What’s the Matter with Jailbreaking?

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View

It’s too bad that there isn’t an easy and reliable way to maintain a jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. That way, more people would take advantage of the things jailbreaking allows you to do. For me, one of the main attractions has been the ability to project a mirror of my iPad’s display onto a large screen — either via Display Out (as recently detailed by Chris Breen) or via iDemo (as I covered back when iDemo was called DemoGod). I still don’t understand why Apple hasn’t provided this feature as part of the iOS. For now, the only way you can do this is if you jailbreak your device. Still, jailbreaking remains an activity attempted only by a small minority of iOS users. Why is this? Two reasons.

The first reason is well-known: Apple has done its best to make jailbreaking impossible. And Apple’s best is very good. Apple maintains that jailbreaking voids your warranty and actively discourages its use. Further, Apple has modified the iOS hardware (using a new bootROM that makes untethered jailbreaks much more difficult), has changed the updating process (enforcing signature checks in iTunes, as I’ve previously described) and continues to revise the iOS software so as to block the exploits used to jailbreak. The usual result is that, with the release of each new iOS device and/or each new iOS update, any prior jailbreaking success is eradicated. For example, if you currently have a jailbroken iOS device running 4.2.1, you’ll almost certainly lose the jailbreak if and when you update to iOS 4.3. It may be months after the update release, if ever, before you can successfully re-jailbreak your updated device. Of course, Apple offers no legitimate alternative to jailbreaking. This is not a formula designed to encourage widespread adoption of jailbreaking.

The second reason may be more of a surprise: A major impediment to the acceptance of jailbreaking is the jailbreak developer/hacker community itself. They make the process more difficult to perform than necessary and make it almost impossible for the average user to get any understanding of what is going on. Some difficulty here is inevitable, given the obstacles from Apple that the jailbreak developers must overcome. But the problem goes way beyond this. Perhaps the developers don’t care about any of this. Perhaps their attitude is, if you’re not conversant in the lingo and techniques used when jailbreaking, that’s your problem. But if jailbreak developers aspire to broaden their audience, as many seem to want to do, their current approach is not helping.

Greenpoison

GreenPois0n

A case in point is the recent release of GreenPois0n, a jailbreaking program. This release was big news in the jailbreak community; it was the first utility that could accomplish an untethered jailbreak for any and all iOS devices running the latest (4.2.1) version of the iOS. The other good news was that it did so in (for a jailbreak utility) a relatively simple manner: you connect your iPad (or whatever) to your Mac, launch the utility, follow its almost tutorial-like straightforward instructions, and you’re done.

So what’s the problem? Where to begin?

Let’s start with the name. This a minor point in the scale of things. But using the word “poison” in your name, not to mention mysteriously changing the “o” to “0,” is not designed to comfort the average iPhone user — one who is probably already a bit nervous about what risks are involved in jailbreaking.

Much worse is that, if you go to the GreenPois0n webpage, all you find are three buttons labeled Mac, Linux and Windows. Most users can probably figure out that these are the links to download the utility for your OS of choice. But it doesn’t say that. I know from experience that many users would appreciate a bit more instruction even on this basic point. More critical, the page makes no mention of what is new and significant about this particular jailbreak utility. It doesn’t even say that GreenPois0n is an iOS jailbreak utility. It goes without saying that the page offers no guidance as to how to use the utility, what bugs may still remain, what problems you may confront and how best to deal with them. Can you imagine any “normal” Mac developer marketing their software this way? It would completely fail.

While the utility’s built-in instructions are simple to follow, they still lack a level of guidance and feedback that would be welcome. For example, should your iOS device be powered on or powered off before you start the jailbreak? It doesn’t say. At some point in the jailbreak process, your screen will fill up with a bunch of text that looks like what happens when your Mac boots in single user mode. Is this normal or a sign of impending disaster? Neither the webpage nor the utility itself gives you a clue. Nowhere is there a warning that (at least with the version I tested, which apparently has since been replaced with a newer bug-fixed version) GreenPois0n may fail entirely. I had to repeat the procedure four times before I had success — and knew to do this only after reading user comments on other sites suggesting that this would eventually work.

