iPhone 3.1-Only Apps Getting iPhone 3GS Jailbreakers Down?

While Jailbreaking iPhone 3.1 on the original iPhone 2G and iPhone 3G has made some strides, there's still no sign of an iPhone 3GS version. What there are signs of, however, are more and more apps taking advantage of iPhone 3.1-only APIs, meaning they can't be run on iPhone 3.0, meaning they're not available to iPhone 3GS Jailbreakers.

So far these iPhone 3.1-only apps are confined to a few camera-specific apps, but including the new features of the update, as augmented-reality functionality spreads, never mind whatever comes with the iPhone 3.2 beta when it appears, the number of incompatible apps is only going to grow.

So here's our question for iPhone 3GS Jailbreakers -- are you still content to wait for the Dev-Team to Jailbreak (and allow safe unlock of) 3.1, or are you getting tempted to restore to the plain vanilla OS? And how long will you wait?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I have a 3G with Belkin's Clarifi case, so i've been able to do a lot of this stuff for a while now. And I'm running Mac OS X, so I have my 3G OS 3.1 broken just fine.
  • I've been looking forward to the Dropbox app for a long time and for some reason, it is only for 3.1???
    Not sure why, but I can not install it on my JB 3.0 3GS.
    An no, it is not worth it to unJB.
  • Already gave up the jailbreak for 3.1 on my 3gs.
    I wanted gpush for push gmail pop ups. I'm sure the dev team will have one soon. Jailbreak apps I miss; backgrounder, status bar notifications, unspell (amazing built in spell check). Those are really the only ones that I truly miss!
  • 3.1 > jailbroken 3.0
  • How well does the FWChanger app in Cydia work? I've seen it, but haven't used it. Would I be able to install Redlaser with it?
  • i'll wait for DevTeam. JB is waaay more valuable to me than missing out on a few apps with 3.1. i don't know what i'd do without SBSettings & Backgrounder!!
    @chrstphr.ross: if you read the title of this post, it's referring to 3GS owners. and i have no idea how your case pertains to this discussion? so your JB 3G success story is irrelevant here. thanks though.
  • I wasn't even aware that backgrounder was available for 3.0, i thought its development ceased
  • I'm just mad. I don't WANT to be jailbroken, it's only because of lack of tethering support that I have to be (and I've never gotten that other tethering hack to work without breaking voicemail). I would love to use the plain vanilla OS, but like most things in life, it's AT&T'S fault.
  • I lost my jailbreak for 3.1 the day it came out figuring dev team would figure it out quickly. I mss my jailbreak more then I thought. My iPhone os kinda boring with out it and I miss backgrounder and sbsettings so much!!! I wish I would have never updated! I hope something comes soon!
  • I am running my iPhone 3g with 3.0.1. I had the 'coma' problem with 3.1 where the phone would freeze up and require a reboot. I rolled back to 3.0.1 and no longer have problems. There are many more like me. Therefore, not running the 3.1 release is more than a jailbreak issue, it is a stability issue also.
  • How confident is the dev team that they will be ABLE to jailbreak 3.1 on 3gs?
    The only reason I upgraded to 3.1 is for the voice command over BT. Is there any way to get this feature using 3.0 so I can have my jailbreak back?
  • I won't even be updating to 3.1 when redsn0w is released — waste of time and effort when I'll use absolutely nothing on 3.1
    Haven't seen any good apps to download since iDisk, so that's not an issue either.
    I'm sure 3.2 will be much more worthwhile.
  • I have the 3G so I'm jailbroken with 3.1 and you really aren't missing all that much. However, I can sympathize with your insatiable desire to have the latest software. I have that disease too.
  • My 3Gs with 3.0 and jailbroken, with working MMS, I don't need anything else, this phone is now PERFECT. Im content.
  • I'm on a 3G phone but still on OS 3.0. I don't want to give up tethering and get a bunch of bugs in the process. While OS 3.1 does (obviously) contain a lot of camera-related goodness, it's not enough to force me to upgrade right now. When I can "for sure" tether on 3.1 using some sort of hack/work-around, I'll consider upgrading then, especially if all of the "bugs!" noise has died down due to work-arounds or fading paranoia.
  • Happy to wait for a 3.1 jailbreak - I would lose a lot more by upgrading and losing the jailbreak, than I would gain.
    I have noticed though - that one app (ShopShop I think) came up with a new version in iTunes; I said yes, not knowing that it needed 3.1. Then it failed to upgrade, saying that it needs 3.1, fair enough. But: it has removed the old version from my iPhone, even after failing to install the new one!! Weird
  • I don't want to break my 3gs.
