5 Reason You Should Still Jailbreak Your iPhone
by David Nield
Jailbreaking isn’t the hot topic it once was. All the new features in iOS, plus the iPhone’s availability on all the major US carriers means it’s no longer such a compelling proposition (especially given the drawbacks). But is the golden era of jailbreaking truly over? Here are 5 reasons why it’s still worth cracking open your iPhone’s operating system.
1. Customize the look of iOS
There aren’t many differences between iOS and Android anymore, but customization is still a big one. With the right apps and launchers, you can tear down the look of Android and build it up again pixel by pixel.
There are apps to juggle around the menus and entries in Settings, to tweak the animations used by iOS, to change the default font and so on. If you want Android-levels of customization, jailbreaking is the way to go.
2. Get around annoying restrictions
When you buy an iOS device, you’re resigning to Apple’s walled garden, for better or worse. Think about the way map and browser links open in Apple’s apps automatically, for example—you can’t change this as you can on Android.
Jailbreaking makes it possible to get around restrictions like this. If you don’t want to use the Messages app for your texts, you don’t have to. If you need to sync with iTunes remotely over the web, that’s possible too.
All kinds of minor annoyances can be wiped away from the interface, such as the overlay that appears whenever you adjust the volume. It’s like having the best bits of iOS without all the frustrating limitations.
3. Add extra features to apps
Want to add Touch ID and PIN protections to lock away specific apps on your iPhone? A jailbreak can help. Want to save images and videos straight from the Instagram feed to your device? A jailbreak is the answer. Desperate to have a full file manager app on your iPhone? Well, a jailbreak works here, too.
Whether you want to clean up junk data and files from your iPhone or make it easier to reach the top of the screen on bigger devices, there are a wealth of apps available through Cydia to add extra features to the OS.
4. Get more games on your iPhone
One category of app that’s definitely banned from the Apple App Store are emulator apps, which turn your device into a PlayStation or a Nintendo 64 or some other similar gaming console or handheld from years gone by.
The distribution of these emulator ROMs lies in a gray area legally speaking, so you should be aware that you’re probably breaking the copyright laws in your country if you decide to go down this route after jailbreaking your iPhone.
5. Create your own hacks
You don’t have to be particularly technical to jailbreak your iPhone, but if you are then the process opens up a treasure trove of new options, resources, and possibilities to help you apply hacks of your own.
One other example is mobile tethering: a jailbroken iPhone can install apps allowing you to circumvent tethering restrictions put in place by your operator, so you can use the phone as a hotspot for other devices to latch onto.
So, what’s next?
If you’ve decided to take the plunge the first thing you need to do is stop updating iOS—the most recent cracked version of the mobile OS is 9.0.2, and if you’re on anything later than that, you’re out of luck.