I know why you're excited: You can't wait for your iDevice to update to iOS 6.1 which was just released. Now Siri will be able to misunderstand what movie you want to see and present you with a link to Fandango. Or she may, as usual, think you want to dial the number of the nearest Chinese restaurant. And thus does technology march onward.
And as tech progresses so does the hacking of tech. A group of hackers going by the name "evad3rs" just announced that on Sunday, Feb. 3, it will release an untethered jailbreak for iOS 6.1 on the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad Mini, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPod Touch 4G, iPod Touch 5G, AppleTv 2G and, possibly, the AppleTv 3G.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Hackers unveil latest Apple iOS 6 jailbreak website. | Get expert advice about planning and implementing your BYOD strategy with InfoWorld's in-depth "Mobile and BYOD Deep Dive" PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobilize newsletter. ]
Although I'm sure you are familiar with jailbreaking, for the uninitiated, suffice it to say it is the process of freeing a phone from limitations originally imposed by the supplier, while retaining normal functions such as making telephone calls, accessing data networks and so on.
In Apple's case, one of the big limitations jailbreaking overcomes is the ability to install software from sources other than the Apple App Store. It also allows apps to access the iOS filesystem and permits all kinds of customizations and modifications that Apple doesn't allow or support ... or, for that matter, approve of.
An "untethered" jailbreak is one where the modifications to iOS are permanent and will be in place and operative when iOS is restarted. A "tethered" jailbreak requires the modifications to be reinstalled every time the iDevice is restarted, so obviously an untethered jailbreak is preferable if you're going to do such a thing ... and jailbreaking is, potentially, not without its problems.
First of all software that hasn't gone through the Apple compliance verification program can behave badly and use too many resources (including battery power) or compromise system stability.
But as problematic as jailbreaking can be technically, it is even more problematic legally, and in the U.S. the legality of jailbreaking is rather complicated while in, for example, Canada the Canadian Copyright Act makes jailbreaking a crime.