When the GreenPois0n jailbreak fails, is your iOS device still “intact” — or is it in some unstable “half-jailbroken” state? This answer to this question, obviously of huge concern, is not mentioned anywhere. Neither is there any clear indication when the jailbreak has been successful. As it turns out, if your break has succeeded, GreenPois0n installs a utility named Loader. There is no mention of this nor any instruction as to how to us Loader. You’re apparently just supposed to somehow know that Loader’s function is to install Cydia. Cydia is the jailbreak equivalent of Apple’s App Store app — essential if you want to install any jailbreak software, such as the aforementioned Display Out. [It’s not clear to me why GreenPois0n didn’t simply install Cydia directly, rather than Loader, but that’s a separate issue.]

The Loader situation gets worse. When you launch Loader (assuming you noticed the app on your iOS device and risked giving it a whirl), you may see nothing but an almost blank screen. I once again searched the Web for help and found postings confirming this. The recommendation was to relaunch Loader several times or wait several minutes. Eventually, the option to install Cydia should appear. The problem was due to an overloaded server. In the meantime, you may inadvertently (as I sadly did) hit Loader’s option to delete itself from your iOS device. Oops. Now what? You pretty much have to install Cydia manually. I ran yet another Google search and found four different ways to accomplish this. The first three methods failed. Only the fourth one (which I found buried in a user comment at the end of an article) worked. It required running a different jailbreak utility. I was worried that running another utility on top of GreenPois0n might leave me with an iPad that would no longer boot rather than one with Cydia installed. Fortunately, that did not happen.

One positive note: A day or so later, I found a webpage that offered helpful relatively easy-to-understand advice for dealing with most of the problems I encountered. However, I doubt that potential jailbreakers new to the whole process would ever discover this page.

RedSn0w

Other jailbreak utilities, such as RedSn0w, can be even more difficult to use than GreenPois0n. Getting started with RedSn0w requires that you “select the corresponding IPSW for your CURRENT firmware” before proceeding. However, the utility offers no information as to where to find this firmware file. It next asks you to select from options such as “Jailbreak monte” and “Just enter pwned DFU mode right now” — without any explanation as to what these options do or why you might want to choose or not choose them.

…and beyond

Some may argue that I am being too harsh in my criticism here. Some of the GreenPois0n problems were due to “opening day” jitters and have since been addressed. In any case, it may be unreasonable to expect each jailbreak utility developer to have their own marketing plan or even to take the time to document how their utility works. Still, much of what I described remains an inherent problem for jailbreaking under any circumstances. One might expect the jailbreak community to offer one or two central locations to fill in these gaps. Such a location could provide the details about how each utility works and offer advice as to which one is best to use for your circumstances. This is especially critical because, each time Apple updates the iOS, the recommended jailbreak utility (and how it works) keeps changing! In this regard, I occasionally see reference to the Dev-Team Blog. Unfortunately, this blog is written with so much jargon that it is of little use to all but the most techie of users. Happily, there are a few independent sites, outside of the jailbreak community, that do a much better job. My favorite is iclarified. It’s less than ideal, but it goes a long way towards providing essential information to novice jailbreakers. Unfortunately, as far as I know, none of the “official” jailbreak sites offer a link to this (or any other) tutorial site. You are left to find them on your own.

The way things are now, even if Apple allowed a backdoor for jailbreaking, very few people would walk through it. It’s too hard for the unskilled user to find the most basic of information: to learn which utility to use, how to use it and what to do if things (as they too often inevitably do) go wrong. Given Apple’s position, jailbreaking is not likely to ever be widely adopted. Ironically, via the jailbreak community’s own “closed” behavior, it winds up acting as Apple’s ally.

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42 Comments Leave Your Own

prl53

There’s a third reason for not jailbreaking and the one you should be pushing. Apple has tried their best to provide a platform that is not susceptible to malware attacks from applications they provide through the App Store as well as WiFi and cellular-based attacks. Jailbreak your iPhone and you get to live with the consequences just like most, if not all, Android implementations get to do. The vast majority of iPhone users just want their phone to work, and keep working, without having to worry about patching (other than iOS updates). Government and enterprise IT managers want the same thing. For those people who have time on their hands to fiddle with an iPhone, fine, do it but stay away from my phone.

Jeff

I am one who has jailbroken my phone twice now. I found the current version of GreenPois0n to work well. I feel that if you are going to jailbreak you kind of have an idea of what to expect (lack of support), and have done some research to understand what is going to happen.

