Should I jailbreak?

After a little bit of a dry spell on the jailbreak scene, those looking to expand the capabilities of their iOS devices can once again explore those options thanks to evasi0n 7. One piece of conversation that always comes up though when there is a working jailbreak is - Should I jailbreak?

Short answer, yes. TreyDaPrince, iMore Forums Member

For many folks, the answer is always going to be "yes" because they just want all the extra goodies that jailbreaking offers. There's a lot of cool themes, apps and just general tweaks to enhance the overall experience when using an iOS device and they enjoy getting deeper into the system so to speak.

I personally don't Jailbreak- not worth the instability. phreddyl, iMore Forums Member

For others though, the answer is always going to be "no" for a lot of various different reasons with the most common one being the instability in the OS that occurs for some folks after jailbreaking. I'm a firm believer that it all depends on what you install but again, it's one of the biggest reasons among users for not jailbreaking along with battery life concerns, whether it be true or not.

I don't find jailbreaking appealing anymore. HAWK, iMore Forums Member

Personally, I don't jailbreak my devices any more because I feel that iOS has reached a point where I'm perfectly fine without all of the tweaks and themes but at the same time, I have jailbroken devices in the past because I think it's something everyone should experience within reason. I'm not going to suggest it for my Mom because the process would just totally scare her.

Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you're comfortable with the process and have a bit of time to set aside. Things can and do go wrong and that's why we always suggest reading through the guides carefully. If after you've jailbroken and want to go back, that's not really a problem either, provided you made all the suggested backups. If you didn't, then the process can be a little bit trickier.

I know we have plenty of experienced iOS readers out there, have you jailbroken your devices? What do you suggest to those who ask you if they should jailbreak theirs?

Discuss more in the iMore Forums

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Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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Reader comments

Should I jailbreak?

58 Comments

Couria is bite sms's quick reply for messages, what's app, and tweetbot. Lot better than bite SMS. The repo is Cydia.qusic.me I think. Need to do some research before but it's worth looking into!

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Sure. And lose the ability to upgrade to newer firmware. Particularly iOS 7.1 that fixes a myriad of bugs, adds some nice and needed interface tweaks, and improves security by plugging those JB exploits.

Then, iOS 8 and new iPhone is released. You get to start the waiting game all over again. Hoping for a new Jailbreak. I find it sad and pathetic. Like to tinker and customize? Go get an Android.

No need to be insulting. You do not lose the ability to update if you jailbreak at the current firmware. I enjoy Apple's hardware and general OS, yet, I also like to add various tweaks to add additional functionality. I would never switch to Android for the sake of customization. Jailbreaking is relative to the individual, and I would suggest weighing options on a personal scale instead of herding people to Android in a condescending manner.

I am still on 6.1.2 on i5 because not all of us enjoy iOS 7 (iPad Air). Before Jailbreaking, I couldn't stand using my iPad Air at night, because of this all bright and white everywhere crap. But thanks to a jailbreak tweak on iOS 7 allowing me to use a dark theme on the OS, that has changed. F.lux adds warm colors at night, making it more relaxing when using it for productivity purposes. Not all of us are paranoid freaks worrying about security flaws (screw the NSA though).

Guess what?? iOS 7.1 and iOS 8 will have security flaws as well. I will be more than glad to wait on an iPhone 6. That way by the time a Jailbreak comes out, so will an unlocked version and not have to wait in line for hours, and not sign a commitment for some crappy subsidy!!!

Android has improved but stuck on an Apple ecosystem since iPhone OS 2.0. I find it sad and pathetic about your concern about those that wait, but hey it is just an opinion just like yours. So a few of us apple users like to have our cake and eat it too. You mad bro??

I want to see a lot of irony and sarcasm in that post. And like it for that (especially the little sting at Apple for not letting us customize our phones to some extent :)

Cause no one can be that narrow minded, dumb and condesceding, now, can they?

Generally I agree. Not to the tune that you do to say it is sad and pathetic. My feeling is that if you want to customize go for it, but buyer beware. What I don't want to hear is someone that does jailbreak and then complains of issues they are having. They should have known what they were getting into. I can also agree that as far as platforms for tweaking that Android would be a better choice.

I will say I have tried Jailbreaking on other versions of iOS and have always restored it to the base iOS image after a few days. I really don't want to even try it on iOS7, it is to fragile as it is in my mind. I think Apple rushed it out the door. There are some interface tweaks I would like to do but it's not that important to me.

I find Cydia hard to navigate I would much rather have an interface from my PC to look for apps on and install from instead of having to navigate the app on the phone.

I'd say no. Especially not now. iOS 7 is still in a state of flux and Apple is working hard to get iOS 7.1 up to the stability and optimization standards of the previous generations. A jailbreak is an exploit of an OS vulnerability which Apple is constantly patching. iOS 7.1 will nullify the current jailbreak. I'll take the stability and improvements of iOS from Apple over having a dependence on a jailbreak that could disappear with the next release.

it's frightening funny to read both sorts of comments on 1) stability and 2) improvements.

