Jailbreaking is the process by which an iPhone firmware is modified to allow unsigned code to be run in order to gain access to files that Apple wouldn’t normally let you access.
Jailbreaking adds unofficial application installers to your iPhone such as Cydia, which let you download many 3rd-party applications previously unavailable through the App Store.
What Are the Benefits of Jailbreaking?
The main reason why you’d want to jailbreak is to have the ability to install third party applications that Apple doesn’t or wouldn’t approve in the App Store. There are tons of applications that don’t meet Apple standards or that do things Apple doesn’t want you to do for various reasons.
For example, Apple doesn’t allow you to customize your iPhone by changing app icons or the general user interface of your device. Thanks to the jailbreak community, there are several ways to completely change the way your iPhone looks, WinterBoard being the most popular one.
Besides applications, jailbreaking also gives you access to tweaks, or mods. They’re not applications per se, but they bring subtle improvements to the way your iPhone operates. One of my favorite is Five Icon Switcher, a tweak that lets you have 5 icons in the iPhone app switcher, instead of the default 4.
Finally, a lot of people jailbreak their iPhone in order to be able to unlock it to work on a different carrier. When you want to unlock your iPhone, the first step is to jailbreak it to then run a software that will help you have other carriers work on your iPhone.
Looking for other reasons to jailbreak? I’ve got over 30 here.
Is Jailbreaking Legal?
Jailbreaking is completely legal, at least here in the US. For a long time, jailbreaking was in a shady spot where it wasn’t illegal, but it wasn’t legal either. In July 2010 though, the US government passed a rule that made jailbreaking legal.
So there is nothing to worry about. Even if you don’t live in the US, there are very little chances Apple would sue you because you jailbroke your iPhone.
Can I Brick my iPhone if I Jailbreak it?
You might have heard a few horror stories about people who tried to jailbreak their iPhone and ended up turning it into a brick. While this could have happened in the early days of the iPhone, this is now completely impossible.
The worst thing that could happen when trying to jailbreak your iPhone is that it might get stuck and unresponsive, which some people may think is irreversible. It completely is, and usually, following these simple steps will make sure your iPhone goes back to its original state.
Does it Void my Warranty?
Yes and no. Yes because if you go to the Apple Store and show your jailbroken iPhone to an Apple employee, he will tell you he can’t help you because you voided your warranty the minute you jailbroke your iPhone.
But, if you really have to take your iPhone to Apple, you can always restore your it to its factory settings via iTunes. This will bring your iPhone back to the way it was when you first got it, and Apple will have no way of telling you ever jailbroke it.
I’ve taken previously jailbroken devices to Apple several times before and because I had restored them to factory settings, Apple wasn’t able to tell and they provided me with full support.
Is Jailbreaking the Same as Unlocking?
No, these are 2 different things, although to unlock your iPhone, you usually have to jailbreak first. As noted above, jailbreaking an iPhone lets you install third party applications and mods on it, while unlocking allows you to use your iPhone with a different carrier.
Can I Still Use iTunes and the App Store After Jailbreaking?
People often ask me this question. Yes, you can use iTunes and the App Store after jailbreaking your device. As a matter of fact, nothing will change much. The only notable change will be that after jailbreaking, you will have a new application installed on your iPhone: Cydia.
What is Cydia?
In short, Cydia is like the App Store of jailbreak applications. Just like the App Store, you can browse Cydia for apps, tweaks, and mods. Just like the App Store, you can download and install Cydia apps effortlessly. Most applications in Cydia are free, but it is not unusual for a jailbreak app to sell for a few dollars.
Will Jailbreaking Prevent me from Updating my iPhone?
Yes and no.
If your iPhone is jailbroken and you decide to update it to the latest software, doing so will overwrite the jailbreak and remove it from your iPhone. This might not be a big problem to most people, but it can become a big issue to people like me who rely a lot on their jailbreak applications.
Every time there is a new firmware update for the iPhone, hackers generally aren’t too far behind with an update to their jailbreak tools. When that happens, the preferred method is to backup your iPhone first, update to the latest firmware, and jailbreak again using the updated tools.
It’s important to note that it sometimes takes a while for hackers to develop a jailbreak following a software update of the iPhone, which is why we usually recommend jailbreakers to hold on on updating their iPhone when a new iOS version is available.
Can Jailbreaking Allow me to Get App Store Applications for Free?
Yes indeed, but we do not help people install cracked applications on their iPhones for moral reasons.
Is Jailbreaking Easy?
These days, jailbreaking is becoming more and more easy. Usually, you just need to download a piece of software, plug your iPhone in, and run the software. There is no specific knowledge or skills required.
You will find some very useful tutorials here. If you don’t feel completely comfortable jailbreaking your iPhone, make sure to have a look at our tutorials, they will guide you through the process with step by step illustrated instructions.
What is the Best Jailbreak Software?
There isn’t a best jailbreak tool, there is only a best jailbreak program that fits your iPhone requirements. Jailbreak methods can vary depending on your device, what firmware version it is running, and what kind of computer your are using (Mac or PC).
Is a Jailbreak Free?
Yes. Hackers that are developing the jailbreaks do it for free, sometimes (rarely) asking for a donation. Some people may charge you for walking you through the jailbreaking process. If that makes you feel better to pay someone, you can do it, but why pay when you can get it for free?