There have been many articles lately telling us why we should "jailbreak" our iPhones, how-to "jailbreak" them and where to get one of the programs for carrying out a "jailbreak". The one thing all of these articles don't tell us is just what it actually means to "jailbreak" your iPhone and is it legal to do in the first place.
Normally when hear the term jailbreak we think invasion a single person or a group escaping from their prison cells. When we apply the term "jailbreak" to iPhones, iPads and iPod the meaning isn't all that much different. We are using a program to aid in breaking out of the lock system of the iOS in order to be able to use apps that Apple has not approved to be in the app store on itunes.
Since the two Steve's (Jobs and Wozniak) started Apple it was a self-contained system meaning that only Apple made their computers, operating system and final approval of what software could be used on those computers. With desktop and laptop computers the software companies would get upfront approval from Apple to work in conjunction with them to create the software. For mobile device that changed as individuals, groups or companies would build an app and then contact the people at Apple to get approval to place that app in the app store.
That process means that there are always apps out on the web that for one reason or another don't get the approval or maybe the creators just didn't want to go through the approval process. One reason that these apps might not be approved is that they functions that Apple doesn't allow under the restrictions for app functionality. So, it you read about this app and decide that it fits your needs then you need to breakout of the limitations of Apple's OS to be able to download that app onto your iOS device.
Even though Apple frowns on such practices the United States government has so far allowed the practice of jailbreaking continue. If you happen to live in Canada it is a different store though as they frown on the practice and have made doing a "jailbreak" a crime.