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Reasons Not to Jailbreak Your iPhone

Updated on November 23, 2015
amuno profile image

Alfred is a long time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.

iPhone jailbreak was born out of the desire to make tweaks and apps which beautified the iPhone. Over time though, Apple has integrated most jailbreak tweaks and apps in IOS 7,8 and 9, making jailbreaking irrelevant.

The Beautiful Story of iPhone Jailbreak

When the first iPhone was released in 2007, the smartphone consumer market went abuzz with excitement and amazing possibilities for users. Whereas the big companies saw opportunities to design, make and curve out smartphone niches, the smaller and much more geeky enthusiasts went for sneaky ventures.

The first and probably quick impact entrepreneurs were iPhone jailbreakers and iPhone unlockers. Numerous workshops, blogs, forums and websites sprung up, all with unlock and jailbreak tools.

For years, the jailbreak community grew and is still out there. The excitement in this community stemmed from the fact that jailbroken features added considerable functionality to the iPhone, therefore making it an even friendlier gadget.

Soon, however, Apple stepped in and promptly addressed the qualms about missing functionality in the iPhone.

IOS 7+ and 8+ integrates most of the popular jailbreak tweaks and apps out there.

Overall, the modern iPhone is more exciting and giving jailbreak developers a run for their money.

Why Not to Jailbreak Your iPhone

iPhone jailbreak was born due to lack of compelling features in the original iPhone. Developers like Dev Team helped develop jailbreak tools to create tweaks and apps which beautified and made IOS more exciting. Over time though, Apple has chosen to integrate most of these tweaks in IOS 7 and 8.

Questions and counter questions are rife about the need for, and why not to jailbreak your iPhone.

1: iPhone Jailbreak Stability and Security

Despite the popular reasons which drove users to jailbreak their iPhones, it goes without ‘saying' these iPhone tweaks were riddled with problems and caused numerous errors and crashes!

Apple cares about its products and you can bet it makes the iPhone as stable as humanly possibly. Apple also follows up its own iPhone crashes and errors with continuous patches and fixes to ensure constant stability.

iPhone jailbreak tools on the hand is manipulated by software apps and tweaks that have not undergone rigorous tests and security checks.

Consequently, a jailbroken iPhone is prone to crashes in the springboard, apps, multitasks, and looping safe mode; this especially for users who regularly download and install new apps and tweaks – the very purpose of jailbreaking anyway.

Dealing with these kinds of crashes may not be the easiest of tasks for the ordinary user. It is much like troubleshooting computer failures.

It is true that many users have always jailbroken their iPhones and therefore absorbed the crashes, but with diminishing numbers of new and ground breaking tweaks from developers, many folks will gradually find themselves re-evaluating their options.

Jailbreak tools make iPhones to crash randomly
Jailbreak tools make iPhones to crash randomly

2: Jailbreak Feature in IOS 7, 8 and 9

The innovative IOS 7, 8 and 9 features have also not helped matters.The foremost reason why iPhone jailbreak thrived was because of its tweaks and apps which made using iPhone much more pleasurable.

As an example, he original iPhone was absurdly plain yet ripe with possibilities for rebel developers. Jailbreakers promptly came up with appropriate apps and tweaks to help out. These apps and tweaks soon became best sellers, and over time, Apple slowly began integrating some of them in newer versions of its IOS.

Below are popular apps and tweaks that were available only in jailbroken iPhones and are now featured in new iPhones and IOS:

The new look of IOS 7 features
The new look of IOS 7 features
Personal Hotspot
Personal Hotspot
Multitasking, the Apple style
Multitasking, the Apple style
Wi-fi
Wi-fi
Notification Centre
Notification Centre
  • Internet hotspot: Apple’s Personal Hotspot, a feature that now graces new iPhones was initially absent and available in jailbroken iPhones. Personal hotpot enables the user to create network hotspot which allows multiple devices to share internet connection. The Personal Hostpot feature in the newer iPhone is available under the settings app.
  • Multitasking: Multitasking as is today, was only available via jailbreak apps until Apple took it up. Multitasking allows for quick switching between apps and not completely ‘killing’ running apps, when a user opens another app. The user is now able to open multiple apps and using them one after the other. Though not entirely perfect, the integrated multitasking in iPhone seems to do the job just as well.
  • Wi-fi Sync: Wireless sync was not part of the iPhone until the release of IOS 5 in 2011. Before then, jailbreakers had to contend with third party apps to enable over-the-air sync feature. Apple integrated this tweak in IOS and also enabled automatic sync with iTunes once the computer was in range. Wireless sync enables users to sync data between iPhones and iTunes etc, wirelessly.
  • Notification: Push notification was also absent in older iPhones until June 2009, when it was introduced in IOS 3.0 alongside iPhone 3GS. The notification feature is more of a pop-up reminder that can be enabled for instant notification of latest messages, news, events and other alerts. Apple notifications come in three different flavors: sound, badges and banners. A list of alerts in Notification Centre can be accessed by swiping a finger from the top downwards, on the iPhone screen.

