The iPod touch or the iPhone are both lovely pieces of equipment with numerous capabilities. The only problem is Apple restricted a massive amount of the iPod's potential by locking down the firmware. Fortunately, there is a way around Apple's restrictions.

George Hotz was the first person toblackra1n ever unlock the Apple iPhone; which allowed the phone to be used with any mobile provider. This; of course, was something neither Apple nor AT&T Wireless ever intended to happen. Lucky for the user's of the iPod phones and iPod MP3 players, GeoHotz (George Hotz) was successful.

When you jailbreak your iPod Touch, you open up a whole new world of applications that can now be used on your iPod. The general idea is to download an application onto your computer and then transfer it to your iPod. The brilliance begins when the application is then used to break open the iPod file systems; allowing you to modify them.

Whether you want to jailbreak your iPod or iPhone to use with a carrier different than AT&T Wireless, customize your ringtones, change the background or use a third party application, jailbreaking your Apple iPod or iPhone can make that possible.

Before making the decision to jailbreak your Apple product make sure you're willing to no longer have AT&T Wireless or Apple to have your back. Since jailbreaking is not a welcomed activity, this will certainly void your warranty. And so, keep in mind that if something goes wrong you are likely to be on your own meaning that expensive Apple iPhone or Apple iPod could end up being nothing more than a fancy paperweight. Were something to go horribly wrong, your only real hope would be to restore your Apple product to its original factory settings. This can be done by using iTunes. Luckily, it's rare for someone to completely brick up their iPhone or iPod when doing a jailbreak on it. If this were to happen, the screen would be unresponsive. Again, this is often fixed by doing a restore.

That said, there are some really cool applications available once your phone is unlocked. From useful business applications to ringtones and games, an unlocked iPhone or iPod will give you virtually limitless possibilies. And so, while there are some risks involved; most of which can be dealt with easily, the advantages of unlocking or doing a jailbreak on your iPod Touch or iPhone far outweigh any disadvantages you might come across.

So, how do I unlock my Apple iPod or Apple iPhone? That has to be what everyone is wondering. Again, let's thank George Hotz for his brilliance because he's still the man to go to when you want your Apple iPod Touch or Apple iPhone unlocked.

First, you'll want to make certain that your iPod Touch or iPhone is running the correct firmware. The version of the firmware that is necessary is .3 or .4. If your Apple device has a different firmware; especially newer firmware, you'll have to downgrade by downloading firmware for your Apple iPod or iPhone. To check which version of firmware you have, connect to iTunes and it will be displayed in the side menu there.

You can also determine which firmware your Apple device is using by clicking the "settings" icon found on the screen. From the settings menu, choose the "general" option and finally click "about" one the new menu opens up. Scroll down through your iPod or iPhone's information until you see the term "version". The numbers seen there indicate the firmware that your Apple product is currently running off of.

Go to and choose your operating system – Mac or Windows. Download blackra1n and save it to your desktop.

When you launch the jailbreak tool a box appears with the words "make it rain". Click it and sit back while the application does its magic.

Don't panic if the application isn't done in a matter of seconds. Many people report that it takes several minute for the jailbreak process to finish. You'll know that the application is doing what you want it to do when George's photo comes up on the Apple iPod or Apple iPhone's screen. Once it has finished, the mobile device will restart.

Upon restart, the blackra1n application will be listed within your icons. Click on it. When the application launches, you'll be given three options: Install Cydia, Rock or Icy. Cydia has been an option for some time, but Rock and Icy are new alternatives to Cydia.

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a freshly jailbroken Apple product. No longer will you allow Apple or AT&T Wireless to restrict your activity. Have fun exploring all the brand new possibilities of your Apple iPhone or iPod Touch!

A word of advice, if you are not specifically tech savvy you can still jailbreak your iPhone or iPod; however, if something goes wrong you could find yourself unable to restore your Apple product. Since Apple or AT&T Wireless may not offer you technical support once you've voided their warranty by attempting to jailbreak the Apple device having a friend on standby who can help is ideal and highly recommended. Another smart move would be to make sure you have backed up all of your mobile content, such as movies, photos, games and music from your Apple iPod or iPhone before attempting to unlock your Apple device.