updated 11:50 am EDT, Sat October 3, 2009
iPhone Dev-Team jailbreaks iPhone 3.1
Crackers at the iPhone Dev-Team began the weekend by releasing an updated version of PwnageTool that can jailbreak the iPhone 3GS. The 3.1.3 tool works only as long as the Apple phone was jailbroken with firmware 3.0 or 3.0.1 and won't work if the phone is already at Apple's official 3.1. The second-generation iPod touch can now also be de-restricted under the same firmware limits as the 3GS.
The third-generation iPod touch is still out of bounds as it already comes with the upgraded firmware. Dev-Team members haven't said if or when they expect to jailbreak 3.1 firmware directly.
Jailbreaking remains a controversial practice as it allows unsigned third-party apps and customizations to work on the iPhone but voids the warranty (if unrestored) and is strongly discouraged by Apple, which considers it not only a workaround to the App Store but also a risk to the performance and security of the phone. Critics have responded by claiming that it provides support for background tasks and other legitimate but undeveloped functions.