Over the last three and a half years, there has been a lot of hype over users’ ability to ‘jailbreak’ the various iPhone models (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4). We’ve heard horror stories and positive exclamations alike, but have never done it ourselves.
In today’s posting, we’ll take our readers through the risks, advantages and overall legality of jailbreaking the iPhone, along with a short list of tutorials on how to accomplish this task, should our readers be so inclined.
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
There’s been a lot of talk about ‘bricking‘ the iPhone through jailbreaking. Supposedly, the risk is minimal, and according to TheConfuzed1 at MacRumors: Forums, “As long as you are using software that has been release[d] by the Dev Team (PwnageTool, QuickPwn), you won’t brick your phone.”
Other possible detriments include not receiving updates from Apple, the possibility of obtaining a virus and/or voiding your warranty.
This is probably the best point to state our disclaimer:
AudioAcrobat IS NOT responsible for anything YOU do to YOUR iPhone. Should our readers choose to jailbreak, be prepared for any of the above ‘cons’ to take effect, as well as anything within the realm of being classified as ‘unimaginable’.
Having said that, let’s look at the many reasons other users have decided to make the break, shall we?
Pros from the Pros
Why jailbreak? Many users do so for the following reasons:
*Customization of menus, boot screens, icons and just about every feature not customizable in standard Apple-approved releases.
*The ability to quickly toggle settings without leaving Safari or other apps using SBSettings.
*SMS Quick Reply — Not having to leave your browser/app to reply to texts — brilliant!
*Enhanced folder options, background + multitasking abilities.
*A whole new app store — Cydia — full of apps NOT available through Apple!
*Terminal window access via UNIX.
*The ability to switch carriers through unlocking.
*In-app music controls, quick scrolling and the ability to pinpoint a lost phone.
*Bluetooth keyboard control and Wi-Fi hotspot/modem capabilities.
OK, I’m interested … is it legal?
In the summer of 2010, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and federal regulators agreed that “the activity of an iPhone owner who modifies his or her iPhone’s firmware/operating system in order to make it interoperable with an application that Apple has not approved, but that the iPhone owner wishes to run on the iPhone, fits comfortably within the four corners of fair use.”
Basically, Apple doesn’t like the fact that over 9 million iPhone users have decided to make a break for it; and realistically, the worst thing that could happen, as Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris stated, is that “it can violate the warranty and cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”
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Coming up next … restoring a jailbroken iPhone!