back to article Absinthe 2 lifts iOS 5.1.1 gadgets over garden wall

iDevice jailbreakers: you can now take almost all of Apple's iOS 5.1.1 gadgets out of the walled garden, thanks to hacking tool Absinthe 2.0, released today. The jailbreak software, which only works with iOS 5.1.1 - past versions of the mobile operating system have working jailbreaks already - and will open any iPhone, the …


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  1. jai

    Where's the El Reg Top Ten... Jailbreak apps ?

    I've JB'd my iOS devices at various times over the years, to see what all the fuss was about.

    But each time, I've never found anything on the other side of the garden wall that was sufficiently amazing, or consistently stable enough to warrant all the effort.

    I assume I'm just not finding the amazing software that's out there which drives everyone's burning desire to jailbreak

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Great question, I'd love to see some comprehensive article about it too.

      1. asdf

        killer app

        There are enough useful apps in Cydia for me that I only upgrade once a version is jailbroken on my iPAD. The killer cydia apps that comes to mind right away is system wide ad blocker app which prevents apps from showing ads as well as the ip firewall you can use to keep your apps from phoning home.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pirated apps?

    3. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Well ...

      >> I've never found anything on the other side of the garden wall that was sufficiently amazing, or consistently stable enough to warrant all the effort.

      It all depends on your needs.

      For work, I wanted a WiFi scanner - verboten by Apple, available once jailbroken.

      I wanted to use the Bluetooth GPS I already have - not on the approved list from Apple, works just fine with RoqyBT4 installed.

      These were the two key things I wanted.

      Then other things are a bit more subtle. SBSettings from Big Boss allows you to show more in the status bar - like the WiFi you're connected to and your IP address. That's useful for some of us, of no interest to others. It also gives a very useful option to swipe the status bar and turn stuff on/off (eg Bluetooth, Location, etc) in a tap or two.

      So far I've not installed anything else - partly because Cydia seems to require the use of Google or Facebook identities, neither of which I have or have any intention of having.

      1. jai

        Re: Well ...

        question on a wifi scanner? these give you a list of all the wifi networks nearby that are broadcasting their SSIDs? is that different than the list of wifi networks that show up in the wifi settings screen? or does it allow you to try and crack their passwords or something?

        1. Fuzz

          Re: Well ... wifi scanner

          Similar, but a lot more detailed, a wifi scanner shows you all the nearby wifi networks. It shows you ones that are broadcasting their SSID and ones that aren't. It tells you their relative strengths and the channels they are transmitting on. If multiple instances of the same network are available with the same SSID but different MAC addresses then they are shown separately. They can be useful for planning wifi network deployments, positioning antennas etc.

          It's a very useful tool but if it's something that you can't live without then an Android phone is probably a better way of getting there than a jailbreak.

    4. Dana W


      That was pretty much my view on it, I did a "jailbreak" on my last iPhone. Didn't see what all the fuss was about, except for some pretty interface mods. Seriously, I don't need to use my phone for game roms that badly. I kept it that way for a week, then restored it for security's sake.

      I was stunned to find out how many Jailbreak guides didn't tell you to change the password afterwards from the default password. Don't get me wrong, as an Apple user who is as interested in the insides of my kit as the outsides, I heartily approve of this. I just think that for MOST people, certainly for clueless end users its pretty unnecessary.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I didn't

      dump android and take up with Apple to enjoy an open system.

      I dumped android for the walled garden after the ICS update began to haunt my HTC.

      Jailbreaking is probably the last thing I would ever do.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Graphic Equalizer?

    On Android there's a nice EQ app that detects your audio device - speaker, phones, Bluetooth - and applies one of 3 EQ custom settings to ALL sound including streaming. Logical and beautiful.

    Will an equivalent ever exist for Apple iThings?

