iPhone 4 Jailbreak - when will it come and does it still matter?

With iOS 4 and iPhone 4 Apple has again closed the functionality gap, but is it enough to retire Jailbreak once and for all?

iPhone 4 and iOS4 brings with it many welcome additions that some users have obtained via jailbreak for years now. While iOS 4 Jailbreak is no possible for some older devices, it will likely be a while before it's possible on iPhone 4. Geohot has claimed he has an exploit and no doubt the iPhone Dev Team is also hard at work. For most of us, we'll just have to wait patiently for them to announced something.

But the question on some people's minds is, "so I still have a need to jailbreak?" Well, to be quite honest - it's really going to be unique to each user. For myself, I know I'll continue to jailbreak until Apple gives me the complete functionality iPhone users should natively have.

Apple has always been known to have a streamline interface and a clean UI. But to be honest, that isn't what "all" users want. Some want to customize and tweak. I'm one of them. Hit the jump to see some of my own opinions on why I'll most likely still continue to jailbreak.


This is an area I've felt Apple has been lacking for a very long time. Jailbreak apps such as LockInfo and Intelliscreen have been great stand-ins for functionality that should already be present. I'm personally not a huge fan of Android or WebOS but their notification systems are far superior to that on the iPhone. I don't even think I'd call what Apple currently offers a notification system at all. I can't even tell if I have an e-mail without sliding to unlock my phone. Even apps like Notifier, which is free, will show if I have new e-mails, missed calls, voicemails, or texts in the status bar by the battery indicator. Even that's a better solution than what Apple has implemented.

If you get a text, then a Twitter push notification, then a Beejive push notification, the only thing you'll see is the Beejive notification until you unlock your phone and see new badges. To me, this isn't a solution at all. When it comes to notifications - BlackBerry, Android, and WebOS still blow the iPhone out of the water.


Now this is an area I'm not too sure about yet. I'll have to use iOS4 for a while before I decide whether or not fast app switching can solve texting being so intrusive. My biggest peeve about texting is that if I'm doing something such as reading RSS feeds or playing a game and receive a text, I have 2 options, close it out (and I'll then forget about it because it removes the badge), or click Reply and leave what I'm doing to respond. It's been rather annoying and it's one of the main reasons I continue to jailbreak. Jailbroken apps like QuickReply and iRealSMS solve this problem.


Sure, Apple allows us to change our wallpaper in iOS4. It's a step in the right direction, but nowhere near what I'd like to see. What about custom fonts and color schemes? Would it really be that hard to allow us to change the colors of chat bubbles? Anyone else get tired of gray and green? I know I do. Theming and customizing was one of the very first reasons I jailbroke my iPhone. That was in December of 2007 on the first gen.


Another thing you have to keep in mind is the jailbreak community has somewhat been borrowed from. A lot of the ideas that come out of jailbreakers somehow end up in a future OS in some form or another. The biggest thing that comes to mind is the App Store. If you want to be technical, Cydia really "was" the first mobile app store. The first gen iPhone came with stock apps and no more. Cydia supplemented that. I remember downloading games and apps before the app store even existed. And coincidentally, if you had more than 1 page of apps, you got dots on the bottom of your home screen so you could flip through pages. Does that sound familiar to you? It should. Apple implemented it in OS 2.0 back in 2008.

Everyone has their own opinion on jailbreaking, but to me, Apple still leaves something to be desired. As long as there are young creative minds out there willing to step up and come up with innovative ideas to solve those problems, I'll continue to jailbreak and support them. Thoughts?

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

iPhone 4 Jailbreak - when will it come and does it still matter?


My thoughts on this are quite simple: I couldn't agree more. I'll be jailbreaking as soon as a stable JB becomes available - hopefully spirit for 4.0. The notification system IS sub-standard, and hopefully the Palm guy that's been hired will fix this in a future release of iOS. Until then, I'll check out Notifier after I JB.

