- What is Jailbreaking?
- Types of Jailbreaks
- Is jailbreaking for me?
- What are the consequences of jailbreaking?
- What does jailbreaking look like?
- What is Cydia?
- (After jailbreaking) Now What?
- How to jailbreak?
What is Jailbreaking?
What is jailbreaking? You've probably heard the word thrown around a couple times and you know it has something to do with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. More specifically, you can narrow it down to the act of 'hacking' your device if you aren't to familiar with the concept. While this is true there is more to it than that.
Traditionally, iOS (or iDevice Operating System) released by Apple has a lot of boundaries as to what users can do with it. This includes things such as using third party applications to control settings and downloading online content along with a list of many others that would make the device more usable. This is due to the fact that Apple wishes to make their device easy to use, safe to use, and free from piracy and viruses. Sound like a good plan, but in the end it limits those users who could benefit from the additional features and plan on using it for good.
For example, Android is much more lenient in its design and gives users a much wider variety of control over their device. It allows for custom widgets, notification bars, downloads, and much more than an iPhone at first glance. But the simplicity of the iPhone's user-friendly interface is what sells it.
So how can users break the wall of limits put on iDevices by Apple? The answer is in the jailbreak. With a jailbreak, the use of third party applications are allowed and the barriers on the iDevice are lowered drastically.
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Types of Jailbreaks
There are also two type of jailbreaks: tethered and untethered. A tethered jailbreak is one that is temporary. After jailbreaking tethered the user is required to plug their device into the computer to re-initiate the jailbreak each time the device is rebooted (turned off and then back on again). This is not very ideal as some installations require a reboot and you may not always want to plug in your device. However, these jailbreaks are usually out during the preliminary stages of a new upcoming jailbreak that will be untethered. So those who are patient in updating their device are rewarded.
The untethered jailbreak is what you want. If you wait for the untethered jailbreak to come out you will be rewarded with unlimited rebooting. No matter what you do, unless it is updating or restoring, the Cydia application will remain intact.
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Is jailbreaking for me?
Many people ask this question wondering whether or not they should take part in 'hacktivating' their device. The truth it is is very beneficial for most but only if you are willing to utilize the features that come with it.
For some, having an iPhone and iPod with the Apple initiated boundaries still suits there needs. But for many like me, they yearn to reap the maximum functionality out of their device. Read some things about jailbreaking apps that are up for install to see if they peak your interest. If not, it is not worth to jailbreak just for the sake of doing it.
Some of the things that may peak an average person's interest is an app called Winterboard. It implements themes to your device which change the application icons, alter the colors of the background, and does many more things to alter the iOS appearance to impress friends.
Another thing that jailbreakers often use is small things about tweaks. For more about that check out some posts here at Applocity.
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What are the consequences of jailbreaking?
Many people refrain from jailbreaking their iDevice although they may want to because of some things they here floating around. Although some of these things may be true, there are also many myths out there.
Fact (Sort of): Jailbreaking can 'mess up' your device.
Some of the jailbroken apps out there involve running processes that are not meant for your specific brand of device. For example, some apps may be designed for the iPhone 5 and not run as fast on your iPod Touch 2G. This would cause your iPod to slow down.
Also, some apps can run in the background (SBSettings, Backgrounder) and evidentially slow up your device if overly used. This all depends on how new or old its is as well (as mentioned above). Also, some excessive use of themes and appearance enhancement apps can cause quite a bit of slowdown.
Last, there are certain ways to alter the internal composition of your device using jailbreak such as iFile, Command Prompt, and SSH. Altering files in the wrong way can lead to problems with your device.
With all this being said, it isn't meant to scare you away from the many benefits of jailbreaking, but just a warning that with a jailbreak it is imperative to know what you are doing and identify your boundaries. Online tutorials are a great way to do this.
Myth: Jailbreaking can brick your device.
Although jailbreaking can cause your device to experience slow down or hurt its functionality's efficiency, it is not possible for any jailbreaking means to completely cause your device to stop operating. Contrary to popular belief any problems caused to your device can be fixed by restoring it to factory settings at anytime, in sense voiding the jailbreak and 'undoing' it at any time. However, it is not a good idea to update your device with a jailbreak. Rather, you should restore your device and then update otherwise, old jailbreak data will remain on your device.
Myth: Jailbreaking is illegal.
Because you purchased your device legally (hopefully) you own all legal rights to do anything with it that you want as long as it does not involve using copyrighted material unlawfully. This means that piracy is still illegal.
Fact: Jailbreaking voids a warranty.
Jailbreaking your device will void any warranty you have with Apple. This is the only thing that could possibly discourage jailbreak. If you were to jailbreak your device, Apple has the right to deny you any reimbursement in the case that something happens to your device. If you don't have an Apple Warranty or it has expired...go nuts.
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What does Jailbreaking Look Like?
Like any piece of technology jailbreak has evolved over time. In order to take part in utilizing third party applications you must install an app to your iDevice. It's as simple as that. But this app must be gotten through unconventional methods outside the Apple app store. There are many programs out there that can jailbreak your iDevice and install this 'app.' These programs include: Evasi0n, Redsn0w, Limera1n, and many others. It depends on your device's firmware (software) version and the type of device you own on which to use so the method of jailbreaking varies drastically.
Once you have successfully jailbroken your device (a relatively simple process in most cases) you will get this 'almighty app.' In recent jailbreaks this app is known as Cydia, made by a guy named Jay Freeman, more affectionately referred to as saurik.
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What is Cydia?
In essence, Cydia is the third party app store that allows you to install packages in order to alter the functionality of your device. Packages are equivalent to apps.
By default, Cydia comes preloaded with many sources. Sources are essentially sites that act as repositories for Cydia to download, install, and fetch app data for. It is possible to add additional sources to Cydia as well so a virtually unlimited array of packages are at your disposal. To do this go to Manage > Sources > Edit > Add.
Packages can be found by looking through the Sections tab by category. The better way of finding the specific app that you want is to simply search for it. It is best to know what your looking for before going in Cydia, but it also has many 'browse-able' packages to discover yourself.
When Cydia first loads up it will ask you to choose your user type. For those of you that are worried about messing up your device, choose User as it will block all packages that require care in their use. But I recommend using the Developer tab as it will give you full access to all packages and features, the reason you jailbroke your device in the first place.
After that, it will prompt you to do an upgrade. Choose the 'complete upgrade' unless you feel as if your running short on space in your iDevice.
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After this Cydia is pretty much a free-for-all. Applocity can help you discover some apps, themes, and tweaks to get along with some sources to add to make you Cydia experience yield fruit. Check out some of the links below to put you on the right direction for making the most out of your jailbreak.
Must Have Cydia Tweaks: What to do with a Jailbroken Device
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How to Jailbreak?
As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of programs to allow you to jailbreak your device. It is actually much easier than it looks.
Each jailbreak is unique to the firmware of the device. In order to find this out go to Settings > General > About and scroll down to firmware. You can also check to see if there is an update for your device by connecting it to iTunes.
When updating your iDevice you want to make sure it is not jailbroken. If it is already jailbroken and you are looking to update make sure you backup your files and restore it prior to the update. This is so since updating an iDevice will get rid of the jailbreak but keep some files in the background. It is ideal to restore before each new jailbreak.
To make things even easier, Applocity has tutorials to help you through the easy process! (They will be updated as added)
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