ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why iPhone Jailbreak is Probably Dead

Updated on December 1, 2017
amuno profile image

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

The Cydia app in a jailbroken iPhone
The Cydia app in a jailbroken iPhone

When the first iPhone was released in 2007, the smartphone consumer market went abuzz with excitement. The fans were a little disappointed though with the limited inbuilt features and hoped for better tweaks and apps.

Soon, the geekier enthusiasts went for sneaky ventures to do just that, and thus, iPhone jailbreak was born. The jailbreak added nice tweaks and functionality to the iPhone

Numerous workshops, blogs, forums and websites sprung up, all with jailbreak and unlock tools. The community grew and is still out there.

Unfortunately, the excitement has since ebbed in the last few years. The fanfare that followed every firmware jailbreak has become muted have to be reminded the hack still exists.

Below are some reasons which may have contributed to the loss of interest.

1. Security and Stability Issues

Apple cares about its products and you can bet it makes its hardware and software very stable. It applies regular patches to fix security holes with constant IOS updates.

iPhone jailbreak tools, on the other hand, are manipulated by software apps and tweaks that have not undergone rigorous tests and security vetting.

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 items – the very purpose of jailbreaking anyway.

Dealing with these may not be welcome for the ordinary user. It is much like troubleshooting computer failures. And with diminishing number of new and groundbreaking tweaks from developers, many folks find themselves re-evaluating their options.

Some jailbreak tools will make an iPhone crash randomly
Some jailbreak tools will make an iPhone crash randomly

2. Better Features in New IOS

The innovations starting with IOS 7 was also bad news for the jailbreaking community. It struck the core reasons why jailbreaking actually thrived.

The 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.

Apple thought it better to integrate them into IOS 7 and all new firmware versions.

Below are popular apps and tweaks that were available only in jailbroken iPhones and were featured in IOS 7:

Internet hotspot:

The original iPhones lacked the personal hotspot feature. This was introduced in IOS 7. Personal hotspot enabled the user to create a network hotspot to allow multiple devices to share internet connection.


Multitasking as is today, was only available via jailbreak apps until Apple took it up. It allowed for quick switching between apps and storing running apps in the background. The user was able to open multiple apps and use them one after the other.

Wi-fi Sync:

Wireless sync was not part of the iPhone until the release of IOS 5 in 2011. Before then, jailbreakers used third-party apps to enable over-the-air sync feature. Wireless sync enables users to sync data between Apple devices.


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 enabled for instant notification of latest messages, news, events and other alerts.

3. Ultrasnow Unlock is Long Dead

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

The software-based Ultrasn0w, in particular, allowed the user to unlock the iPhone right in the comfort of the sofa, and for free!

The introduction of iPhone 4, 4S and 5, and accompanying security fixes seemed to have made it extremely hard to break into IOS firmware using Ultrasn0w.

Despite the addition of Ultrasn0w Fixer for IOS 6, unlock via Ultrasn0w has become a thing of the past!


The last successful exploit was effective only in 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 with these basebands and iPhones models can continue benefiting from the service, well aware they will need to upgrade one day.

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. Impact on Battery Life

It is almost a decade since mainstream phone enthusiasts boasted of phone batteries that went for days without charging. Enter the smartphone era, and that is a thing of the past.

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

The iPhone battery is however impacted more by the installations of jailbreak tools. Whereas, the 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. Update Limitations

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 jailbreak out of ignorance get stuck with un-usable iPhones and have to re-do the firmware installation.

In the same vein, unlockers who depend on Ultrasn0w tweaks also have to wait before new unlock 'fixes' become available.

6. Cydia Repositories are Closing Up Shops

A list of popular jailbreak repositories decided to call it a day in late November 2017. If there is one reason which should point to the demise of iPhone jailbreak, then this is it. These sites have been the alternative to App Store for apps.

Repositories are bedrocks of the jailbreak community and the core reason for its survival. Their demise simply means no more apps and tweaks!

Popular repositories that closed up shops include:

Both were part of the three default Cydia sites, and their decision was blamed on reduced user interest and the cost of maintaining app servers.

Cydia repositories
Cydia repositories

7. ... and No New Tweaks

Now that some repositories are quietly opting out, so are the remaining few struggling against the now war hardened Apple.

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

The innovation is not happening fast enough and there seems not to be much difference between what jailbreakers have to offer and what is available in App Store.

Consequently, users begin weighing pros and cons between App stores and Cydia repositories.

Do you think iPhone jailbreak is still relevant?

See results

Final Thoughts

Apple 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. It probably wants everyone to create apps or express their software grievances via App Store.

As matters stand now, most jailbroken features, save for the cores SBSettings and Winterboard, are well integrated into IOS. This gives little reason for users to venture into jailbreaking, a territory that demands continuous caution lest they make their devices dysfunctional.

© 2013 Alfred Amuno


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)