    WiFi scanner was what I was thinking of even before I opened Comments here - got it on my Android of course. Lack-of makes me despair with Apple

    (I am sometimes obliged to carry an iPhone for iMessage)

    1. Adam 1

      Re: Graphic Equalizer?

      To be fair, Android needs to be rooted to install a sntp app.

  3. Gareth Perch

    2JB or not 2JB?

    If it wasn't for AppLocker (and Locktopus before that), I probably wouldn't have bothered. I'd already paid for my most expensive app (LogMeIn Ignition) and most other stuff is 69p. If an app's only going to cost you as much as half a can of Red Bull (and last longer) then it's hardly fair to pirate it.

    If Apple sort out individual app locking, or a facility to switch between "home" and "work" profiles, I'll happily "un-JailBreak" my iPad.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder when Apple will pull the rug from under everyone?

    As clearly they currently benefit from jailbreaking. But a time will come when the decide it's not good for them to let it continue, then they will lock everything down overnight.

    Don't believe they can't relock all those iPhones remotely, as long as tey have a data connection, they can be updated and relocked.

    And lets not pretend that the DCMA says jailbreaking is legal. It's not. Carrier unlocking is legal, but jailbreaking for any other reason is still illegal in DCMA.

  5. James 100


    Personally, I jailbreak so I can use tethering - being on Giffgaff with a 'Gigabag', some bizarre three-way blamestorm between Apple, O2 and Giffgaff means the official tethering route doesn't work. (iOS can't tell the difference between Giffgaff and O2's own PAYG service, which is set not to allow tethering.) I'll probably switch networks in another 2-3 months once my current credit's used up; Orange should only be about £1-2/month more expensive for me, and a bit more flexible. (Can't combine goodybags and gigabags on Giffgaff, for some stupid reason.)

  6. Yves Kurisaki

    That's a first..

    The jailbreak doesn't work for me. A 4S, 5.1.1. It hangs in the end for a long time then says something went wrong and restores.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's a first..

      As the readme and site suggest, backup then reset your phone to defaults. If you do that, it'll only take a few minutes to run through Absinthe. If you don't, it can time out while processing files.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jailbreaking is needed for stuffr that should be able to be done by anyone.

    You need to jailbreak to change the brightness slightly more to his taste.

    If you have a wifi ipad and want a GPS for it you can either jailbreak and pay about £15 (bt gps device and $5 app) or pay £100 or so for an Apple sanctioned one.

    My bro jailbroke for that reason originally but now uses a fair bit of warez. (Because it is easy).

    If the original two things were supported by Apple he almost certainly wouldn't have done it in the first place. (He has at least £50 worth of paid apps dunno whether he still buys them or not).

    Anon because just sensible when it comes to comments like these.

  8. Matt 70
    Thumb Up

    useful cydia apps....

    My list of useful apps...

    HapticPro - vibration on touch feedback

    MultiFlow - multi tasking app killer

    AsktoCall - stops unwanted calls

    Activator - prgrom buttons to do what you want

    Speed Intensifier - speeds up silly animations

    WinterBoard - install hi quality themes.

    5 button dock - 5 buttons, not iapproved 4.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Absinthe makes the farts blow longer

    Not the easiest JB ever. Took four goes before I got it to complete and that involved restoring my iPad to factory settings and running Absinthe from the command line. Still seems a bit flaky though. Couldn't get the BigBoss repo to load in Cydia and, although I've installed SBSsettings, it's not showing up.

    My 'reasons to JB' apps:

    SBSsettings –Use it all the time on my iPhone to toggle wifi and 3G without digging into System Preferences. Might actually sack it off on my iPad, as that's wifi only and I don't toggle that too often. The other reason for originally installing SBSettings was for RotationInhibitor, back when Apple's rotation lock was retarded beyond belief.

    Firewall IP –Bye bye apps phoning home and making connections to shitty advertising sites

    ContactPrivacy –Warns when apps try to sneakily access your contact data and allows you to block this

    PrivaCy –Likwise block any apps from sending tracking data to twats like Flurry, Pinch Media, Moboclik...etc.

