Jailbreaking your iOS device: Pros and Cons

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Jailbreaking is the process of removing the limitations imposed by Apple on devices running the iOS operating system through use of custom kernels.

Pros
Jailbreaking is completely legal so you’re not breaking any laws if you eventually decide to jailbreak your idevice

Jailbreaking removes all those ‘silly’ restrictions that Apple placed on the iPhone.

Jailbreaking instals “Cydia” on your idevice. Cydia is just like the official AppStore but basically houses all the apps, tweaks, themes and other features that Apple did not allow into the Appstore. The Cydia store actually started before the AppStore, so most of the good things that happened to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad can actually be credited to the jailbreak community. Most of the features in the official Apple software came as ideas from the tweaks in the jailbreak store. Apple even hired some members from the jailbreak community, the most recent being Peter Hajas (the guy responsible for the notifications centre in the highly anticipated iOS 5).

You can install a whole load of themes. you can even make your idevice look like Windows OS.

Jailbreaking enables you to install custom IPSW (iPhone software) to unlock your idevice even if it’s already locked on an international carrier. This means that you don’t have to shell out $700 for a factory unlocked iphone before it works in your country. You could just buy the $199 iPhone 4 on a cheap contract and then unlock it to work on any carrier.

Jailbreaking enables features like bluetooth transfer to and from any phone . Depending on your device firmware, you can use either of three apps to do this (iBluenova, iBluetooth, or Celeste).

Jailbreaking is really cool. It makes you feel like you’re a programmer even though you know you’re just following instructions that the real hackers simplified.

Cons
Even though it is completely legal to jailbreak your device, Apple is still cracking down on jailbreakers. Jailbreaking instantly voids your warranty. (An easy way around that though is just to install an official apple software on your device which would wipe any traces of a previous jailbreak so your warranty is ‘safe’).

Installing too many jailbreak apps tends to make your battery drain faster. It also slightly slows down your device especially if you’re using an iPhone 2G, 3G or first generation iPad.

Jailbreaking can absolutely screw up your device, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Jailbreaking your device is easy. You shouldn’t have to pay for it. Over the next few days, I will be teaching you all the things you need to know to jailbreak any iOS device.

17 comments

  1. Ayo, this is a very timely post and appropriate too. You do well. You write marvellously. I’m waiting for your follow-up to this article!

    I for one have never jail-broken any of my Apple products! I take my time to ensure that I buy a factory unlocked idevice, no matter how much I have to shell out for it. I have a fellow Doctor Friend in Cameroon who has an opposing view too me. He jailbreaked his iPhone 4 and iPad 2! And is a passionate follower of Redmond Pie.

    It’s good to hear the other side of the Fence!

  2. Nice Write up.

    Eager to here about the iPhone firmwares that still cant be unlocked. I have a friend that has been bugging me for this.

  3. @bosun99uk: Thanks. I’ll do a piece on that one. Funny thing is I have an iphone 4 that is on one of those basebands. 04.10 to be precise. There are ways around it though.

  4. Great article! I’m definitely a jailbreaker. I agree with how it makes you feel like a hacker even though you’re just following instructions. It’s also nice to be able to install whatever you want on a phone you’ve paid so much for. It’s certainly worth the risk for me but my only complaint is that my phone battery only lasts a maximum of 4 or 5 hours now 🙁

  5. Bambam bigelow! Ehn… wasup doc?
    Ao is lyf in LUTH? My deepest condolences abt ur mum. May God giv her 1daful resting place up above.
    Doc ao can I fix ds problem my fone is jailbreaked wit d cydia app nd all bt all of a sudden cydia doesnt work anymore.Wats d remedy boss?

  6. Well, you could re-jailbreak it and cydia would start working. The other option involves SHSH-ing into your iphone and clearing some caches that might be corrupted in your cydia app. Get in touch with me and I’ll put you through on the step by step process.

  7. I love to try devices on different platforms. The only one I am yet to buy for personal use is an iphone. may be with Ayo’s article I might just give apple a try soon. I hate being limited, that is why I been dining with android. there is also one other problem. apple doesn’t seem to be interested in making their devices in a size I have grown to derive great satisfaction. the 4′,4.3′ and even the new 4.5′ screen sizes. for guys with big fingers like me, the screen estate matters. well, lets see how it goes.

