Thanks to the beta version of the iOS 5, which was available long before the official launch, some hackers and jailbreakers (those who legally hack mobile phones) have been able to instantly offer a jailbreak of the latest Apple mobile operating system.
Yes, you can now jailbreak iOS 5 using the Redsn0w version 0.9.9b5, the only jailbreak currently available. The Redsn0w version 0.9.9b5 is a tethered jailbreak, which means that the user needs a Windows or Mac computer that runs Redsn0w to boot a jailbroken iOS device. Every time the iOS device reboots, or the battery dies, the user needs to connect, or tether, the device to the computer so that the hardware can boot with the help of the jailbreak application.
According to the Dev-Team blog, the updated version of the Redsn0w include[s] the public URLs for the IPSW files. This way, first-time iOS5 jailbreakers don't need to supply the IPSW file manually. The blog also pointed out that the jailbreak is intended only for developers of jailbroken apps.
The user will have to download and install the new iTunes 10.5 on his or her Windows PC or Mac. Before connecting the iOS device to the computer, make sure that a backup of everything is available.
Where Will It Work?
The jailbreak will work with the iPod touch 3G and 4G, the original iPad, and the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, but it doesn't apply to the iPad 2 and the new iPhone 4S. However, considering that the last few iDevices were jailbroken within 24 hours of their release, a jailbreak for the iPhone 4S may appear soon.
While the user will have to tie the device to a computer running Redsn0w to work to perform the jailbreak, the only exception here is the iPhone 3GS with old bootrom.
How Will it Help?
The jailbreak will allow you to hack your device. You can add a number of apps and tweaks through Cydia, a third-party software application for iOS that enables a user to find and install software packages (including apps, interface customizations and system extensions) on a jailbroken iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. After being installed, it will break a lot of iOS features like Apple's official apps and third party apps.
However, the jailbreak also comes with precautions. It may void your warranty and is against Apple's policies. There's also risk of getting the device bricked. Although it's a rare occurrence, it can happen to the iDevice, especially the iPhone, if you jailbreak it. After getting bricked, the device is nothing more than a useless paperweight. It can be recovered, but the process is lengthy and may harm the phone's software.
One can find the instructions on how to run the jailbreak on Redmond Pie. Here's a video with an explanation of how to apply the Redsn0w 0.9.9b5.