    Netatalk –FOSS implementation of AppleTalk. Allows you to mount your iOS gadget in the Finder like a normal OSX volume

    Truprint –The only printer software I've found [tried most of the ones on the App Store] which works with my Canon MX870

    Apart from the apps, there's the geek stuff you can do after a JB:

    –Connect to 'localhost' with iSSH and explore the fiesystem

    – Install Ruby [or your preferred 'idle tinkering language']

    –Setup SSH key pairing, so I can SSH into my iGadget without a password.

    –Install Vim

    –Vim /User/Library/Safari/SearchEngies.plist and change default search engine to DuckDuckGo

    Of course, if I wasn't a such a mindless, posing, Starbucks frequenting, Fashion-following, Kool-aid drinking Crapple fanboi, I could probably do something even more useful. But that lot keeps me happy enough, while I wait for my latte to cool.

    1. spider from mars

      Re: Absinthe makes the farts blow longer

      Apparently the BigBoss repro is being hammered and keep timing out. if you keep refreshing it'll download the packages eventually. My iPad required a factory reset the first time as well, but was fine second time round.

      favourite JB tweaks:

      - Springtomize: allows you to make a lot of little changes to the UI, hide undeletable app icons etc.

      - browserchanger: change the default browser from Safari to whatever you want (Grazing, in my case)

      - manual correct: no more DYAC!

      - cardswitcher: new UI for app switching

      - swipeselection: can move the cursor by swiping the keyboard. SO much easier than trying to tap between the right letters

      - Retinapad: makes iphone apps look nice when zoomed.

      - sparrow+: makes sparrow the default email client and enables push.

    2. Ramazan


      Why do you need to run vim on iThing when there's no gcc? I had ssh/vim/etc on jailbroken original iPhone, and it was just playing. There are no productive uses of jailbreaking anymore, except for thieves and liars:

      * tethering (packet data you shouldn't have access to)

      * pirating apps

      * skipping ads when you weren't supposed to

      * scanning for hidden SSIDs

      * hiding/blacklisting calls and messages

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Adblocker crashes after JB

    I tried Adblocker, as per recommendation of asdf above.... and suffered loads of crashes in Safari and other apps, such as eBay. I uninstalled Adblocker and turned off Fiewall iP [by the same developer] and everything was fine again. I've just risked turning Firewall iP on again, as I've been using it for ages on my iPhone with no probs, and so far so good.

    Looks like Adblocker was the culprit. Anyone else had similar problems?

    1. asdf

      Re: Adblocker crashes after JB

      It works fine for me maybe because I only have an iPad 2 so I havent tried those on an iphone. You may also try AdBlock as opposed to AdBlocker. It only blocks ads in safari but it might work better you. Link below. Also didn't know about HapticPro. If use Android tablets also haptic feedback will become a killer feature.

  11. A 31

    Another useful app

    I haven't jailbroken my iphone in a long time now

    but I recall mxTube, which appeared on normal app store for a week or so, allowed to record utube vids and save them in library, was very useful when travelling.

    And the good old MAME, but most games were unplayable on a small screen

    1. Ramazan


      mxTube is another example of thievery, BTW. Same as recording TV/radio off the air IMO.

  12. MikeSM
    Thumb Up

    LockInfo - definitely a must have!

    PrivaCy - obvious

    TetherMe - forget playing around with all those silly workarounds. This one enables native tethering.

    SBSettings - The most useful part of this for me is enabling/disabling bluetooth and wifi from anywhere in the OS instead of having to dig through menus. Saves so much battery and time.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Adam 1 - no rooting needed

    Nope, "DSP Manage" installed no trouble on my stock Xperia with stock Gingerbread.


    @Adam 1

    Re: Graphic Equalizer?

    To be fair, Android needs to be rooted to install a sntp app.

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