Yes! Jailbreak iOS 5.0.1 on iPhone 4S, iPad 2... UNTETHERED

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Good news, everyone! Now you can jailbreak your iPhone 4S or iPad 2, with iOS 5.0.1 and reboot untethered. At last! Find out how to jailbreak your A5-based iDevice with Absinthe, in The Long View...
(by @richi )
[Updated to answer an FAQ about iPhone 4S jailbreak and unlocking]   

Thanks to the sterling efforts of the diverse community of iOS hackers, you can now jailbreak your A5-based iDevice, without being encumbered by the dreaded tether. (If a jailbreak is said to be tethered, it means that the jailbreak is undone if you reboot the phone -- in other words, you must connect your phone to your PC or Mac to properly boot it. An untethered jailbreak is the gold standard, because you don't need to muck about with any of that nonsense.)

Next, here are some top tips, learned from bitter experience. Ignore them at your peril:

  • Before doing anything, back up your iPhone in iTunes.
  • Make sure you stop iTunes from automatically updating itself -- A long-term fear is that Apple may introduce anti-jailbreaking code into a future iTunes update, stop that software from auto-updating.
  • Make sure you stop iTunes from automatically updating your iPhone -- iOS updates will almost always undo a jailbreak and you may find that new updates aren't jailbreakable (at least, for a few days or weeks).
  • If you do choose to do an iOS update on your iPhone or 3G iPad, make sure you don't update the baseband firmware -- even if you don't want to unlock your device to use a different carrier, you might want to sell it to someone who does. Devices with newer basebands may not be unlockable and so fetch lower prices on eBay, Craigslist, etc.
  • Plug your iPhone directly into a USB socket on your Mac or PC's case -- do not use a USB hub.
  • Unplug as many other other USB devices as you possibly can.
  • Use a genuine Apple USB cable, or a 3rd party cable that you know to be of good quality -- some cheapo cables can appear to work fine for regular syncing and charging, but fail in subtle ways when jailbreaking.
  • Be patient -- some of the steps involved in jailbreaking an iPhone take longer than you might think. If it appears to have hung, it probably hasn't. Set aside plenty of time to do the jailbreak; the last thing you want to do is interrupt it mid-process.

As ever, take care; read and understand all the caveats, both here and in the linked pages -- lest you create an expensive brick. Neither I, nor Computerworld are responsible for anything you choose to do with your iDevice -- only you are.

Tool downloads and instructions are at the Chronic Dev-Team blog. It's only been out for a few days, so I wouldn't recommend that inexperienced jailbreakers try this just yet.

Having said that, the Dev Team said that about a million of you have already jailbroken your iPhone 4S and iPad 2 toys since Friday.
 

Are you going to jailbreak? Drop a comment below...
 

Richi Jennings, blogger at large

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. As well as The Long View, he's also the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: TLV@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.  

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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