  8. Great work Ayo.
    Happy to note that doctors are not all about stethoscopes and scalpels. Everyone using iphone in nigeria until recent must have had to jailbreak cos the product was made locked for carriers and it must of necessity had to be jailbroken in order to be unlocked for use on our networks. Thankfully nowadays, one could just insert a Gevey Sim and use without jailbreak. Thats what i am doing on my iphone 4 running iOS 4.3.5. I am made to believe the Gevey Sim is not legal in some countries though.

    Between afewgoodmen and myself, we did a couple of jailbreaking with mixed results which we are willing to share on this site. We are waiting the second part of this article.

    One very good thing about jailbreaking is that it is completely reversible. Should you be tired of playing around, simply plug into iTunes and restore. One thing I still can’t get is why apple put so many restrictions on their devices when they could easily allow in all those goodies and sell more.

    For all the apple fanboys out there, it’s only ONE days to the “greatest event” on the planet. Let the “oohs and the aahhs”begin. (afewgoodmen – are you there?)

  9. @Deoladoctor. Thanks for the comment. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, I’ve been jailbreaking iOS devices for a long time. I even got so good that some people started bringing their devices that were stuck in the ‘dreaded’ recovery loop and were rejected at the Computer Village for me to fix. I guess the key to jailbreaking idevices is following the instructions of the Chronicdev team (the team responsible for all the iOS jailbreaks) to the letter.

    I had a pretty nasty case of gastroenteritis coupled with some busy night shifts last week and that’s why I never really got to the sequel of my article. It will definitely by completed this week.

    Also, about your iphone 4 using the gevey sim unlock, there is a way you can unlock it without needing the Gevey sim. I personally don’t like the Gevey sim because everytime the network goes off, you need to do the unlock procedure again, and some apps don’t work properly while on the Gevey sim unlock. I heard of a website that does ‘over the air’ activations for iphone 4 using only your IMEI number but I’m yet to try it. You should google it though. I know udidactivateme.com was doing official unlocks for less than 10 dollars before but i don’t know if they still unlock iPhone 4s.

    And about tomorrow!!! I’m literally as excited as a kid on Christmas Morning! Haters can go hate! This is our moment to brag for the next couple of months before Samsung copies our new device again. lol.

  10. @Deoladoctor: Oh, and about the apple restrictions. They are pretty lame, but they help them make more money. They sell copyrighted music in their itunes store and practically rake in millions daily (i presume). So it makes sense for them to disable bluetooth music transfers because then everybody just starts sharing their music. There are quite a number of valid restrictions but some are just plain ridiculous though.

  11. ” They sell copyrighted music in their itunes store and practically rake in millions daily”

    Sorry to “disappoint” that statement. Apple’s Music on the iTunes store are not copyrighted. They’re DRM free. You can play them in any device and convert it the way you want. Steve Jobs championed this DRM-Free movement back in the early days of the iPod. But alas their Vidoes and TV Shows are still DRM protected. Jobs was unable to score a win over the movie industry like he did the music industry.

    However, I’m perturbed that music, videos and paid books are all not yet available in the Nigerian iTunes Store. I used to buy from the UK store! When I contacted Apple, they said they were still working on it!

    Concerning tomorrow, I daresay that it the greatest event in the history of Tech. The Tech World awaits for Apple and I assure you, it wouldn’t let us down. Aother disruption will happen tomorrow in the TechWorld by 6:00pm GMT. Maybe then, even the Galaxy S II WITH IT’S false sense of slimness and features will become outdated.

  12. My Oga Deoladoctor,

    Sorry to say, I am a fan of Apple products but definitely not a Fanboy. However, i still can’t wait for tomorrow for the launch of the most anticipated device in history. Am I hyperbolical? Maybe. I just cant keep the excitement down.

    Just get the Popcorn, Beer, and the usual stuff ready; all road leads to your clinic by 5:30pm tomorrow!

  13. Yes you can. I have done it a couple of times before.
    First, you need to have a jailbroken iphone 4.
    Go to cydia, and add this source “sinfuliphonerepo.com”
    Let cydia reload, then Search for “mywi4 cracked”
    Install it
    Go to your springboard and start the app
    Once youre in the app, its easy peasy. Just click on the wifi signal and the tethering will begin.
    Let me know if u have any problems

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