Until the SMS app is improved to the level of biteSMS or better jailbreaking is mandatory for me. I could care less about customization. Functionality is the key. Viewing, replying and composing from any screen including the lock screen is so natural I could never give it up. I'd abandon sb settings and un-jailbreak if SMS was improved. If I had an itouch this would be a non-issue because backgrounding and folders blow th respective jailbreak solutions away.

Exactly Jose, Exactly!
Untill something like BiteSMS exsist i will always jailbreak. i still havnt upgraded my iphone 3GS to iOS4 yet because my phone is fully customized the way i like it and unless there is a jailbreak that will be released for iOS4 i wont be upgrading anytime soon.

The only thing that I really miss from Cyida is SBSettings, but since Apple introduced the rotation lock toggle on the Widgets panel (also the Processes), I believe it's only a matter of time for WiFi, 3G, Data and Bluetooth to join it.

Will still JB. Also have not yet updated to iOS4... love my current set-up. I need: 1)notifer 2)3G unrestrictor, so I can download any size podcast, app or movie from iTunes over 3G without restriction of size. 3) location spoofer, so I can watch my in-market baseball team on the MLB app. I can make my iPhone gps think I am anywhere. 4) modem app that let's me tether for free to my laptop and use the data plan with AT&T that I already pay for. 5) remind me - cydia app. CANNOT live without this. My biggest reason to JB. Shows my upcoming calendar events on my lock screen. No need to set reminder alarms, or have to constantly check my calender to see what appointments or events ihave coming up. I see the next 6 or 7 upcoming events everytime I unlock. 6) and for fun, the customization
LOVE my JB iPhone. Set up just the way I want with the things i need. Recent OS updates, and some other changes (like sling player now FINALLY allowing 3g streaming) have made some of my old JB fixes now useless, but there are still many I use daily.

BTW, I wonder if 3G Unrestrictor will allow FaceTime over 3G? Fool the iPhone to think it's on wifi when it's really on 3G

Spell checking is not enough... You have to actually proof read! You're running a very popular blog, don't be so lazy! :P

Absolutely will JB!
Can't live without:
...since Apple won't release anything like that (at least not yet). I mean really? Showing Calendar & MSGS on the lockscreen. Is that too hard for Apple developers to figure out? Or is it that since Steve has someone to follow him around and tell him what and when his meetings are, he thinks that we don't need the functionality to quickly check it?

@BootsMcGavin - what are you talking about? we all do proofread, sometimes mistakes still happen. if you're seeing something I'm not, feel free to let me know and it will be fixed.
keep in mind this site isn't any of our 9-5 jobs, it's a passion and a hobby for most of us. outside of this most of us also have 40 hour work weeks outside of writing articles. go a little easy on us sometimes. this week was our busiest week of the year. tons of articles to write and very little time outside of launch lines. :)

I hope geohot comes up with something soon. Blackra1n was sooo simple.. My mother could do it... Oh wait she did.

The only way to unlock the phone for use with a different carrier
is to Jailbreak it first.
The ability to unlock it is essential to anyone traveling overseas, as AT&T's international roaming rates are absurdly high.
Until Apple or AT&T allow the iphone to be unlocked, there will always be a need for a jailbreak.

3gs JB iOS 4 (old bootroom, before week 40), Lockinfo, SBSettings, MyWi (currently doesnt support iOS 4 but found a work around tonight, hehe...) Loving EVERY little bit of it. BAAHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I think that I'll be a jail breaker for life. I won't go thru my list of personal reasons because it is very similar to the one everyone else is listing. Plus I think that the jb scene will always give us the real iPhone that we want.

I don't think I'll ever use a non-jailborken or jailed iOS device (except if I get a defective one and half to return it to Apple ;) .) Apple really will never be able to compete with the creativity, ingenuity and innovation that comes non-stop from the jailbreak world.

Well if this article's main assertion that the jb community provides alot of key ideas later implemented in the iOS, then that implies having a jb phone is the way to being on the cutting edge.

Let's see...sbsettings, lockinfo, quickreply, etc. Com'on Spirit 4.0...so ready to jailbreak!!