I am very pleased with the results from GreenPois0n the current version worked first time for me, noticed now it comes with a read me files.

sflocal

The hacker community likes to make everything complicated in order to give a some false-perception that they are gifted.  It’s the one thing that will always keep things like these in the dark alleys of the Internet, and the stereotype.

Jailbreaking sounds good on paper.  In reality, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.  It’s not that I’m not capable.  I can Jailbreak my iPhone in minutes.  It’s just that I have better things to do with my time than to be fiddling with my phone and risk system instabilities.

You want to micromanage your phone?  Go to Android.  It’s the perfect place for folks with those kind of tendencies.

mlvezie

The easiest jailbreak experience I recall was 4.0.1’s jailbreakme.com. Just go to this website on your device, swipe, wait, and your device is jailbroken. And once you ran cydia, it patched your phone so more malicious websites that used jailbreakme.com’s exploit couldn’t work.

I agree that greenpois0n wasn’t totally clear. But once I pressed Jailbreak, I understood what was going on. But then again, I could see that it was giving me the steps to put my phone in DFU mode, and that was fine.

As for the screenful of single-user diagnostics, when I saw that, my thought was, “COOL!! How can I have this happen every time I power on my phone!!” (but I’m kind of funny that way smile ).

Actually, the worst part of it for me was that, without FolderEnhancer, I had too many apps in my springboard, and had to search for Loader and Cydia to run them.

And @Prl53, There are different jailbreak repositories. I’ve never used any but the standard ones that Cydia came with. I don’t doubt that if you use some of the other ones, you may get in trouble. But I think Saurik and/or modmyi vet them sufficiently. I’ve never had any problems with any of the apps in the standard distribution.

Anyway, I wonder how long Apple knew about the jailbreakme.com pdf bug before jailbreakme.com got them fired up enough to fix it?

Ted Landau

noticed now it comes with a read me files.

Just downloaded GreenPois0n again, to see the ReadMe file. It is a small but significant improvement. Glad to see it.

Meanwhile, my article didn’t even go into all the potential hassles with using Cydia, which could be a separate column.

True, when jailbreaking works well, it only takes a few minutes and is not hard to accomplish. My point, however, is that (even in such cases) the lack of documentation and direction would put off and confuse many users who might otherwise try jailbreaking. Almost by definition, you are not in that group. smile

Ted Landau

Apple has tried their best to provide a platform that is not susceptible to malware attacks from applications they provide through the App Store as well as WiFi and cellular-based attacks.

True, the risk here is greater than with the App Store. However, neither I nor anyone I know who jailbreaks has EVER been victim of an attack caused by jailbreaking. FWIW.

MyRightEye

Jailbreak apps have often been the first to patch the holes Apple has left open, so the whole nonsense about jailbreaking opening you up to malware is nothing but FUD.

Lancashire-Witch

Allied to your second reason Ted; it may be that many ordinary folk have a problem with the term “jailbreaking”.

If the process was called ‘Liberating’,  for example, maybe more people would try it as it would not be regarded as nefarious.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter.

mhikl

Good bet, Ted.

I think your stratagem is the correct one. The techno-fidgetrers who love the taste of the good Apple could stick with their fav fruit and still thinker away. Probably the guys who make the break stuff for the Apple gizmos are Apple people (kind of people, not employees) and are doing the ripping for their own pleasure then share their good stuff with their kind but probably don’t want to overturn the fruit cart. Everyone wants to be famous for something. (Me, too, famous? for tagging my fav Apple Envyboy.)

Really, would an Apple hater spend the time to do the development work. (They’re too busy trying to get their Androids to work. ha ha.)

barryotoole

@Ted: Good article; agree with your points, as well as prl53’s. Have had 3 iPhones, but never felt need to jailbreak. This time, I wanted to ‘unlock’ more than ‘jailbreak’, as I am going overseas, and wanted to be able to use foreign SIMs.

Tried Greenpois0n several times, but no success. Frustrated, but later relieved when I learnt from a blog that Greenpois0n jailbreaks, but doesn’t unlock. Why wouldn’t they tell that upfront so I didn’t have to waste an afternoon attempting to ‘unlock’ my phone?

I would like to ask you if it is possible to just unlock my iPhone 4 without jail breaking. Either way, which is the best program and a good “How To” site? I appreciate your assistance.

Thanks.

John C. Welch

The other reason that no one wants to admit:

the vast majority of users *don’t care*. They don’t want to spend any time dealing with fiddly bits that make them deal with the phone as a computer. THey want it to work. Out of the box work. They don’t want to care about updates. No one does. But when you jailbreak, you suddenly have to.

