Last night I finally got 3rd party apps running on the phone again after the disastrous 1.1.1 update. I used Niacin’s TIFF exploit to get write access to the filesystem, and then followed the directions from the iPhone Dev Team (detailed here) to get SSH and AppTapp installed.
It’s still a very manual process, but way easier than the downgrade to 1.0.2 then update to 1.1.1 nonsense. But now I have my eBook reader and IM client running again. Summerboard doesn’t work, and neither does Sketch or Customize(apparently Customize does work, thanks Brian), but for the most part, everything runs just fine. A list of common applications and their compatibility can be found on this iPhone Dev Wiki page.
If you’re going to try this, remember that this doesn’t get you the carrier unlock, just 3rd party apps. Unlocks are still coming, though there have been reports that the IPSF stuff still works. Apparently it was the only software unlock that didn’t brick the iPhone with the 1.1.1 update. Naturally, it costs $60.
Now to wait for the inevitable breakage from Apple’s next update. Sigh. Can’t we all just get along?
Update: Looks like they decrypted the ramdisks now.