3GUnrestrictor, BiteSMS, Shrink, SBSettings, PDANet, Winterboard, YourTube, WiFI Sync, & ActionMenuePlus should be what all iPhone Jailbreakers have.
Those are the only reasons I jailbreak, and those are the literally most important apps to have. It'll literally change the way you use your iPhone. I couldn't use the iPhone if I couldn't jailbreak it. It would seriously piss me off having to exit one app, and jump back into the messages app, just to answer a txt message, every time. Hell, No.
Jailbreak till the day I die. iOS + Jailbreak = Win (every single time).

FYI- you don't have to jailbreak an Evo...because it is YOUR phone and you should be able to do what you want. You just bought your iGizz. Why jailbreak it? Oh bc Steve locks it down. I know. Sad. It is your phone but you can't use it how you see fit. Sorry. HTC Evo baby!

Once you jailbrake it (which is a lot easier than people think) then you CAN use it as you see fit, AND you have an awesome UI

I just don't understand the need of jailbreaking? I guess I'll never know having an HTC Android phone. B/c there is no need to do so. Advantage Android again.

Lol, dorito. What do you say about people rooting the Evo? Why doesn't HTC give you the keys to your phone? Poor Taiwanese CEO locks it down for you. How sad.

JB is one of the reasons why I havent gotten the iPhone 4 yet. It feels like a black and white world without it. Jailbreaking has brought alot to the power users of the community. I would consider other options if I was not able to jailbreak.

Nikhil Joshi- it's stupidity like that that gives us jailbreakers a bad name! I had to clear the misconceptions of the guy behind us on line yesterday, because I heard him say that ppl only jb to steal developers' hard work. You obviously feel no shame about stealing, so you're not about the jailbreak. You're just a pirate, and that sucks.

I don't understand why people who prefer Android to iPhone feel the need to come to an Apple/iPhone specific website to brag about their supposed superiority. You like what you like, we like what we like, and that's fine. You show insecurity by coming here. I guess Android is superior in one way though... If I wanted an Android phone, I wouldn't have had to wait on line for 6 1/2 hrs, with just under 1000 other people to get one...

Oh yeah, and that was with being on line at 4:57am. We were in the 1st 10% of the line though, so it was very worth the effort :)

I would jailbrake for 3G unresrtictor, SBSettings, an tethering. Haven't read the specifics of IOS4, but if I can get custom background wallpaper and custom alert tones--I still feel a jailbrake is required.

I could live w/o JB except for the desire to tether without paying exorbitant ATT fees. The rest are all "like to haves" as compared to "must haves". On principal, I still believe we should be able to install any app we choose just like those of us "pioneers" who used the original Palm OS and Palm smartphones.

You forgot one important feature. Unlocking. I travel world-wide and need to use local SIM's to avoid at&t's horrible international plan.

Yes. I won't buy the iPhone 4 unless it can be jailbroken.
Due to Apple not implementing better SMS (iRealSMS/biteSMS), settings toggles (SBSettings), and a notification manager (LockInfo / GRiP). More customization with Winterboard/FontSwap/etc is great. And being able to control exactly what the buttons and gestures do with Activator has been huge for me as well.

Two Reasons to JB:
1. 3G Unrestrictor so FaceTime can be used anywhere.
2. Tethering for free. AT&T told me I had to give up my unlimited data plan and move to the 2GB plan to enable tethering. I was willing to pay the $20/mo, but they had to be greedy. Now I'll get it for free...once the JB comes out.

ssh, winterboard, sbsettings, installaous. Why would I want my phone to look like everyone elses? Do we all where exactly the same clothes, or does everyone all have the same wallpaper on their computer, does everyone have the same settings on all of there devices? NO so why would I want a device I use hourly to be any different.