If something does go sideways on the phone, they just want to get it fixed. Jailbreaking complicates that too.

And for what? What earthshattering advantages does jailbreaking give the average person? None worth caring about.

It’s not the name, or the fear that keeps people from jailbreaking, it’s apathy.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ted, I think you really put this in perspective. If you want a phone that will simply read incoming text messages to you, you can jaiilbreak your iPhone and install a beta of DriveSafe.ly:

DriveSafe.ly is currently in beta for iPhone, but will be available soon! In the mean time, if you have a JailBroken iPhone and would like to partake in our beta, you can download DriveSafe.ly from Cydia. You need a JailBroken iPhone with OS 3.0 or greater, and the application needs to run in the foreground. You can find instructions on how to install DriveSafe.ly beta through Cydia here.

Or you can get an Android phone and install SMS Reader directly from the Marketplace. Without the drama.

Lancashire-Witch

it?s apathy.

I’m not so sure apathetic people would go to the expense of an iPhone in the first place.  Maybe it’s apathy that keeps Nokia and Microsoft going (for example). I think many people choose Apple products because they do care -  about the total experience.

Not seeing any advantage, earthshattering or otherwise, to jailbreaking isn’t apathy.

Seeing jailbreaking advantages but ignoring them could be interpreted as apathy.

geoduck

I won’t be jailbreaking because of my experience.

Not with jailbreaking mind you. But I remember all the other kids that put turbochargers or nitro systems or extra wide tires on their cars and bikes. Sure they could do something the stock system couldn’t but the costs in terms of reliability, or noise, or other issues was not worth it (in my mind). Later I did some hacking. I overclocked my systems. I put Linux on my iPod, I did all sorts of things, and what I found was that, like hopping up a car, often the benefits weren’t as much as promised and the downside was almost always worse than stated.

I’ve worked as an Engineer. I know the kind of trade offs that go into designing a product. That experience has taught me that it’s generally a good idea to assume the engineers that did something a particular way, or blocked the ability to do something, had a bloody good reason. A reason that I, someone that does not know the engineering details of the system as intimately, don’t.

So if Apple hasn’t activated the “ability to project a mirror of my iPad?s display onto a large screen” there is probably a good reason. That’s the kind of feature they must have thought about putting in and specifically didn’t. You may not have run into the consequences yet, but I trust that Apple engineers and testers did.

Peter

I think many people choose Apple products because they do care -? about the total experience.

Dude, that’s soooo, like, 2001.

Way back when, people bought Apple product because they had done the research and decided that Apple products were better.  Today, the majority of iPhone buyers get one because it’s fashionable and socially safe.

mlvezie

@geoduck: That would make sense if the only reason for Apple’s choices for iPhone features were technical.

But the fact is, they’re not. There are many different criteria that go into these decisions; some technical, some UI, and some economic. The technical reasons make good sense, and I won’t (for example) be configuring Backgrounder to have every app running in the background. Nor will I overclock my iPhone and drain the battery in 2 hours. For some users, the UI reasons make sense (consistent user interface, don’t want stuff cluttering up the lock screen, don’t want a dot indicating which app is loaded in memory, etc). As a more technically savvy user, those reasons don’t make sense to me. I’d rather have more information at the expense of a potentially confusing (but not to me) UI. And the economic reasons only make sense to Apple, it’s shareholders, and the cell carriers (cell carrier wants to charge me $20/month more to tether when it’s not a feature they have to do anything about).

In short, while I trust some of Apple’s motives, others don’t apply to me, and others I don’t trust at all.

Lancashire-Witch

Yes Peter - if your only Apple product is an iPhone, I agree.
A mixed environment (iOS devices & a PC) is sub-optimal, but, as you say, for many an iPhone is fashionable. But that’s not the same as “choosing Apple products”.

My point, however, is lack of jailbreaking has a lot more to do with the issues geoduck describes and less to do with apathy. In fact, I suspect if geoduck was apathetic he would be more likely jailbreak, in the sense that he wouldn’t care about the consequences.

As ever, I could be wrong.

geoduck

As ever, I could be wrong.