    I'm happy with the way things are.
    Will wait for augmented reality apps.
  • Can Windows users on 3G upgrade to 3.1? I went to the Dev website and it looks like they don't have a windows version out yet.
    Am I missing something?
  • This is a problem for me right now. I updated my apps in iTunes and it replaced the old version of Yelp but wouldn't let it install on my jailbroken phone. iTunes WAS nice enough to delete the old version off my phone, though.
    I emptied my trash before noticing. Now I have no Yelp.
    Can anyone email the previous version of Yelp (Yelp 3.0.x.ipa) to me at grendel@gmail.com? PLEASE?
  • I have jb 3.0 and wouldn't change for anything I have redlaser from instalous and any other app I want for free who would pay for these apps when u can get them for free. You pay so much for your phone your monthly plan and everything else just download it for free who wouldn't right the best things in life are free :)
  • Firmware changer will allow you to download the apps that require 3.1 BUT the app it's self will not work. I tried.
  • @PSM HAve you tried the tether hack along with changing voicemail to acds.voicemail?
    That fixed it for me. I did shift&update to get mms and it worked fine for 3 weeks. Now no mms--I didn't change anything. What happened?
  • Good new, thank you very much
  • i updated, then downgraded. running 3.0.1 jailbreak on my 3gs. what on earth would i do without winterboard or sbsettings? buuf2 for life.
  • @ sohbet kanallari
  • Sadly it looks like the JB is hitting a major roadblock with 3.1 + 3GS. The worst part is thatbwith subsequent releases and hardware it will only get worse. And the rationalizations for staying on old 3.0.x will get more tenuous as more apps require features that OS version lacks.
    Good news for me is that the number of JB apps I need has dwindled as OS improvements have come -- and I think it would be correct to argue that the JB has provided stimulous for this. There are still a few things I really miss though, especially status bar notifications. Apple really needsto address notification alert handling, but I think there are other drivers for this too.
    I guess as the OS API opens more, I feel more ambivalent about JB. Applications that enable outright theivery (like installus) don't help JB's case, IMO.
  • @Steve, @paanta
    That is more than wierd - you should report that as a bug. The installation process should perform any compatibility checks before deleting the old application, not after the app is already lost. Though the amount of space taken is probably trivial, you probably have orphanned app data cluttering your phone's HD now, as app data is typically not removed during an upgrade, but now you have no means of accessing it.
  • This is ridiculous in so many ways, i just sold my 3g and upgraded to the 3gs, and my 3gs can't be jailbroken yet! my 3gs does less than my 3g does! wtf man?!
    Jailbreaking doesn't hurt apple's bottom line, the iphone is super popular, and sales are off the charts! granted the whole push fiasco was kind of a pain when 3.0 came out, but that was just because of that ridiculous activation thing from apple themselves. Though pirating apps is possible i don't think thats why people do it, with the JB, there are a bunch of useful cydia apps, and themes and stuff, besides the app store is still profitable! I don't see why apple has to be such asses about jailbreaking, because in fact if this phone isn't jailbreakable in a month i'm selling it, and going back to a blackberry or a pre!
    Secondly, the dev teams (chronic/iphone) are being uncooperative, I think it has more to do with ego than programming skills, first of all, how hard is it to just tweet "this is gonna take longer than expected" those guys tweet every 5 minutes! I can't be mad since i don't pay for any of their work but it would cut the flaming on their blog by half. and since 3.1.1 is coming soon, this seems like it would just start all over again once that comes out!
  • I am still one 3.0.1 with JB - can't give up SBSettings.
    It is clear that Apple is going to punish the jailbreakers by slowly squeezing them out - having apps that can only be run on the latest version, for example, is an easy way for them to do this. They can reject an app from the store, ask the developer to make it 3.1 only, and continue the squeeze that way, along with incorporating their own anti-JB features in the new OS's and hardware.
    It's too bad, because the real value of the jailbreak for a lot of folks is just theme-ing and SBSettings. I like being able to SSH into the phone to pull videos off, edit them, and load them back on to use with TweetREEL, but I can easily understand why Apple won't ever let people do that without jailbreaking the phone. However, I also know that they will never let users make UI changes so we will probably never have SBSettings or Winterboard on the phone without the Jailbreak, which is a real shame since they are extremely useful, welcome additions that add a lot of functionality to the phone.
    I would love Drop Box and several other apps, as well as the app-management in iTunes, but I use SBsettings 150 times a day so I will just have to wait it out. But I feel like the jailbreaking door will continue to close over the next couple of years.
