Here's a list of notes-to-myself about hacking the iPod Touch. I'm posting it here in the hope that it may be useful to other owners, who are happy with their new toys but can't help thinking that there might be more fun to be had.
Perhaps you bought the 16-gigabyte model, which now costs exactly what the 8-gig iPhone does, and you're wondering why it didn't come with e-mail, or an RSS reader, or an IRC client, and why you can't just go ahead and add one. Maybe you'd like to read Cory Doctorow's books on it. Or maybe you agree with the Owner's Manifesto and would like to crack into the thing a little bit and see what's inside. Remember, if you can't open it, you don't own it.
This list is not guaranteed to be definitive, all encompassing, or kept up-to-date. Comments are open, however, and I do hope for help from fellow travelers.
Oh, and: yeah. I know. It's an "iPod Touch," not an iTouch. Sorry if that makes you crazy; I'm not going to stop saying it.
Please seriously consider not doing this. It's painful.
If you are not a dedicated hobbyist, hacker, or both, and all you want is the iPhone application bundle--including Mail, Maps, Weather, Stocks, and Notes--update to 1.1.3, visit iTunes, and pay for it. It's supported by Apple, works on all the mail providers (not just Gmail, which now has IMAP support), and the Maps application has been upgraded to do some really neat stuff with IP location.
If you absolutely must do this, kindly heed the following warnings:
To install third-party applications, you'll need to jailbreak your iTouch. When we're done, you'll have a new application, Installer, which will allow you to download and install other programs.
If you just got your iPod out of the box, please go through the steps to download iTunes to your computer and synch it for the first time.
Important: if iTunes offers to install new software on your iPod when you first set it up, say No.
Also take a moment to familiarize yourself with a few important features, namely the Home button, which is a white square inside a round button on the front of your iTouch, and the Sleep button, which is a thin raised line on the top edge of your iTouch, the opposite edge from where the docking cable and earphones plug in.
Make sure you can get to the Internet. Find the Settings function--the square icon with gears on it--touch WiFi, and then choose a network. If you can't get to a wireless network, you're not going to be able to get much further than this. Once it looks like you've joined a network, press your Home button to get out of Settings, and bring up Safari. If Safari will show you a Web site (any Web site) you are ready to move on.
Check your version. Press your Home button to get out of Safari, bring up Settings again, go to General, and then About. If your version starts with 1.1.1--mine says 1.1.1 (3A110a)--skip the next step. (If you got your iTouch for Christmas, you've probably got 1.1.2. If you got it after January 18th, you may have 1.1.3; please read the next paragraph carefully!)
If your version number says 1.1.3, you've either got a brand-new post-Macworld iTouch, or you've inadvertently upgraded since the push went out. If you're not already on firware version 1.1.3 and/or iTunes 7.6 or above, you're going to want to be very careful not to get the iTunes updates.
Before you begin, check your iTunes version. If it says 7.6, much of what we're going to try to do below won't work. Make sure all your music is safe in a different directory, uninstall iTunes, and download and install version 7.5, which you can get from filehippo.com.
Alert reader Nick says this works to get out of 1.1.3:
Warning: what we're about to do is absolutely guaranteed to wipe everthing on your iTouch. Please make sure that any music, video, photos, or other content is backed up before you continue!
When your iTouch reboots, it should come up with version 1.1.1, ready for our next step, Jailbreak.
Next, we're going to break your iTouch out of jail. Left at factory settings, you won't be able to access your own file system, add programs, or do anything else our Cupertino overlords don't want you to do.
If you like, you can stop right here. Many applications run on 1.1.1; feel free to jump right in with Installer and try out a few games. (Labyrinth is my personal favorite.)
You're not really done, because iTunes will bug you constantly about updating your iTouch, and if somebody inadvertently does this for you--say you sych to a different machine, for instance--all your hard work can be wiped in an instant.
Download and save this file. It's your 1.1.2 software, which you want to use instead of 1.1.3:
Jailbreaking 1.1.2 is not quite as easy as the 1.1.1 jailbreak, but it's close. Here we go:
windows.bat; if you're using a Mac, double-click
jailbreak.jar. If you already know what OpenSSH is, go ahead and tell it to install; it's handy later. (If you don't know what OpenSSH is, don't bother. You can get it later with Installer.)
Sit back, relax, and watch your iTouch being jailbroken. When your main menu comes back, you should see your old friend Installer, plus your optional new friend OpenSSH, all jailbroken and ready to rumble.
If you're seeing mysterious "cannot connect to your device" errors, you may be missing an
/opt directory that needs to be installed in your root. I found details on macrumors.com that seem like they may help. I'm not totally clear whether this is a Mac-only problem, or an Intel vs. non-Intel problem; if it happens on PCs as well, I'm not sure where that "root" directory is.
Before you do anything else, use Installer to load up the BSD Subsystem. Many third-party applications (including the one we're about to install) require it to work.