No you’re exactly right.
Maybe it’s because I grew up around Aviation but reliability is a prime concern for me, whether it’s a car or a bike or an airplane or a computer or a phone. I don’t want to fiddle with it, I want to use it. I’m not apathetic at all, I’m passionate about having the device usable when I want it. I suspect the benefits of Jailbreaking aren’t worth what I see as the likely problems.

mlvezie

reliability is a prime concern for me, whether it?s a car or a bike or an airplane or a computer or a phone.

It is for me, too. That’s why I won’t consider a tethered jailbreak. But my phone has never been unavailable as a phone.

paikinho

Can someone let me know what are the main apps or functionality people are seeking when they decide to jailbreak?

As Bosco pointed out some might want an SMS reader. What are some of the other things people must have which would make them jailbreak.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Dashboard and widget apps. Apple has banned those. Google “Cydia” and you can find hundreds of apps that won’t get approved for the App Store but have value to many customers.

paikinho

What is wrong with not having dashboard or widget apps. What are the extra benefits?

paikinho

Here is another SMS app that seems like it could have a reader. Also a jailbroken app though BH.
iRealSMS3

paikinho

Hmmmm Cydia looks like it has some apps that could be interesting for some folks, but nothing really that would interest me.
Probably jailbreaking would be a waste.
An android would probably be better for my tinkering interests.

paikinho

“Today, the majority of iPhone buyers get one because it?s fashionable and socially safe.”
——————-
Really?... that is a lot of insecure people you are talking about.

I didn’t know the iPhone was so safe. I already won’t buy a blackberry because it is so stodgy and businessy….
Perhaps I will have to rethink buying an Android. I had no idea it wasn’t fashionable or safe.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@paikinho: It really comes down to one simple thing. There are whole classes of completely innocuous apps that Apple bans from its store, effectively banning from legitimate use on iOS devices. Perhaps some developer wants to make such an app. Perhaps some user, somewhere wants to use and perhaps buy such an app. A few of us still believe that that’s a transaction between developer and user, and not one that necessitates the involvement of Apple. Since the first high profile app rejection more than 2 years ago (the South Park app), perhaps it seemed that a quaint few of us held onto the old-school notion that a middleman was not required to be in the middle of the user/developer relationship. But with Sony coming to our position, and Amazon and B&N headed down the same path, the notion is no longer so obscure.

That’s why some jailbreak. But I’ve noticed that most just leave the platform for one that is more open and free.

Ted Landau

Responding to numerous concerns about “instability” and “reliability” etc. in regard to jailbreaking:

I am mainly limited to speaking from my own experience. And in my experience, this has never been a problem. I have never had even one reliability or instability or whatever issue with my jailbroken iOS devices. I have occasionally had a jailbreak app that did not work as promised. But then I simply deleted it from my iPhone. No harm done.

True, I have never gotten into “unlocking” my iPhone and I have always waited to jailbreak until reports online indicated that it was “safe” to do. By following these caveats, all has worked perfectly.

The problem has never been with using a jailbroken iPhone. The problem has been with getting it jailbroken in the first place. Over the years, the procedures have varied from ridiculously simple to horribly complicated. But they are always changing. And, as I tried to detail in this article, they are often confusing and poorly documented.

Unfortunately, most of the difficulties in executing a jailbreak are an inevitable consequence of Apple’s attempts to block jailbreaking. In this regard, I would disagree with a statement that said “If Apple allowed jailbreaking, it would open the door to all sorts of reliability problems.” To the contrary, if Apple allowed jailbreaking, it would eliminate most of the reliability problems associated with the procedure.

Ted Landau

So if Apple hasn?t activated the ?ability to project a mirror of my iPad?s display onto a large screen? there is probably a good reason.

You have more trust in Apple than I do. I am sure there is a reason. And it may even be a “good” reason ? for Apple. That doesn’t mean it is a reason that is “good” for the customer. Or one that most customers would support. In fact, when Apple refuses to comment on the rationale behind a policy decision, I suspect it sometimes means that Apple knows that the explanation would not go over well.

As long as Apple continues to be successful, it can make decisions that are not designed with the customers’ best interest in mind. Customers will put up with this as long as they prefer doing so to the alternative of getting a non-Apple product.

Ted Landau

Hmmmm Cydia looks like it has some apps that could be interesting for some folks, but nothing really that would interest me.

In truth, there are only about a half-dozen jailbreak apps that I use. But I am glad to have them. Beyond that, the main value of jailbreaking for me is that it gives me access to the root level of the iOS device’s drive. Essentially, I have the same sort of access to my iPhone as I do to my Mac.

