Don't freak out! Just the jailbreak in progress...
For those unfamiliar with the term, jailbreaking refers to a hack you can apply to your phone to truly unlock its potential. With that being said, it should also be noted that jailbreaking your phone can void its warranty with Apple (under the assumption your workin' with some piece of cellular hardware...the iPhone 4 in my case). In my opinion, being able to have access to thousands of apps for free, tethering, and GUI alterations greatly outweighs the low risk involved with this process...

This can seem extremely scary to do - but realistically, if you can follow the most basic of instructions then you can do it.

To jailbreak, simply follow these steps:
1.) Update your iTunes to the latest version
2.) Update your iOS to the latest version
3.) Download greenpois0n as your unlocking tool
4.) In iTunes, Sync your phone to backup all data and contacts in the event of a catastrophe (this won't happen if you follow along as I say)
5.) With your device still plugged in, run greenpois0n, follow instructions as dictated on screen
6.) When followed in the correct sequence, you'll see the jailbreak happen right before your eyes! Once it reads "Jailbreak Complete" you can disconnect your phone and launch the 'Loader' app that has been installed.
7.) Upon running the loader, Cydia will install on your device, which you can use to download all kinds of goodies like Winterboard to really customize your phone!

Jailbreaking is great if you really want to see what your phone can do. I did it so I can experience the finer points of Androids OS without making the huge leap (though I hear you can do this if you really wanted to...). Considering this was my first time, I was a bit scared of 'bricking' my phone and turning it into a paperweight, but after a ton of research I found it was highly unlikely such a thing could ever happen. If it does brick somehow, there's plenty of resources to get you back to normal, no harm done (see YouTube unbricking videos).

Anyway, I'm a happy camper now and glad to have branched out to expand my tech horizons (thanks LifeHacker!!). If you want the resource I used, check out this link for a video with the step-by-step process I described above. With the new look and functionality given to my phone being accomplished, I need something new to try tomorrow...give me some ideas in the comments!!


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