It's a fact. Once you JB your phone, it's hard to let that go. It just makes the phone so much better, and also forces you to question why Apple will not ALLOW us to do this with a phone we BOUGHT. They have been putting out a so-so product, and relying on the Great Oz, I mean, APP store to plug the holes. Now, they won't even let them fix it. Every thing mentioned here should either be on the phone out the box, or available to you in the app store. I mean, it is MY PHONE AFTER ALL. For Jobs to decide how MY phone will operate once I BUY IT is very messed up. HE decides that I need or don't need something on my phone, and then sits back all surprised at people that JB their phones. an you imagine if they treated their computers like that?? Lock them down so that it only works the way they gave it to you?? Who would buy one?? Yet that is the approach they take with the phone. JB for life!!!

You guys are forgeting something very important!!!
MyWi the ability to tether for FREE and not have to pay $30 to AT&T's bad service

I have an ipod touch 2g running iOS4 and it is jailbroken. I used redsn0w 0.9.5 beta3 and it worked like a charm. I have a custom wallpaper, multitasking, and battery percentage all on it, along with countless folders.

My jailbreak is for you tube and app store on 3g only. Cydia crashes, I can not get wifi tethering to work ( guess I have to buy rock first). Frankly it's a total mess and mostly a waste of time unless you are too poor to buy your apps.

no way apples has not closed any gap. Honestly the new iphone 4 sucks just as much as all of the other releases, the only things that will make this phone make me smile is when it is jailbroken just like the other devices (3g,3gs,etc) Apple is a bunch of tightasses and if it wasnt for the DEVS I would throw the phone out the window!!

@Steve Jobs
Why does Apple insist on it's customers conforming to their way of doing things? Why do I have to jailbreak my phone just to get to customizable options? WHY Steve? Why are you making things more difficult for me?
Also, another question for Steve: Why do you love AT&T so much?

Irish Charlie, it's not that I love AT&T so much, I do understand that it is more expensive than other services but that is what is so great and makes it exclusive to the public.
Thanks for the question!

  • Steve

The ability to tether unlimited data for free is alone worth the jailbreak... it's like having a wireless card and phone service.... more than makes up for the $100 monthly cell bill

iOS 4 continues to fail in the area of privacy features. You still can't disable pop up notifications. Just like 3.1.3 you are limited to simply disabling text preview, but you still get a popup with the name of the person testing you. If I give my phone to someone to let them use it for a moment I don't want to worry about them knowing ANY of my business. Not who's calling, texting, nothing. I feel the need to jailbreak simply for the features that Status Bar Notifications and iBlacklist provide. Speaking of, we STILL don't have status bar notifications? Come on now.. these are such easy tweaks.. why isn't Apple helping us out here?

Oh.. and I forgot to mention simple things like Quick Scroll. I remember it as I was swiping 100 times on this page to see if my comment was added. As long as Job's refuses to fix these sime things OR allows approved apps to tweak such parts of the phones functionality., the need to jailbreak will remain. If the jailbreak isn't released in the 14 day period I may be forced to return my i

Oh.. and I forgot to mention simple things like Quick Scroll. I remember it as I was swiping 100 times on this page to see if my comment was added. As long as Job's refuses to fix these sime things OR allows approved apps to tweak such parts of the phones functionality., the need to jailbreak will remain. If the jailbreak isn't released in the 14 day period I may be forced to return my iPhone 4 and go back to my 3GS. I'll take improved functionality over improved hardware anyway. Did I mention the multitasking is terrible compared to ProSwitcher also? I can't wait to get these things back.

Before there was Cydia, there was Installer. And many of us manually move files over with utilities like iPhUC. Also, Summerboard gave us room for more icons first, by allowing the page to scroll down. Around 1.1.2 or so, Apple allowed us to make bookmark icons on the home page. When this happened, the OS came with the pages and dots built in.
It's also important to note all the apps in the App Store which were previously jailbreak-only. Tap-Tap Revolution comes to mind. When the App Store launched, Tap-Tap Revolution was one of the first and most highlighted apps available. The iPhone would not be the beast it is without help from the jailbreak community.