I understand that this will be of little interest to many users. In fact, I am certain that, even if Apple allowed jailbreaking, only a minority of users would take advantage. More than do now, but still a minority. But that doesn’t make jailbreaking insignificant or irrelevant or whatever. By the same token, most apps in the App Store are downloaded by only a tiny fraction of the iPhone user base. But that doesn’t mean those apps don’t matter and should be removed.

paikinho

@Bosco
With so few apps for Jailbroken phones I can’t imagine the migration from the iPhone would be very great given such menial enhancements for hacked phones. I don’t think people leave the iPhone because they would have to jailbreak their iPhone to get 1 or 2 functions.

I would expect more migration because of a better fit with a given device for some people. Each phone has its strengths and users will gravitate to phones which suit them better. Perhaps there is just a more functional set of apps on the Android for some users.

When I talk to people about what they do or don’t like about their phones nobody I have talked with says anything about openness or freedom of the phone. Generally this is a non-issue for the masses who have little understanding of what it means.

Also none of the phones are ostensibly open or free systems. For developers, being blocked by apples app process might be more of an issue. But Android phone development is still tethered to Googles abilities and vision.

Anyhow, people tend to gravitate to the phone which does the most for them in their own lives. The amount of folks deciding to choose an “open or free” system is not really a factor in my view since that is reserved mostly for the nerdiest types of folks who may know the difference. Nerds don’t make up a sizable chunk of the populace.

But even the openess of the Android has its caveats. It is open for app developers yes. But all developers and users are still tethered to the production cycle of the OS developer and the hardware makers.

Ted Landau

One more note: I have an optimistic belief that, if Apple ever tacitly allowed jailbreaking, and if the jailbreaking community increased as a result, the quality and variety of jailbreaking software would improve ? because there would be significant money to be made in selling apps. Of course, this is also one reason that Apple will almost certainly never do this. So we’ll never know.

paikinho

Ted,
I think you are right. If apple ever supported Jailbreaking it would become a seamless process. But I just don’t see any reason why they would do that. Preserving things as they are generates a tremendous amount of money and very few downsides for users.

JohnnyO

Ted,

You’ve made many excellent points about the state of jailbreaking iOS devices.

My three guesses about the state of jailbreaking are the following:

1) “I had to work hard to figure -this- out, why should I make it easy for you?”

2) If jailbreaking were easier, we’d get a ton of comments from people who can’t get it to work.  If we make it seem unappealing, those people will stay away.

3) If jailbreaking were easier and well documented, perhaps many more people -would- jailbreak, and then, maybe Apple would work even harder to shut it down.  If jailbreaking stays “under the radar” maybe it’ll still be around for those who are willing to jump through the hoops.

Like you, my jailbroken 3GS has been very stable.  Probably because I don’t tart it up with every little hack that is out there.  I have only 5 apps loaded from Cydia.  The most important of those is in use for me to post this message from my Mac—MyWi 4.0 tethering.

The next most important is Lockinfo and the Compact Lock Weather plugin - it shows the current weather, along with a count of new messages (email, SMS, VM) and calendar events on my lockscreen.

vpndev

Why jaibreak? To unlock so that when traveling overseas you can use a local SIM, so that local friends don’t have to make an international call to call you.

I haven’t heard that AT&T has started to allow unlocks, even though they no longer have iPhone exclusivity. I thought that the class-action suit changed this but it doesn’t seem so, at least not yet.

Terrin

Agreed that jailbreak was extremely easy and worked great. Because of it I am happily on T-Mobile now. No more paying for a data plan I don’t want or need.

My view is if you bought something, you own it. Apple doesn’t have to support me if I want to make changes that it doesn’t agree with, but it shouldn’t actively stand in my way either. I’m OK with my warranty being voided if I seriously messed the phone up, but not simply because Apple doesn’t agree with something I did.

Jobs and Wozniak got their start creating boxes to hack AT&T’s pay telephones. Apple under Jobs leadership used to fly a Pirate Flag.

I am a big boy. I love Apple products, but part of the reason is that Apple generally has catered to both users who want their hands held and those of us who like to tinker.

The easiest jailbreak experience I recall was 4.0.1?s jailbreakme.com. Just go to this website on your device, swipe, wait, and your device is jailbroken. And once you ran cydia, it patched your phone so more malicious websites that used jailbreakme.com?s exploit couldn?t work.