Do yourself a favor here: any time you're doing package installations on your iTouch, go to Settings, General, and then Auto-Lock, and tell it never to automatically lock. Some of the stuff you're going to download will take more than five minutes to download and install, and it's chancy, coming back from a lock.
Got Term-VT100? Excellent; bring it up and try this:
If all has gone well, you should see this:
If you're getting a
command not found error message, go back to Installer and try installing the BSD Subsystem again. It didn't take.
When all is well, let's make an important change so you won't run out of storage space when adding more third-party programs.
Again: this is optional but highly recommended for people who plan on installing more than a few tiny third-party applications.
Since the factory-set iTouch comes with an artificially small size limit on its /Applications directory, you may receive an error message--"Warning: You are running out of disk space. Please delete some photos or videos"--even though you're quite sure you've got lots of space left.
DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON: please do this next part slowly and carefully. Screw it up and you'll have to go back, restore version 1.1.1, and start all over again.
cd / cp -pr Applications /var/root mv Applications Applications.old ln -s private/var/root/Applications /ApplicationsIf you're seeing error messages like
command not foundwhen you try
cd /, you didn't install the BSD Subsystem. Please go back to Your First Installation and fix this.
cd / ls -alSomewhere in the resulting list--you may need to scroll the screen up to see it; to do this, drag it gently upwards at one of its edges--you'll see something like this:
rwxr-xr-x 1 root admin 29 Dec 26 23:27 Applications -> private/var/root/ApplicationsIf it looks like
/Applicationshas been linked to
private/var/root/Applications, you're done. If not, you'll want to keep trying that last
lncommand again until you get it.
cd / pwdIf the output from pwd doesn't look like this:
/, try the
cd /command again. You need to be in your root directory for the next command to work. Once you're there, do this:
rm -rf Applications.old
Relax, the hairy part is over. From now on, everything we do will go through Installer. Let's have some fun monkeying with the interface next.
Using Installer, load up two new packages, Customize and SummerBoard. After you have them both, reboot your iTouch, by pressing and holding the Sleep button until the Power Off slider comes up. (If you get further into this process and Summerboard says it's "inactive" down at the bottom, you didn't reboot. Told you so.)
Summerboard will allow you to add desktop wallpapers, themes, hide labels, and other cool stuff; Customize will allow you to hide and change the images for your onscreen icons. I run both, personally; I like the green-grass Leopard background, no icon labels, and a dock containing anything that might have an alert on the icon with number of messages, etc. I also push as many of my customization options (like Term-VT100) off to the second page as possible, to discourage casual goofballs from messing around with my setup.
What? Mail? Yes. And Maps, too. And games ... sweet tasty games for everyone! Hold tight: it's finally time to add some Cool New Toys.
Lots of fun may be had with the Installer; it's getting fun-er by the day. My personal favorites include:
Especially when dealing with apps that were originalliy intended for the iPhone, install slowly and carefully. Always go back to the home screen, every time, and pay special attention to those "prep" packages.
If you skipped to here instead of reading the rest of the page, please go back to the top and read the warnings, and the strong advise that if all you want are these apps, go pay for them from Apple.
To run Mail, Weather, Stocks, Notes, and Maps on your iTouch, you will need to download and install some Apple property not specifically intended for the iTouch. You will need to lie, cheat, and steal even more than you already have to do this; if you believe in karma, be very, very careful here.
Maps and Mail are hairy; you'll want to follow the instructions about installing the "prep" software first. Notes, Stocks, and Weather jump right up and run; Notes is really cool, especially when integrated with Mail.
Google Maps on the iTouch may be the single most useful thing I've ever held in one hand. It's what's got me seriously considering an iPhone ... but that's just not gonna happen until I can run the provider of my choice.
http://applerepo.com/to your list of sources. (Sources, Edit, Add) If you have the old
repo.us.torepository, your iPhone apps won't show on the list of packages any more.
As far as I can tell, Mail won't work with Yahoo! via an iPod Touch. I can't see myself giving access to my personal IMAP server to a hacked client, and I can't bring myself to start an AOL or .mac account, so ... it's GMail for me.
The next update from Apple is almost guaranteed to hose everything we've done here, and may even make it impossible to downgrade to 1.1.1.
modmyifone.com/installer.xmlto your installer sources.
Heinlein was right, as usual: supreme artistic appreciation may only be expressed by the phrase "Pay to the Order Of."
Third-party projects for the iTouch and iPhone are shoestring-budget affairs, done for the love of it. You can help increase the love many times, by donating to the project of your choice. (Hint: jailbreakme.com, Nullriver, and the iPhone Dev Team are really, really good choices.) $20 is a tiny amount compared to the $300 or $400 you paid for the thing, and doesn't even begin to compare to that one crucial opportunity you'll gain because you had an RSS reader, or maps, or e-mail. Your iTouch is a tool, not a toy, and these unsung heroes have set you free to swing that hammer as hard as you want. Donate!