Sooner or later, most Apple device owners consider jailbreaking their device. Jailbreaking breaks the severe restrictions Apple puts on the operating system by taking full control of the device. This means you will lose your warranty and will have to pay out of pocket to fix the device if something goes wrong. On the bright side, you won’t be prosecuted for jailbreaking the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, because it is completely legal in the U.S. If you are okay with the possible consequences of jailbreaking, there are some great advantages..
Jailbreaking Apple Devices: Pros and Cons
First, you’re free from the shackles of iTunes. There are many great apps that aren’t in the app store. The best non-Apple framework for finding and adding unauthorized apps, such as games and networking tools, is Cydia. For instance, MyWi, available through Cydia, turns your iPhone or cellular-enabled iPad into a broadband modem, or a Wi-Fi hotspot, to connect your laptop to the Internet. By doing this, you can also avoid the extra charge for “tethering”, as many carriers often make their subscribers pay for this or include the service as part of high-priced plans.
You can also customize the jailbroken device with an app called WinterBoard, which allows you to change your icons, wallpaper, dock, status, and sounds.
However, there’s more to jailbreaking than just the ability to install the kitty wallpaper you love. Jailbreaking exposes the inner workings of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to the user, which can be very handy. You wouldn’t want a car with the hood welded shut, and with a jailbreak you’ve got the opportunity to open the hood whenever you’d like to have a look at the engine. For instance, the secure shell (SSH) client is much more useful for everyday life. It provides secure migration of your data between two devices on a network. Through SSH, a jailbroken iPhone can be connected to the computer to fix corrupted files, or install games that aren’t available in the iTunes App Store.
Jailbreaking a device also solves the issue with carrier locks. According to the law, carriers have to unlock a phone as long as the phone is fully paid for and the account is in good standing (that is, the contract or payment plan is completed and you have nothing else to pay). Yet, in reality, the major carriers pursue various policies. Verizon locks almost none of its handsets, and none of its iPhones, but AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile do. As a rule, accurate and timely payments are the requirements for unlocking the device, but the carrier may unlock it for international travel or deployment (if the owner is in the U.S. military).
But what are the cons of jailbreaking?
Obviously, the cons mirror the pros. Like with the unlocking issue, you’ll have to face the issue with activating your phone with a carrier, especially if your handset is old.
The older Sprint or Verizon iPhones or iPads, such as the non-LTE iPhone 4 and earlier, that use CDMA wireless standard, should be brought to the desired carrier’s retail store for a technician to “flash” its firmware to the new network.
Things get even more complicated with the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. The iPhone 4s can use either GSM or CDMA, but the CDMA radio is switched off on GSM devices and vice versa. Starting with the iPhone 6, every mobile is compatible with both CDMA and GSM, although LTE bands may still vary among regional models. To know for sure which radio is turned off, and whether it can be activated or not, you have to ask the carrier. Honestly, most carriers frown upon unlocked handsets. So, you will need to know which radio bands your device supports, and if your carrier can help you with flashing it. Flashing cannot be done by a home computer or tools. You will need special equipment only carrier technicians have.
The most critical issue is the security of jailbroken devices. Coming back to the car metaphor, any culprit can open the car hood and tamper with the engine. Most of the Apple devices that have suffered malware attacks were jailbroken. The untouched iOS provides the built-in system of security. Apple also sees to it that all the apps from iTunes meet the highest security standards.
The issue is aggravated by the fact, that the only iOS antivirus, Kaspersky Security, requires the phone to not be jailbroken. There’s no way to tell how this program will work with the jailbroken iPhone or iPad, and any other program for that matter, to say nothing of the iOS updates. It’ll be a bit of a coin toss every time you update your device.
So, after jailbreaking your device you should be twice as careful as you were before. Jailbroken software can ‘brick’ your iPhone before you can say “apples”. Brick means it turns your iPhone into nothing more than a paperweight, rendering it unusable. Last but not least, s selling your Apple handset. Jailbroken devices may sell for less.
However, there’s a way to remove the jailbreak if you aren’t happy with your handset’s performance. See the text How to Remove Jailbreak Safely and Restore Your iPhone or iPad.
- Sell your old Apple device and save money for the new one: We pay top dollar for your old electronics – Sell old Apple product now!