Terrin

This kind of speaks to Ted’s article. There are no good instructions out there that examples things like the difference between jail-breaking and unlocking and how they work together.

Jail breaking is a necessary step to unlocking. Jailbreaking makes it so you can download third party software from unapproved by Apple sources. For instance, the software that unlocks the phone.

As for the best resource, go to the dev. team website (do an internet search, it will come up).

Tried Greenpois0n several times, but no success. Frustrated, but later relieved when I learnt from a blog that Greenpois0n jailbreaks, but doesn?t unlock. Why wouldn?t they tell that upfront so I didn?t have to waste an afternoon attempting to ?unlock? my phone?

I would like to ask you if it is possible to just unlock my iPhone 4 without jail breaking. Either way, which is the best program and a good ?How To? site? I appreciate your assistance.

Thanks.

Terrin

I wanted to unlock my phone so I could use T-Mobile. Jailbreaking was a necessary step.

Can someone let me know what are the main apps or functionality people are seeking when they decide to jailbreak?

As Bosco pointed out some might want an SMS reader. What are some of the other things people must have which would make them jailbreak.

b9bot

It all comes down to how the phone should function and what changes in a jailbreak that could break other functions. That in turn bring people to go to Apple and expect Apple to replace there phones under warranty even though the phone is working perfectly with the proper released software until they installed the jailbreak.
That’s what’s wrong with jail breaking. A perfectly good working phone, and software broken by someone who thinks they know how to program it differently but doesn’t realize there programming breaks other functions and so on.

Ted Landau

...expect Apple to replace their phones under warranty even though the phone is working perfectly until they installed the jailbreak. A perfectly good working phone, and software broken by someone who doesn?t realize their programming breaks other functions and so on.

I believe these are essentially straw man arguments. How many people with jailbroken iPhones do you know that have taken their iPhone into Apple expecting a repair for a jailbreak-related problem? I don’t know one such person. And as I’ve already said, none of the jailbreak software I use break other functions.

mlvezie

It all comes down to how the phone should function and what changes in a jailbreak that could break other functions. That in turn bring people to go to Apple and expect Apple to replace there phones under warranty even though the phone is working perfectly with the proper released software until they installed the jailbreak.

Except that jailbreaking doesn’t break other functions (at least not for me). I know not to go to Apple if I have a question about my phone’s software.

I did have a problem with my iPhone 4’s camera. I restored the software and it was still bad, so I brought it in, and they gave me a new phone.

Ross Edwards

Echo @geoduck’s point.

My friends and I have a saying, “How much?  How much to do X?”  We bring this up whenever some tech gadget or software or system or whatever either doesn’t work, or wants us to pay extra for the full content, or wants us to play X hours to open up the entire game, or whatever.  The implication is that whatever the price tag was, it was obviously a lie because the real price is more, in either time or money, and we might have made a different buying decision had we known the whole story. 

For example, it turns out Rock Band 3 is not just $49.95.  It’s $49.95 + $2 per song to get your favorite songs from the DLC store + up to ~4 hours of play to unlock all content if you want to play the locked songs too, and that’s where they put the best stuff.  That’s a big and potentially unbounded commitment.  Substantially more than fifty bucks.  If I had known that in advance, I would not have bought in.  But I only found that out once I had paid my fifty.  “How much?  How much to play the songs I like with my friends?”  I would have paid more up front just to do that and not be bothered with the extraneous crap, or I would have gone and found something else to do with my money.  They got me, this time.  But come time for Rock Band 4 or whatever other game that company releases, I may not be so quick to pull out my Visa.

We are busy people.  We have jobs, kids, obligations.  We work hard, and we play hard—when it comes time to use our devices, we have no desire to waste time tinkering.  We want to pay Money Dollars on the counter and walk away with a gadget or program that Always Works All The Way No Matter What.  We understand there are bugs, but we are also not early adopters, so generally by the time WE are buying something, it needs to be pretty much set to go with all major hurdles resolved.  In general, Apple meets these requirements.  Jailbreaking would just be asking for hassle that we already paid up front not to have to deal with!

Warren Brown

http://www.redsn0wdownload.com is an excellent tool to use if you want to jailbreak your iPhone. Simply use the Redsn0w Download to get access to thousands of applications. Redsnow really is the way to go.

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