If you’ve owned a cell phone over the last 15 years, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the phrase ‘jailbreaking’ before. It’s a term that has been around for a long time but do you really know what it means? Maybe you’ve stayed away from it because it doesn’t sound user-friendly or you’re just not that interested. Well, in this post, we’re going to go over what jailbreaking is and why you might actually want to do it.
The term ‘jailbreaking’ often refers to unlocking your phone so you can do more with it. It’s usually referred to in terms of the iPhone or Apple products the most because as you’ll know, Apple’s software is very restrictive. If you’ve ever owned an iPhone and an Android phone before, you’ll know that Android phones are a lot more flexible and you can do a lot more on them than iPhones.
Jailbreaking is when you hack a device and change the coding on it to remove its restrictions and we all know how many restrictions there have been on Apple devices in the past. It’s something that has been done a lot to Apple products since the first iPhone although it is being done less thanks to Apple stepping up and increasing the flexibility on its products in more recent years.
However, there’s still a lot an iPhone can’t do that an Android phone can…
Why Are Apple Products So ‘Locked Down’?
Apple is the most ‘locked down’ company out there and there are a couple of key reasons for this. The first is that Apple wants you to buy into their whole experience. Once you own an iPad or an iPhone for example, they then want to keep you on their app store where they’ll make money from your app purchases and have you stream music from iTunes so they get royalty cuts.
It’s smart business at the end of the day and most people are willing to buy into the whole Apple experience because it is reliable and has a premium feel to it. When you can only access Apple-approved software, you know it’s going to work well.
Another reason for Apple locking you into their products is because they want full control of how everything on your device works. This is not only helpful for them in terms of being able to fix issues but it also means that they can keep your device safe. For example, it’s much easier to list an app on the Android Play Store than it is on the App store. Apple works hard to filter through apps it thinks are safe for your device.
Most people agree that it’s much easier to get virus’ on Android phones than iPhones and that’s all thanks to Apple’s secure software.
So there are benefits to being locked into Apple’s software but do they out-weight the negatives?
Benefits of Jailbreaking Your Apple Device
It’s worth pointing out that it’s not just iPhones that can be jailbroken but also iPad’s, iPod’s Apple TV and more. Basically, anything that runs Apple’s iOS software can be jailbroken which is good news if you’re looking to add some flexibility to your device!
Whilst Apple offers its customers an amazingly beautiful experience with its products, it also locks you into all of its own software like the app store and iTunes which limits your control over the phone’s functions. This is where jailbreaking comes in.
Once you have jailbroken your Apple device, you’ll become the administrator, not Apple. This means you can then do things like install the Cydia store to download games and apps not available on Apple devices and change your home icons around and switch up their styles.
You can also change the iOS settings so that Messages and Safari are no longer the default apps for those functions, opening you up to interesting new apps that can do different things in those roles. You can gain full access to the Android App Store which means you can then download apps not available usually on iOS like Tasker, Action Launcher, Torque Pro, Flyperlink.
You’ll be able to;
- Create custom web browsers
- Change icons
- Customize admin settings
- Create your own home screen
- Automate some functions
- Download 3rd party games and apps
…and much, much more.
When you jailbreak your phone, you take away all control from Apple and put it in your own hands. You can turn your Apple device into something completely new! Fancy having Chrome as your web browser? No problem! Want to download a new music player insted of itunes? You can do that with a jailbroken device!
Jailbreaking is a relatively simple thing to do but it may take a little bit of trial and error. Generally, you can find a code to upload to your device amongst hacking communities and forums like Reddit. Jailbreaking isn’t illegal but of course, Apple would rather you didn’t do it as they stand to lose money if you do decide to do it to one of their devices.
Once you have a code you need to upload it to your device and change the administrator roles of your device. It’s important to note that you’ll need to turn off ‘auto-updates’ on your Apple device because if you do update your device it will wipe the jailbreak. Apple releases new versions of its software and when doing so, includes patches for jailbreaks. So, if you do jailbreak your Apple device, you won’t be able to ever update it if you want to keep your 3rd party capabilities.
However, jailbreaking does come with its own risks. For example, if you do remove all Apple administrator permissions, you’ll no longer get automated security messages from apple or update notifications. Apple won’t be able to monitor any 3rd party apps that you have gained access to through jailbreaking your device and tell you if they are a security risk.
Should You Jailbreak Your Apple Device?
There are many benefits to jailbreaking your Apple device and we’ve covered them in this post but jailbreaking won’t be for everyone. It takes a little practice and finding the right hack for your device online. However, once you know how to do it you may never go back!