I will always jailbreak. Using mywi, 3G confuser app, sbssettings, and lockscreen r a must have for me. Plus quickreply SMS. Honestly I love my iPhone but to not be able to see texts on the lockscreen is ridiculous. It's an easy update that apple developers r leaving out to keep this hype up and keep people buying. Secondly I would never pay to tether. Using mywi is great. I kept my unlimited plan and will keep using it until they make mr give it back. I tether my laptop all the time.

i love jailbreaking the iphone miwi works perfect for me as long as you know which one to install but ive been doing it since late 2007 so i know most of the hacks and how to get them to work and i love all the ringtones, themes and sms apps like bitesms and all the other things you can do i guess im so used to having control over my device

Honestly, u couldn't have said it any better!! Ever since the 1st gen iPhone, I have been jailbreaking... Apple has made a few changes over time but no nearly enough 4 me 2 stop!!! And 2 those people that don't donate 2 people like geohot or devteam, then ur doing the rest of the jailbreak comunity an injustice!!!

I own an iPhone 4g, and when I had my 3GS the update to 3.1.3, was lost, I thunk it's important to note out of the box the iPhone is simply amazing, in fact using a older phone that wast touch screen confused me so much, apple spoiled us with simplicity, that was the main intention, an easy to use interface, what we got was, limited features, the smartest thing for apple to do is allow the phone to remain basic and allow os customization through the app store, something that is approved by apple, that is the only wait to eliminate jailbreak but this A+ upgrade according to Steve jobs, I'm still waiting for the "A" part let alone the plus part, phone is simple because it's limited, seriously no Bluetooth file transfer? Irony think Steve understands that Bluetooth is the future, so long as he doesn't keep up, iPhone will require a jailbreak, such things as download via safari, advanced settings, keyboard vibration, color schemes, this is all easily implemented and I even have ideas on how to still make the interface easy to use, but app store ios customization allows the user to customize the phone the way we want while allowing the iPhone to be as simple as we need. iPhone is simple but for alot of people it's Too simple and practically featureless as opposed to other phones from years ago, iPhone is simple, not featurful

I can't believe there are so few who don't want proper multitasking support! Backgrounder is #1 for me! #2: notifications. iOS4 still sucks...

My TOP 10 Reasons Why I still jail break:

  1. Getting the chance to try FaceTime on 3G
  2. Being in the room with others that own iPhones. Every time they get an ALERT. Everyone looks at their phones! (unless you can set alert tones in 4.0)
  3. Wireless Syncing (need I say more)
  4. SnapTap (unless they fixed taking pictures on 4.0 or if you have an i4)
  5. MyWi (sharing is caring)
  6. Tethering (unless you wanna pay that $20.00 fee go head)
  7. Popping the SIM CARD in for any country I am visiting. I travel a lot!
  8. SB Settings, OpenSSH, Backgrounder
  9. Shrink (shrink down your icons making them look nice and neat with your theme)
  10. Swap Camera Roll (easy way to hide the photos I have of your mom from your dad!)

Ok so maybe there are more than 10!

I agree 100%. I have the iPhone 4 and my 3GS was way better because it was jailbroken. My iPhone 4 is good but not great !!! I will 100% jailbreak once it is available !!

Apple has always looked at the jailbreak community for ideas. It's funny how cycorder has been around so long and yet it is only recent that video recording on the 3G was allowed in their app store. This is quite evident in iOS 4 with the addition of user wallpapers which has been around forvever in cydia. 3G unrestrictor, shrink and a bunch of other tweaks make jailbreaking a necessity.

the jailbreak is what makes iPhone truly worth it lol. Apple just doesnt like customization I guess. oh lol and atnt is dead once the iphone contracts over

dude steve, there's a problem with my iphone 4 before i jailbreak and now it gone after i jailbreak...

I have an iPhone 4 as well. Can't wait to jailbreak it.
Android has a good notification system, but in my opinion, that's all. I have experienced Androids and do not like them at all.

I would love to jailbreak my phone, but im completely clueless on how to do it.. as well as how i can actually make the jailbreak useful to me, but im sick of the same old apple themes, fonts, etc. PLEASE HELP!