iOS 6 and what it means for jailbreak
Another WWDC keynote has come and gone and with it we've gotten to take a look at what iOS 6 will have to offer iOS users this Fall. If you jailbreak you may already be wondering what iOS 6 will mean for you.
We've been jailbreaking our iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches for years in order to get ahold of certain features that Apple just couldn't or didn't want to give us yet. Every year and with each new iteration of iOS Apple closes that gap. This year was no exception and Apple did give us a few things that we previously could only achieve via jailbreak like FaceTime over the network. But is what we got enough? Will iOS 6 leave just as much of a need to jailbreak?
I think so and here's why.
Themes and a new Home screen
The Home screen on the iPhone and iPad has remained pretty much unchanged for the most part since the conception of iOS. Us here at iMore though maybe it was time for a new Home screen or at least a refresh. iOS 6 will be, at least aesthetically, almost identical to iOS 5 and every iteration of iOS before that minus some minor visual enhancements to menu bars from what we can tell.
If you love the functionality iOS provides but are bored with the same interface and design, you'll still need to jailbreak in order to solve that problem.
One of the biggest requests we always get and something on most people's iOS bucket list is quick reply for messaging. Unfortunately there was no mention of adding a quick-reply feature. If you'd like to be able to have a better handle on messaging and how you interact with it, you'll most likely still need to jailbreak iOS 6 in order to do so.
Notification Center enhancements
iOS 6 does bring some additions to Notification Center that we previously could only get through jailbreaking. One of the largest is the addition of Do Not Disturb.
Do Not Disturb will do something simliar to what LockInfo and IntelliscreenX have done for the jailbreak community for quite some time. You'll be able to tick on Do Not Disturb when you don't want to be bothered by notifications. Your notifications will still come through to your iPhone or iPad but your screen will stay off and no notification sounds will be played.
It appears that this feature will be all or nothing though and you don't have the ability to choose which notifications you want and which you don't want. It'd be nice to see more control and the option to turn off notifications for just games or just phone calls if you'd like.
While we would like to see Apple actually open up the Siri API to developers, we kind of figured that wouldn't happen. Apple did, however, make some great enhancements to Siri that may be "good enough" for some. Not only will Siri be coming to the iPad, she will be able to launch apps on her own, send out tweets, and provide restaurant and sports data to you without actually entering a specific app manually.
We will also see features like Eyes Free start to pop up as well as other tweaks and enhancements. Developers can't yet bend Siri to their will but iOS will add the ability to do a lot more with the technology natively.
Better multitasking and gestures
While Apple's new Macbook lines will see new gestures and multitasking actions, there wasn't much said about the iPhone or iPad and whether or not iOS 6 will add any new functionality in that area which probably means there won't be any.
If you enjoy using apps such as Zephyr and have grown used to having more than what Apple's given you stock, you probably won't be too happy without your jailbreak when it comes to gestures.
While there wasn't too much added when it comes to native iOS mail, we did get the addition of a VIP inbox that allows you to create custom lists and messages from those people will be filtered into the VIP area of your inbox.
No mention was made of better filters, color coding messages, or, sadly,
multiple e-mail signatures. The latter being something that many users have wanted for a long time now. At this point, it's pretty much a necessity for most if you manage your work, home, and other e-mail accounts from your iPhone and iPad. So if this is something you can't live without, you'll still need to depend on apps such as Mail Enhancer to get the job done.
Update: Some users are reporting that screenshots shown during the keynote do in fact show multiple mail signatures. We'll let you know once we can verify this.
Better folder options
This is another area that could have used some improvements and didn't see any at all. The ability to nest folders inside of folders is something many jailbroken and stock users have been asking for since folders first cropped up in stock iOS. The caps are annoying and the fact that they're different on iPhone and iPad make it hard to organize devices in the same manner. I can fit 20 games inside a folder on my iPad while I can only fit 12 in a folder on my iPhone.
I'd like a sense of familiarity and streamlined workflow when switching between the two and the folder issue puts a damper on that. For now, jailbreak apps like Folder Enhancer and Infinifolders will continue to be indispensable for many.
Even though WWDC 2012 brought some nice additions to iOS and we have a lot to look forward to this Fall, I have a feeling many users will also be looking forward to a new jailbreak for iOS 6 just as much. Without the addition of quick reply, better folder functionality, mail enhancements, and some other much needed refinements, jailbreak will probably still be a necessity to many.
We've got tons of time between now and when the official version of iOS 6 drops this Fall. Last year iOS 5 was jailbroken even in its beta stages and jailbreak devs had plenty of time to release beta jailbreak tools for developers to work out the kinks before an official release.
When iOS 6 drops this Fall, how many of you will be waiting for a jailbreak tool before updating? Anybody plan on going stock on iOS 6 and giving up their jailbreak? Let us know!