3: Ultrasnow Jailbreak Tool Is Long Dead

The traditional unlock exploits via Ultrasn0w and Gevey sim interposers ruled the market for quite some time.

The software based Ultrasn0w in particular had simplified unlock tasks and anyone could perform iPhone unlock right in the comfort of the sofa, and for free!

But this has changed somewhat. Ultrasn0w unlock seems to have been the most affected jailbreak tweak.

The introduction of iPhone 4, 4S and 5, and accompanying security fixes seem to have made it extremely hard to break into newer versions of IOS firmware.

Despite the addition of Ultrasn0w Fixer in order to enable unlock for newer IOSes like 6+, software unlock via Ultrasn0w has become a thing of the past!

Ultrasn0w
Ultrasn0w

The last successful Ultrasn0w exploit was effective in only one iPhone 4 baseband (01.59.00) and iPhone 3GS basebands (04.26.08 – 05.11.07 – 05.12.01 – 05.13.04 – 06.15.00).

Those who are still stuck to these basebands and iPhones models can continue benefiting from the unlock, well aware that their phones will need replacements one day.

Those with newer basebands no-longer have to sweat blood in order to have their iPhones unlocked: With Apple now offering factory unlocked iPhones, and most carrier networks offering to unlock iPhones without much of a fuzz, there is probably no need to go the ultrasn0w road any longer.

4: Jailbreak Impact on Battery Life

It is almost a decade since mainstream phone enthusiasts boasted of phone batteries that lasted for days, if not a week! Enter the smartphone era, and long lasting battery life became a thing of the past.

At most, the modern smartphone battery is useful for only one day.

The smartphone battery is most impacted by low running and un-moderated apps in the background.

Whereas, a user can monitor and 'kill' apps that run in the background, most rather unverified apps that are installed in jailbroken iPhones are notorious for eating away the battery.

Some jailbreak tools and apps eat away the battery
Some jailbreak tools and apps eat away the battery

5: Jailbreak Update Nightmare!

Yes, every time a new IOS update is released by Apple the jailbreak community is always told to wait a little longer until 'issues' are sorted out!

Those that get ahead of themselves and attempt to jailbreak out of ignorance get stuck with un-usable iPhones, and have to re-do the whole IOS installation.

Another most affected group are the unlockers who depend on Ultrasn0w tweaks! These only have to pray for time and are getting used to waiting forever before new unlock 'fixes' become available.

6: ... and Not New Ideas From Jailbreakers!

Yes, just as Apple is facing competition from other smartphone makers, so are jailbreakers struggling against the now war hardened Apple.

After successfully integrating jailbreak features like hotspot, push, wifi sync, multitasking etc, jailbreakers are left with the difficult task of coming up with even newer apps and tweaks, good enough to entice newer converts to jailbreaking.

The inventions do not seem to be happening fast. There does not seem to be much difference between what jailbreakers have to offer and what is available in App Store.

Consequently, users begin weighing pros and cons and ultimately, a good number choose to steer clear of iPhone jailbreak!

Do you think iPhone jailbreak is still relevant?

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Final thoughts

Apple has always found a lot of inspiration from jailbreakers, and the thought of silencing the iPhone jailbreak community must be overwhelming. Its aggressive drive to patch all holes and gaps in its IOS is speaking volumes. Apple probably wants everyone to create apps or express their software grievances via App Store.

Perhaps Apple needs to note that one way to win a game and beat competition has always involved studying opponent tactics; and it is even better when it involves studying opponents that are using Apple’s own tools. iPhone jailbreakers probably express best the desires of Apple product consumers, and this is well reflected in Apple’s decision to integrate their ideas into newer IOSes.

As matters stand now, most jailbroken features, save for the cores of SBSettings and Winterboard, are well integrated into IOS. This gives little reason for iPhone users to venture into jailbreaking, a territory that demands continuous caution especially during updates, some of which may make the iPhone dysfunctional or operate abnormally in case of hasty jailbreaks!

Either way, Apple probably still needs a vibrant jailbreak community, just like it needs Samsung to keep moving forward. The noises from the community is promotional enough to simply ignore. Otherwise, everything will be dead quiet.

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    • Anonymous00 profile image

      Anonymous00 4 years ago

      Great summary. I personally stand behind jailbreaking. Quite similar to rooting an android, flashing a custom ROM or debranding a mobile. The main benefit to jail breaking is to have full unrestricted access to the device. Minus all carrier branding, tweaks, and lockouts. Opening up a higher level of customization and capability for the user. I am much more in favor of a phone capable of being modded than I am with pure stock firmware. Great report however. Nice work.

    • amuno profile image
      Author

      Alfred Amuno 4 years ago from Kampala

      You are right Anonymous about the desire to have full access to the root of IOS. Would be the ultimate desire for most if it actually came straight from Cupertino. But we know well it will never happen and users have to depend on jailbreak tweaks to get a few features running. How I wish that jailbreak tweaks were as clean, but again it can never be.

      Thanks for your view.

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