The Case for Jailbreaking - Wait-a-Thon

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!

It’s Easy

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.

It’s Much More Powerful

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.

It’s Fun

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!

It Prepares You For 2.0

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

 

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Reader comments

The Case for Jailbreaking - Wait-a-Thon

31 Comments

I have to totally agree, I recently received a iphone as a gift, and since I am on T-Mobile was forced to jailbreak. I have been a loyal Palm user and jailbreaking on the iphone is so stable and opens up so many possibilities, that I dont know why anyone would use a stock iphone!!!
Take the plunge!!!!

I've been too lazy and admittedly too chicken to jailbreak before now. Plus I've been plenty pleased with the stock iPhone. Often I think to myself: "If I want to dick around hacking and installing apps on a smartphone, I'll just fire up one of my many Windows Mobile devices." But your article has me reconsidering now that Jailbreaking is simpler and safer than it originally was. Hmmm...

AVOID ZIPONE... Worst advice for someone who wants to JB is to tell them to use Ziphone! Ziphone can and will make changes to your phone that can not be changed back. At least at the moment. People interested in JB'ing should look elsewhere. ILiberty+ is very reliable among others.

Is Jailbreaking totally reversable? I don't want to JB my phone and then have Apple release an update that requires a completely virgin phone due to their dislike of JB, only to get bricked. It's very tempting as I've put custom firmware on my PSP; so I'm well aware of the advantages of the open software community. Can someone atest to the safety of JB'ing one's iPhone?

It's safe, all it takes to get back to normal is a simple restore. But you can not restore from a backup file. Restore from scratch. And DON'T use Ziphone... Trust me on that one. Ziphone can make changes to the phone that will not go away from a restore.

I'm waiting for the next gen iPhone before switching from WimMob. Hopefully, with the 2.0 software, jailbreaking won't be the necessity that it currently is in order to unlock iPhone's full potential.

If I had an original iPhone I would be jailbreaking it. I have a question though, once an iPhone has been jb'ed, can it be put back? Will a restore do that? Or is this a permanent change? I'll be getting the new iPhone when it becomes available. I'm going to take a look at what is available as far as apps on the AppStore and apps from the hackers and I'll decide then if I need to jailbreak.

I've also been too chicken to jailbreak my iphone. At the price I paid for it, I can't afford to turn it into a brick but I'm more inclined to do that now that the new 3G iphone is in the wings. Also waiting for the killer app that I MUST have, before jailbreaking.

i haven't jailbroken my iPhone yet because i'm just too scared to brick it. Any word on whether Apple's gonna "punish" everyone in June. As an aside, Apple should never be forgiven for bricking people in the first place. If I own the phone I should be able to do whatever I want.

I'm always a bit scared of bricking a device I just paid crazy money for. So far though, when I have, no problems!

@ Bad Ash
From my understanding, I thought ZiPhone only affects the bootloader when you 'unlock' and not 'jailbreak'. Either way, I will add an addendum to the article to clarify. I just tried iLiberty+ and that too, is a great piece of software for both jailbreakers+unlockers alike. iLiberty+ has a bit more of a sophisticated jailbreaking process to avoid the BL issue. Feel free to correct me if I am getting bad information though. The clearer for our readers the better!
But i assume when 2.0 comes out, we'll all be using the Pwnage tool?

Sadly, this is the only way to fully take advantage of what the iPhone is capable of. The only downside I'd be worried about is having an ibrick. My future phone will be an iPhone (currently have a BB Curve) and will think about Jailbreaking.

I think the safest way to JB is to use PwnageTool_1.1 (on Mac) or WinPwn (in Windows). Also, its play on the boot only!!

I did a jailbreak about a month ago, and do not regret it a single bit. I don't see much of a downside, esp. with the new model just around the corner.

Oops- just saw the post re: restore. Hmmm... makes me feel a little better about it... didn't even know "jailbreaking" was an option!

@Casey Chan
You are correct when you say that the bootloader is effected only when you unock but some have repoted Ziphones to mess with it while doing a simple jailbreak. Also for unlockers iLiberty downgrades the bootloader but it can also change it back. With Ziphone you can not go back... again that is now. Tomorrow it may be different.

There is always the chance that the next update will brick your phone and although I took that risk once I'm not sure I want to take that again. On the other hand if for some reason the apps that make it to the app store don't make my day, I may just have to venture down that road again. So for now it's a wait and see situation.

I just don't have the $$ to worry about possibly bricking a $400 phone. The rumor's/thoughts that ATT will be able to discount the 3G phone is good!

I'm going to wait for the official apps. I've been waiting for 10 months, no need to rush out and jailbreak now.

Why does Candice have an iphone? Seriously, does she deserve one, Casey? Does she? I think you should get her one of those old samsung bricks... Much better.

2 things who should i use to jailbreak my iphone , i have t-mobile service. And can i change it back if i want ??? please help

I'm wondering a couple of things: Will I still be able to use I-Tunes after I jailbreak my new iphone 16gig 3g that has software version 2.0.1 on it? Will my phone try to update when an update comes out without my approval? Do I have to stay away from all future phone updates? If an update comes out that I need for my phone, can I reverse my jailbreak, get the update, then JB it again? If I JB it now, how could it possibly brick?

I was wondering if there is any downside to breaking an iPhone if I have 2.0 and AT&T. Will I lose all the applications I have now from the app store? Can I still get them if I'm using installer?