Now that iOS 4 (the operating system for the new iPhone 4) can be jailbroken simply by going to a website, it’s easier than ever before to do it. Even if you’re not tech-savvy.
And now that the Library of Congress ruled that jailbreaking isn’t illegal and Apple isn’t allowed to fine you, iPhone owners are probably not as worried about consequences. (Although it does still void your Apple warranty.)
So what is the benefit to the jailbreak?
Some people do it because they want to change the look of the iPhone–they want the design to be slightly different, or the functionality to change, and people have written apps to allow this. So it’s customization of look and feel.
Most people want to do things that Apple won’t let them do, or hasn’t approved apps for. The notable ones are:
(1) They want to “tether” which means they want to use their iPhone as a wireless internet access point using the cell phone company’s data service. That way, their laptop or their iPad can browse the web and read and send emails from anywhere (anywhere with cell phone service, anyway).
(2) They want to use call filtering software, which prevents certain people from calling them.
(3) they want to use Facetime over the 3G network, so they don’t have to be at a wireless access point to have video chat.
(4) Multitasking (using multiple apps at once), before iOS4 allowed you to do it.
(5) Making it easier to transfer files between the iPhone and your Mac
The comments on the TUAW page give many, many additional reasons.
Unlocking is related but not the same as jailbreaking. Unlocking your iPhone means you can use it on a different carrier than AT&T.
Are you planning to try the jailbreak? Why or why not?