A lot of people look at the iPhone, in its current iteration, and complain that while it looks good, it lacks customization and is in dire need of native applications. And there’s a lot of truth to that, Apple has restricted much of the features on the iPhone and has limited what you can and cannot do. As much as it falls in line with keeping the user interface clear and intuitive, making users become passive to development prevents Apple from fully realizing the iPhone’s potential.
You want to run 3rd party apps? Safari and Web Apps is the only ‘official’ way. Granted that Web Apps have come a long way, it doesn’t give justice to the true power of the iPhone as much as it shows off the versatility of Safari.
Currently, the only answer to this dilemma is jailbreaking. After having mulled the jailbreaking option a few times before, I made the switch only a couple months ago. And my, if you want to get a true glimpse of what the iPhone can do, Jailbreaking is currently the only way to go. In this article, I’ll show you why you should strongly consider jailbreaking and what it offers for iPhone users.
Read On For The Reasons to Jailbreak!
Previous jailbreaking options left the users with complicated options, you could either rig your iPhone in terminal or jump through a bunch of hoops to reach the desired jailbreak. Though ‘bricking’ your iPhone used to be an issue, current jailbreaking programs almost eliminate that pitfall completely.
With jailbreaking programs like iLiberty+ and ZiPhone*, the process is essentially invisible. You connect the iPhone to your Computer (Mac+PC) and then run the program ZiPhone and it does all the tasks it needs to do behind the scenes. Well a lot of script is run on the iPhone’s screen but other than that, it’s as hands off as syncing your iPhone to iTunes. After a few clicks, you are ready to roll worry-free and don’t have to jailbreak again.
After running iLiberty+ or ZiPhone, the Insaller.app is brought to your Home Screen and that is where the beauty of jailbreaking lies. As mentioned before, the Installer.app is as polished a program as any on the iPhone and you are a mere few clicks away from natively running any third party app imaginable.
If you do happen to run into issues, a quick restore should do the trick. And when 2.0 is released, the jailbreakers will already be prepared. You can access the updates and sync your iPhone with no hitches.
The community nature of Installer.app allows an advantage that other phone ‘stores’ simply cannot offer. Any and every app is essentially available through the outlet of Installer.app and the apps are constantly being updated and getting better (not to even mention the improvements of Installer.app itself). Unlike 3rd party apps for other phones where there are a gluttony of choices on how to install, everything in Installer.app is seamless and typically, error-free. Search for a program in Installer.app’s integrated search and immediately install the program. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
With jailbreaking, anything in your wildest dreams is theoretically possible. Do you want to make your iPhone into a graphing calculator? There’s iPlot. You want to have a ‘today’ screen that notifies you of appointments, emails and messages akin to something from WinMob and Blackberry? Well, there’s an app for that too. Even enhancing existing features on the iPhone such as the camera is possible. Snapture and Camera Pro add features such as digital zoom and a camera timer, among others.
Sure, apps like Pocket Guitar and Drummer don’t do much other than give you an excuse to start an iBand. In fact even one of my favorite apps, Sketches, is theoretically a gimmick program that lets you draw chicken scratch on photos. But claiming that it doesn’t increase the fun-factor of the iPhone by about a billion is short sighted.
There are games that the Web Apps try to emulate, but simply cannot be matched without jailbreaking. iPhysics is a great platform that serves as a blackboard for developers, there is an endless supply of level packs to ensure you’ll never get bored. You get to take advantage of multi-touch and the accelerometer to beat the game. Also, emulators for the NES and GBA are also available, sure you won’t break any records, but quickly firing up Super Mario while you wait for an appointment is a great way to pass the time.
What’s better is that almost all the programs I’ve used are free! Installer.app is a community that wishes to unleash the capabilities of the iPhone without charging you a dime. So the arguments against jailbreaking are dwindling—it increases the power, adds fun-factor, and is free!
One of the best aspects of jailbreaking the iPhone is that it gives you a crystal ball to see what apps could possibly be available in the upcoming App Store. Many of the developers who develop jailbroken programs are also planning to release programs in 2.0. So becoming familiar with programs in the jailbroken iPhone gives you the framework for learning what to expect in 2.0.
Jailbreaking also gives you a great look at what the iPhone can do. It makes your iPhone even more than the versatile device it already is, it offers a platform where developers can truly go wild over. Like I mentioned before, the world is truly your oyster—what you want, you can probably always get.
To fully take advantage and enhance the iPhone’s features, jailbreaking is a no brainer. Personally, I can no longer imagine using a non-jailbroken iPhone. Even when 2.0 and the App Store is released to the public, I’ll still be excited to see what the community of jailbreakers can offer me. Sure, Apple-approved apps are going to be fun to use but for everything Apple doesn’t want you to do, jailbreaking offers you the key.
The best analogy I can offer is that jailbreaking an iPhone is like completing a full course meal. The iPhone is a great dish in itself, but jailbreaking adds appetizers, desserts, sides, and a fine brew to make the dinner even more delicious. The iPhone is a great little device without jailbreaking, and I won’t deter you from keeping it the way Apple envisioned. But if you demand more from your devices, jailbreaking is the best option that offers much too many benefits without any obvious harm.
Hopefully you’ll consider the jailbreak option because here at TiPb we’ll constantly give you updates on the jailbreaking scene and continue to offer you guys weekly jailbreak app reviews even after the 2.0 update. Stay tuned to jailbreaking because when the update is finally released, it’ll demand the jailbreaking community to step it up another notch. We’re excited to see what’s in store.
So! Have you Jailbroken your iPhone? Why or why not? Comment to enter for your chance to win a $100 iTunes Gift Card!
*After initially recommending ZiPhone for our iPhone jailbreaks we are now supporting the use of iLiberty+. One of our astute readers, Bad Ash, has shown that while ZiPhone is the easiest way, iLiberty+ is the safer route to jailbreak and nearly foolproof. It uses a more sophisticated jailbreaking process that while takes a bit longer, is most certainly worth it in the end.