Why Jailbreak? Cydia founder gives reasons why jailbreaking the iPhone is worthwhile

Apr 29, 2011 - 6 Comments

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines wondering why you should jailbreak your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you’re probably not alone. There’s plenty of reasons, but the video above lets us hear a few directly from Jay Freeman, aka Saurik, of Cydia fame. His main pitch is that jailbreaking gives you the freedom to do things outside of the normal scope of applications, including:

  • 5 icons on your dock
  • Cool animation customizations
  • Quick access panels to settings
  • Twitter client from a status bar
  • Forward voicemail messages to other people as emails
  • Custom lock screens
  • Black keyboard vs white default
  • iOS appearance themes

In other words, jailbreaking creates a tinkerers wonderland, allowing for thorough customization of the iOS interface and experience. If you watch the video, you’ll see a couple examples of these customizations in action, some are just pure eyecandy and others are genuinely useful enough that Apple should consider adopting them (forwarding voicemails, custom lockscreens, etc).

What app should you use to jailbreak? In the video, Saurik currently recommends using redsn0w (you can read a tutorial to jailbreak 4.3.2 with redsn0w here, it’s easy just follow the instructions).

The downsides to jailbreaking? You have to keep on top of iOS updates to make sure you don’t lose your jailbreak. Saurik recommends just waiting a few days until after an iOS update is released so that a jailbreak is available for the new version, which has been the standard jailbreaker approach for a while now. And no, jailbreaking is not illegal so there is nothing to worry about there.

For whatever reason, Saurik doesn’t mention carrier unlocking, but that’s also a common reason people jailbreak their iPhones in regions where hardware is sold locked by default. Unlocking is getting more and more challenging though, and current methods only apply to older firmware. The good news is that the GSM iPad 2 is unlocked regardless of where you buy it, and this may hint at a more liberalized approach to carrier locking in future versions of iPhone, or so we can hope.

Thanks to Parakeet for sending us the video via 9t5mac


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Posted by: Matt Chan in iPad, iPhone


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  1. demidemi says:

    This is from YouTube, names of all the apps in use in video:

    Display Recorder – with the option in Settings to always show taps

    Barrel – the animation when sliding between screens of apps

    SBSettings (with the theme Serious SBSettings HD) – drop-down settings

    qTweeter – drop-down Twitter client (also works for Facebook)

    Voicemail Forwarder – send voicemail as email attachments

    Graviboard – shake to make the icons loose

    Lock Calendar – simple lockscreen calendar

    CUPS HD – winterboard theme

    Color Keyboard – black keyboards on 4.3

  2. Ronald says:

    I think the fact that his Settings app not opening (the first thing he demonstrates in the video) is a very good reminder of the problems with jailbreaking. If you overload your device with customisations you are going to end up with poor performance, one of the main things the iPhone prides itself on not suffering from.

    If anyone asked me why NOT to jailbreak, that would be my answer, not “well you may have to wait a day or two (more like weeks) when new firmwares are released”. Jay is not giving the whole story.

  3. DiveBum says:

    Does any one know what were the two tweaks that Jay demonstrated when he moved between screens and his icons rolled in, and the Twitter from the status bar? Thanks

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