The Apple TV is the latest Apple gadget to be cracked by the jailbreaking community.
Reports have been circulating that Apple TV has been successfully jailbroken by using a combination of two exploits, Greenpois0n and SHAtter. Because Apple TV uses the same iOS that powers the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and the hardware contained similar components to the iPod touch, the iPhone Dev - Team at iPhone Dev soon confirmed is was possible.
Users who like adapting devices to their own specific needs will be pleased by this development. The jailbreak was managed using Greenpois0n and SHAtter to jailbreak it, then using SHAtter trick the Apple TV's iOS 4.1 system into restoring to a pre-jailbroken state. Previously, the Apple TV hacker community had already worked out how to install certain applications that offer more features than the original software allowed. However, several issues need to be addressed to allow anything other than Apple's own installed features to run on the iOS first. The interface is an application called Lowtide.app, so any apps created to run on a jailbroken Apple TV will have to run independently of the main interface, unlike jailbnroken iPhones that appear side by side with legitimate apps.
According to the iPhone Dev-Team bloggers, even if a jailbroken Apple TV requires a separate UI application, it's now open for jailbroken apps to run with all kinds of new functionality. The blog reiterated the potential now unlocked by the jailbreak success: "Just like the early iPhone days, the only apps you'll see on the Apple YV will be jailbroken ones."
However, there are major differences to Apple TV compared with the other iOS devices, meaning that existing apps may not be usable on it. Apple TV has 256Mbs of RAM and 8GB of Flash storage, but the output dimensions are different and it doesn't provide a control method for interacting directly with content designed for a touchscreen. This means that entirely new third-party apps may appear, such as video, streaming music apps or even web browsers. Games, widgets for weather and the stock exchange might still be a possibility however.
More information here.