  • I don't want JB, but I have to. I travel a lot and need sim unlock
  • I keep reading about 3.1 and tethering. I have the tethering option on my 3.1(AT&T US) and MMS. It all works. Of course, I am on a 3G. I don't need jailbreak for anything. It's useless to me.
  • you can still access the files in safari, I guess that will just have to be good enough for me for now, this seems like the longest wait I've had for a jb
  • I was talking about dropbox
  • I have all the confidence in the world that the dev team will figure out a jb for 3.1 jus like they always have. Jb 4life. Lol
  • the ONLY reason for me to jailbreak is to customize via winterboard and change some of the system sounds(new mail etc..) considering I just got my phone a few days ago... i guess I have to wait
  • Apparently, 3.1 on 3Gs has been jailbroken at the very same time that this discussion has been going on: http://www.ihackintosh.com/2009/10/iphone-3gs-firmware-3-1-jailbreak-suc...
  • JB is not the only reason not to go to 3.1. The other is that everyone is having a lot of problems ( reboot etc)? I am waiting for 3.2 for my 3gs
  • My Gpush iPhone application by Tiverias is affected by this fiasco. Updates should be backward compatible to older versions of the OS. Upgrading to a newer OS in order to conform to the requirements of an application is ridiculous. It is understandable for a new feature to only work with the OS version that supports that feature, but to render the whole application unusable is thoughtless and arrogant. At the very least, there should be a prominent warning on the update page that says "This version will only work with OS x.x. DO NOT attempt to install if you are on an older version. Our application will become useless if you do" (and that is what Gpush is to me now).
  • To all the naysayers out there who are saying there wont be a jailbreak for 3.1 on the 3GS...take a look here: http://www.ihackintosh.com/2009/10/iphone-3gs-firmware-3-1-jailbreak-suc...
    Its already been done and should be on its way soon.
  • I have a 2nd hand 3G and that's jailbroken and unlocked.
    Also a 3GS factory unlocked. Not jailbroken. That's the solution. ;-)
  • I say, FORGET 3.1 FOR 3GS! I can do without the bugs and the oh so needed reboots every few minutes. No thanks. I'm waiting for a solid OS upgrade, and THEN will I wait with great anticipation for a new JB for 3GS.
    SBSettings, LockScreen, 5 row dock, and all the other goodness of JB is too precious to me to pass up for a single damn app that I'll stop using tomorrow. No thanks.
    To Dev Team: STOP WASTING UR TIME ON THE 3GS JB! I sure as hell won't be upgrading to that. There is always the online version of Dropbox, as another commenter has also mentioned.
  • I really hope the jb comes soon. I bought a 3gs after the new firmware was released and it came pre-loaded with 3.1..... I've really considered taking it back and just getting a 3g since I know they can jb. I had a jb itouch and it was soo amazing that's the reason I got an iPhone and left my g1 behind...
  • @ Syncopations
    Question for you.. The version of OS3.1 that you have how did you get it? was it thru itunes 9 official upgrade from apple?? and if so what's your baseband software version (aka modem firmware version)
  • OH MY GOD... what idiocy. I will say it ONE last time. TETHERING with the Iphone 3G and 3GS with official apple 3.1 upgrade or out of the Box 3G or 3GS IS DEAD..DEAD..DEAD. The Dev team WILL NEVER...NEVER...NEVER bring it back. A few and I mean a VERY few people either updated using ONLY Dev-team software or did not update at all. Those people can still tether. But NO ONE and I mean NO ONE else (which is pretty much all the rest of us) can tether ever again. There is NO HACK, NO WORKAROUND, or NO TRICK that will ever bring tethering back. News flash I work at apple so I know what I'm talking about. The ONLY important thing about any of these phones is tethering all the rest is bullshi*t...AND TETHERING with and up to date iphone is DEAD..PROVE ME WRONG..
  • jb and download pdanet. you will be tethering just like me on 3.1 3gs
  • Do just as this man says dload pdanet from cydia go to junefabrics.com/desktop dload desktop manager from pc. Follow instructions from pdanet on iPhone and u will be tethering again. People who work for AT&T or apple are all douchebags who would like us to believe there rhetoric bla bla bla. To jail break go visit geohot's website I believe it blackra1n.com to break ur iPhone from the bondages of apple's sim can I get a halaluah brother.
  • To NWcruiser go get Apple and ATT tattooed on your ass while I keep on surfing with my brand new out the box att iphone 3.1.2 IPHONE3gs (BOOM HEADSHOT)
  • Id like to Give credit schmeckle I was getting worried for a Min until I came across your post thank you very much my friend!
  • It reminds me of the Paris sex tape where she is standing in the mirror in her underwear.