Google kills Android jailbreak with new Android OS RC30 update

Talk about a quick response.

Almost as soon as the Android development community happen to stumble upon a root-access “jailbreak” method for the Android OS, Google let loose their counter-punch. Google is now pushing out a new Android OS build that patches the current Android jailbreak exploit. The patch should make quick work of closing the security hole that handed over access to the T-Mobile G1’s file-system root.

As Gizmodo points out, Google’s patch to kill the Android jailbreak exploit isn’t as dire as it would be were Apple to seal up the iPhone jailbreak security hole (which is rumored to be happening with the new MacBook and MacBook Pro, by the way). The Android Market is already quite open to  software and Android apps are allowed almost-free reign over the T-Mobile G1’s (as well as future Android devices) hardware. While Apple iPhone users have to resort to the jailbreak underground to get at applications that Apple would never allow to hit the AppStore, Android users can expect to see fully functional application in the Android Market.

The new Android OS RC30 update is being rolled out as we speak and, by the sound of it, Google is working to make sure T-Mobile G1 owners get the update as soon as possible.

We’ve been notified of this issue (Jailbreaking of Android) and have developed a fix. We’re currently working with our partners to push the fix out and updating the open source code base to reflect these changes.

The update is being rolled out OTA (over-the-air) as we speak, so keep an eye out for an automatic update notification on your T-Mobile G1.

[Via: XDA Developers]

  • Simon Sage

    Nice Photoshop. He needs a harmonica. :)

  • Don

    “Google’s patch to kill the Android jailbreak exploit isn’t as dire as it would be were Apple to seal up the iPhone jailbreak security hole ”

    Ha! Good one!

    You see, unlike Google, Apple doesn’t FORCE you to update your phone’s software.

    “While Apple iPhone users have to resort to the jailbreak underground to get at applications that Apple would never allow to hit the AppStore, Android users can expect to see fully functional application in the Android Market”

    Another good one–you’re on a roll…

    So, you’re implying that the 7,500 apps in the App Store are not “fully functional?” Interesting.

  • Constable Odo

    Jailbreak a G1? What for? I thought the platform was totally open and had no need for jailbreaking. Didn’t they say that anything goes? I want my root access. This is a total outrage for Android-powered G1 users.

  • Will Park

    Good point, Don. Apple never forces a firmware update. But, then again, neither does Google. OTA updates are pushed to the G1, but the user is prompted on whether or not to install the update.

    By “fully functional” I mean that Apple iPhone apps available in the AppStore are severely restricted in terms of the hardware components they are allowed to access. From Video recording to cellular VoIP solutions, Apple keeps a tight leash on iPhone apps. Android applications are essentially allowed to access any and all hardware components on the G1, requiring only the user’s consent to do so.

    iPhone users (like me, since day one and damn proud of it, by the way) have to resort to the jailbreak scene for applications like Qik, Flixwagon, iPhone UI customizations, etc.

    So, yes. I am implying that the apps in the AppStore are not fully functional. Will that keep me from using my iPhone 3G as my beloved primary device? Hell no.

  • Doug Petrosky

    Ok, Will! We need a little more honesty here!

    Yes, Apple is currently limiting access to specific hardware features and even some core functions that are required by Service provider contract but how is that exactly different than Google? Google has already stated a number of things they will not allow.

    1) No Wifi music downloads!
    2) No tethering!
    3) NO VOIP over cellular!

    What can you do with android that you can’t with apple and the iPhone?

  • mathue

    I suppose there will be TONs of highly offended posts about how evil Google is to close the jail-braking hole now. Or has everyone gotten their venom out on Apple Computer and the iPhone? ;)

  • Kent

    @ Doug: Where are you getting your info? Your assertions are simply incorrect.

    #1 ???? Wifi is the ONLY way to download music (well, for me – they don’t have G3 where I am … edge is slow as hell). Are you talking about the Amazon .mp3 store (which I also access through WiFi)? TuneWiki is also available (and uses WiFi). I have music from several places on my phone. Hell – you plug the thing in and it’s a USB drive … you can rip a CD right to the phone.

    #2 YET. The app isn’t written – but T-Moblie has said they have no problems with it.

    #3 I don’t know WHY you’d want to do it (crapify your service to save a few cell minutes? You like to talk with an Apollo-style delay?). But I’ve not heard any prohibition … in fact a skype client is rumored.

    T-Moblie tried to make a 1GB (or was it 5GB?) monthly limit on their “unlimited” data plan – but backed off (after the limit, 3G access was slowed). Their current policy is “wait and see”. They have indicated that vendors who commercialize high-bandwidth services across the T-Moblie network MIGHT have to pay fees for the increased bandwidth if shown to degrade network performance for other users. The plan is to put it on the service providers, not the customers. They aren’t even limiting P2P right now (although there is no app that utilizes it yet).

    ALL of these limitations with are T-Moblie and have NOTHING to do with the capacities of Android. And so far, T-Moblie hasn’t really imposed any of the things they said they might. Several other carriers will have phones on the market soon and they will also be able to impose network limitations. This means that the various carriers will compete to ensure that their networks allow users to utilize the full range of Android OS abilities. In the long run, this will be a far more robust model than Apple’s “walled garden” which by definition eliminates competition and sets arbitrary limitations application capacity.

    Android’s limitations are not even comparable to Apple. If you don’t program, you wouldn’t understand. I can develop an app, put it on my own site and then download it directly to the phone – without permission from ANYONE. It could even involve boobies if I wanted. It’s like the difference between developing for a speak-n-spell and a full-blown PC. Right now, developers have to give stuff away which is limiting quality. Once the Android Market is monitized, it will open a floodgate of applications.

    I don’t know enough about the “jailbreak” to have an opinion. With an iPhone, you need to jailbreak the thing just to run custom software, that’s a pretty compelling reason. The other reason to jailbreak an iPhone is to use a different carrier – the G1 also allows this right out of the box. Without these motivations, I’m not sure of the benefit to “jailbreaking” a G1. At the same time, if the procedure that allowed root access could be performed across the network – it is exceedingly dangerous for malware exploits. IMO, this “fix” might be a good thing.

  • Will Park

    Awww, damn. Did you just liken the iPhone 3G to a “speak-n-spell?” LOL, that just ain’t right, Kent. I love my iPhone 3G, it helps me spell gooder.

  • Kent

    Sorry … it was a bad analogy. Especially because the iPhone limitations are totally based on Apple policy, not hardware capacity. Hopefully that didn’t distract too much from the overall point.

    The iPhone is cool … but I’m the sort who would want to install my own stuff – and why risk a brick? I think there is a market for both kinds of devices, but the RIM family (Blackberry) and Android are both considerably more robust to develop for.

    If Google makes an additional “Certified App” tier in the Android Market to address the user who likes a “walled garden” it would really help their long-term prospects.

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