthe, and jailbroke it. Voila. Everything went smoothly. I also jailbroke my father’s 4S with the updated Absinthe that came out a few weeks later.
That left my 3GS lonely and abandoned. It had been with me for so long. I gave it to Cameron to use, even though it awkwardly had texts exchanges from my failed relationships still on it. On Valentine’s Day, I worked on making it a usable phone for him. He has T-Mobile.
There were a few problems with my 3GS. The first one was that it had a ridiculous amount of crap on it downloaded off Installous and buggy tweaks from Sinful iPhone. It crashed a lot and was unstable. Also, it had all my stuff on it that Cameron didn’t need. In addition, it was running iOS 4.0.
The Jailbreak Process
First I used redsn0w to create a custom IPSW so I could upgrade the iOS to 5.0.1 while preserving the 5.13.04 baseband. Finally, I could jailbreak the phone by running redsn0w again then use ultrasn0w to unlock the iPhone. At one point I forgot to put the phone in Pwned DFU mode and it kept giving me an iTunes error 1604, so I used iRebs and that fixed it. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was freaked out I’d mess something up (like upgrade the baseband). Luckily, my 3GS was a good candidate for me because it had the old 5.13.04 baseband and also was made during the first few weeks of production.
Finally, we popped the T-Mobile SIM card into the iPhone and after a few minutes, it started getting a signal and worked perfectly! Cameron and I played with the settings and turned off the cellular data network. He doesn’t really need to use 3G data and he didn’t want to upgrade his plan to add data to it. We reset the data usage counter and with cellular data turned off, it is like an iPod Touch when it’s outside a WiFi network, except that it can make calls. Also, with the upgraded iOS, he can use iMessage.
It took a lot of time and reading to figure it all out. I’ve decided retrospectively that the best tutorial for upgrading, jailbreaking, and unlocking the 3GS on baseband 5.13.04 is The Coolest Guy in on the Planet’s. It’s pretty straightforward.
I also bought my parents an iPad 2 and jailbroke it for them using Absinthe. No issues there, either, except that now I really want an iPad 2.
I learned my lesson and have been fairly fastidious with my 4S. I only installed a few tweaks, like the five icon dock and SBS Settings. I only have a few other jailbreak apps and only a few Installous apps. I’m trying to be good to the phone.
When I last looked at Cameron’s phone, on the other hand, it had six folders full of games…