By May 8, 2011

Why I JailBreak My iDevice

cydia There are numerous reasons why I JailBreak my iDevice, but the first thing people say is ‘oh you just want free apps’. Whilst this is achievable when your iDevice has been JailBroken, its not the reason I do, but I’ll go on to that shortly.

I’ve been JailBreaking my iDevices for a few years and with every new iPhone or OS Update, the first thing I do is ensure there is a JailBreak method.

Even with the latest iOS Update 4.3.3 released this week, the JailBreak tools were available to download in a matter of days.

JailBreaking your iDevice is different from unlocking your iDevice. In short, JailBreaking allows you to install applications and system modifications Apple do not want you to use. Unlocking your iPhone allows you to use a SIM Card and Network of your choice, even if the iPhone is locked to a specific network. For me, all of my iDevices have been officially unlocked so this is not an area of ‘iDevice Hacking’ I have looked in to.


JailBreaking your iDevice does sound like a scary process, however, your warranty is  voided by this process and should you have any issues with your iDevice, simply connect it to iTunes and restore to the factory settings. This removes all traces of the JailBreak.

If you can install a piece of software on your computer you can JailBreak your iDevice and it only takes around 5 minutes to complete. There are numerous methods on how to JailBreak your iDevice, but the Dev Team offer the easiest methods with ‘redsn0w‘ (The latest version at  the time of writing is redsn0w 0.9.6rc16 and supports iOS 4.3.3).

Simply follow the steps outlined when you launch redsn0w and after a reboot a new icon called ‘Cydia’ will be shown on your home screen (For a full tutorial, iClarified offer a step by step guide).

Installing Cydia does not directly allow you to install hacked apps on to your iDevice, there are additional steps required that I will not cover here. Why? Installing a hacked App is piracy and whilst there are many reasons people think its ok, my personal thought on the matter is simple. You wouldn’t fill your car up with fuel at a petrol station and drive off without paying would you? The majority of iOS Developers are small independent guys who charge as little as 59p for their App. Yes there are big companies making millions from Apps, just look at Angry Birds for example, without the regular purchases made the money that fund updates simply aren’t there. This situation is no good for anyone.

Sorry, rant over.

Cydia has an inbuilt App store ‘Cydia Store Products‘. Here you will find a series of App’s you can purchase and download. These are App developers who have produced Apps directly for the Cydia store or have been rejected by Apple under its terms and conditions and have decided to release them here.

Once you load Cydia you will notice thousands and thousands of downloads that may seem confusing to start with so I’ll cover the basics off to get you started.

For example, one of the most popular reasons people JailBreak their iDevice is to download and install ‘MyWi‘. MyWi is a $20 App (with a free trial) that will turn your iOS Device into a Wi-Fi Hotspot. Activate MyWi and other devices, for example, your laptop or Wi-Fi only iPad can access the Internet via your iPhone. 02 currently charge £10 per month per 1GB of data to use for Tethering so using your already included data bundle and MyWi does have its benefits. Bear in mind that use of Tethering Apps is usually against the Terms of the network, so check your contract first.

Another popular App is ‘SBSettings‘. This free App provides several system modifications that I use on a daily basis. Once installed, SBSettings doesn’t have an Icon on your home screen. Instead to activate the App, simply swipe right to left across the Status bar at the top of your screen. A menu is then shown with Toggle switches that enable you to turn on and off features such as Wi-Fi, BlueTooth and AirPlane mode without having to go in to the settings section within your iDevice. Other features of this App allow you to hide unwanted Icons from your HomeScreen such as the Stocks App (the apps are still accessible using the search on the far left of your iDevice), reboot your iDevice and shut down processes that are memory hogs.

LockInfo‘ is an App that will allow you to install Widgets on your lock screen to show quick information such as the weather, your Twitter stream, Email messages and your To-Do list. This is an area I believe Apple need to develop and include by default in an iOS Update. Having to unlock your iDevice every time you wish to use it can be annoying. Android devices have a really nice Widget system in place.

winterboard My main reason for JailBreaking my iOS Device is ‘WinterBoard‘. WinterBoard is an App that allows you to customise and install a theme. Themes allow you to change HomeScreen Icons, SMS Message backgrounds and chat bubbles, ringtones, SMS Alerts and LockScreen display as well as many other themeable areas. Every phone I have owned going all the way back to my Nokia 1611 allowed me even the basics of theming. It took Apple a while to allow you to add your on wallpaper on your HomeScreen. You’ll notice in Cydia there are whole sections dedicated to themes, but if none of these suit, with a little bit of effort, you could create your own.

Whilst I have only covered off a very small area of iDevice JailBreaking, I hope it will give you the confidence you need to try a JailBreak and use your iDeivce in the way you have always wanted to.

Let me know how you get on and what Apps you find in Cydia, but bear in mind, if something goes wrong and you can not do a factory restore (though I have never come across this unless your iDevice is in pieces) I’m not responsible.


By Danny Key via

Posted in: Editorial

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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