The tech community has been able to jailbreak just about any device, from the Xbox 360 and the PS3, to smartphones like the iPhone or Blackberry. This is normally done to get around restrictions that are put on the device. Tethering your laptop to your smartphone (this is done so that your laptop can connect through your phone to the Internet) is something that AT&T has not wanted, so they had Apple put restrictions in the iPhone OS to disable this feature. It’s the operating system that is keeping you from tethering your laptop to your iPhone, not the hardware that Apple built. jailbreak your iPhone and you can enable this feature for tethering through the iPhone’s wi-fi, bluetooth, or USB connection.

I’ve had my iPhone for almost two years and use it just about everyday. I’ve seen new smartphones come to the market and they bring new features with them that I wish were on the iPhone. With each new OS update for the iPhone, I’ve gotten a few new features, but there are still more that should be on the iPhone. Some of these features, like a lock screen that shows incoming email count or the weather, wall paper that can be applied to all screens, and multitasking, are already available for the iPhone… a jail broke iPhone.

I decided to join the iPhone jailbreak community and started at the Blackra1n site to do it. (I’ll get into jailbreaking other devices at the end of this article.) It was quite simple and I was up and running in no time. Actually, my iPhone didn’t look any different. I needed to load an application feeder like Cydia which works much like the App Store except for the jailbreak community. Using Cydia, I was able to browse just about any applications and download them right to my iPhone.

If you watched the YouTube video above, you were given a brief introduction to some of the best applications for a jail broke iPhone. I bought Unrestrictor to make my iPhone 3G connection look like a wi-fi connection to any application.  Why do this?  Well, I didn’t have any download limit with the App Store anymore.  I could also watch high quality YouTube videos now and even talk to my brother-in-law in Japan using Skype over the 3G.  Backgrounder allowed me to put any application like Slacker Radio in the background and open another application… multitasking at work on the iPhone. I also used Winterboard to change out my backgrounds, icons, and dashboard. Categories gave me the folders I’ve always wanted on my iPhone.  I took three pages of games and put them all in one folder.

There were other applications that I loaded too. Many of them for the computer geek that is in me, but as much as I enjoyed having these applications on my iPhone 3G, I found something wrong. Now I mention my iPhone 3G here because this is probably not a problem on an iPhone 3GS. I use my iPhone everyday… so much that I charge it every night.  As much as I enjoyed my new iPhone features, I didn’t like that it was slower than before I jailbroke it.  I could go to Safari and touch on the search area… and touch on it… and touch on it… finally, I was able to type in some search text.  This aggravated me but I figured I’d learn to live with it. After about a month, my iPhone crashed.  Not the normal reset and try again crash.  I had to restore my iPhone and everything I had on the 16GB of storage space.  This isn’t a fast task even across USB 2.0. Now, I’m not saying that this happens to all jailbroke iPhones, but it was a wake up call for me. I no longer wanted to have a jailbroke iPhone. I wanted to go back to my normal iPhone and wait on OS 4.0.  Apple must have something up their sleeves… please!

Okay, so having a jailbroke iPhone is not for me.  It was simple to do and a restore is always a button press away if you don’t like it. There were lots of new applications available through Cydia and you still have access to everything on Apple’s App Store. There are also many sites available to help you through the process and answer any questions you may have. I may even try it again when I get a faster iPhone and if Apple doesn’t build these features into OS 4.0.

Now for me to get on my soapbox. As I mentioned in the beginning, the tech community has been able to Jailbreak just about any device, including game consoles or handhelds game devices. This is where I have a problem with some of the jailbreak community.  This is the side of the community that looks for ways to get around the systems so that they can copy any games, play the games, and make them available to anyone for free. Sort of like people who pirate DVDs and put them on the Internet for others.  This is illegal.

There are people doing this with the iPhone, the Nintendo Wii, the Sony PSP, the Nintendo DSi, and more. We have many good developers trying hard to create great games for use on these devices. We should be supporting them… especially the small developers creating apps for the iPhone.  If someone is trying to talk you into jailbreaking your game system, don’t do it! It’s the same as copying movies, music, and computer software. I’m all for supporting the developer community by purchasing applications for my iPhone and games for my Xbox 360 and PS3.