updated 01:50 pm EST, Tue November 3, 2009
Utility supports hacktivation
Blackra1n coder George Hotz has released blacksn0w, a new jailbreaking utility that unlocks iPhone firmware v3.1.2 and the latest baseband v05.11.07. The tool now allows users to upgrade to v3.1.2 from older firmware without losing the unlock. The process also enables tethering, allowing the handset to be used as a computer-connected modem even on carriers, such as AT&T, that still block the function.
Users that already have the previous version of blackra1n on the iPhone can upgrade to blacksn0w from within the app. GeoHot has also announced blackra1n RC3, which now works with both Windows and Mac platforms while cutting approximately 15 seconds from the process.
Support for "hacktivation" allows the handsets to be activated without an official iPhone plan offered by many carriers. GeoHot warns that the blacksn0w unlock only works with the iPhone 3G and 3GS, although a permanent unlock is already available for the 2G model. Users are also urged to be patient before downloading Apple's firmware updates, as the baseband cannot be downgraded.