First off, we've yet to see some 'stability' in iOS 7.1. And even so, the system aint that bad anyway. Furthermore, jailbreaking doesnt reduce stability in any noticeable way, provided you use your brain. Sometimes I have the feeling the reason Apple wont let customize or choose the way I wanna use my phone is they dont trust my common sense. Think different, I guess, but anyway. If you use your jailbreak reasonably, you'll be just fine. If you overload your system with dozens of heavy themes, tweaks from here to the moon from fishy sources, then yeah, you expose yourself. But a quick Google search for tweak feedback/reliability feedback works just fine. There again, common sense. Dont have to be a CalTech graduate to do that.

Secondly, if people were satisfied with iOS improvements, jailbreak wouldnt be so popular, now, would it? And no, Im not talking about the minority that would jailbreak at any cost because they want the latest Sponge Bob theme or the greatest weather widget of all time. Im talking about the many MANY of us that jailbreak because they want....wait for it...the choice of using another browser by default or having quick reply feature for messages. Yeah, 2014 and I still cant use Chrome by default. You know, Chrome, that obscure browser by that no-name company that would completely annihilate the almighty user experience praised by Apple.

No, I shouldnt switch to Android just because I like Chrome or I like having the ability to kill all background tasks at once. That's a weak response to the issues here. I like my Apple iPhone and iPad mini for their design/quality of build and I like iOS for the amazing user interface and reliability. And somehow, no, jailbreaking them didnt cause any harm and did not impair my iOS experience. To the contrary.

Kudos to the writer for that article title, though. I like the use of the word "should", which is in and of itself besides any point because there's no answer to the question, but adds enough to fuel endless discussions. Apple new is running low, so why not. Job well done.

I jailbreaked my iphone 4 for ios4, ios5, ios6.
I couldn't live without bitesms, lockinfo and another 20+ apps.

Now with ios7 and iPhone 5s, maybe I'm senile but I liked the new stuff: iMessage , notification center, the whatever name of the thing with shortcuts to lamp and calc, and the app switcher preview.

Now I prefer stability, don't feed the urge anymore to jailbreak.

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I jailbroke my 5s for the control center tweaks and themes. There are a lot of great looking themes that fix some of the questionable Apple designed icons. I don't lose any functionality because I don't add a lot.

There are some really sweet jailbreak apps for sure but I just don't feel the need really anymore. I'm happy with the way it is now

I chose to JB simply for a couple small tweaks and also the addition of Movie and Music Box. I also JB my friends iPad (who is TOTALLY clueless about anything Apple, much less JBing) and told her "never open or touch this brown app called "CYDIA"... NEVER, for any reason. I installed Movie Box for her and thats all we really use it for. I enjoy it, but don't mess with the Winterboard and other theme's.

Not sure why everyone assumes that the jailbreak is unstable. On my iphone 5, I've had no stability problems. Don't try to install incompatible stuff and the phone is just as stable with the jb as it is without. I like the control center add ons the most, and the ability to theme, though I mostly just tweak the interface some.

I have jailbroken every iPhone including the 5s. It's simple really, I like to tweak and the jailbreak community is responsible for so many of the improvements in iOS that I want those improvements now, not later. I understand many like stability and iOS just the way it is.
Something for everybody. It's not sad and pathetic. It is actually what Steve and Woz were doing themselves back in the day with LD phone calls. A long distinguished history of hacking for good.

I've been jail breaking ever since Black Ra1n, on my iphone 3g at the time. i couldn't tell you the year. Now my 5s on iOS 7 and iPad 2 still on iOS 6 are both JB.
My advice? Always backup, and for heaven's sake, READ the description and compatibility of the tweaks you install! Not compatible for your iOS version? Requires this or that and your device doesn't fulfil it? Then you do not install it. You'll have no problems

I jailbroke my first iPhone many years ago before moving to a different platform. Since picking up a iphone5 last year the need or want hasn't been that great to make me want to jailbreak again.

I jailbroke my iPad just because of the iFile cydia app which i use for file management and Transmission which i used to download torrents. I did not jailbreak my iPhone because I didn't need it to be jailbroken and the ios7 features suites all my needs.

BiteSMS... THE reason to jailbreak... I just got Movie Box on my iPad and it is pretty awesome too... Both my iPhone 5 and iPad 3 are jailbroken....

I have jailbroken several iOS devices in the past. The freedom associated with jailbraking is very tempting. There are two very nasty side effects, however. The first is instability which was common in my experience. The second side effect is even more widespread. Being able to easily change the appearance and functionality of the system usually drives people to an endless search for customization. The result is a mish-mash of conflicting styles and themes which are different but not necessarily better than the stock system experience.

I'll be moving back to the iPhone from Android very soon. One of the main reasons is that last bit you said about jailbreaking, it's very common in Android when using just stock apps and 3rd party apps, it's all different mish-mash styles together and it's a bad experience overall. I have to root all my phones too just to get some basic features and instability comes along with it as well. I'm glad iOS has finally changed enough for me to be able to come back and be happy with it, even with a non-jailbroken iPhone. I had to jailbreak all my old iOS devices when I had them, but now I don't think I'll miss the customising one bit, as long as I get a stable and neatly packaged experience.

I know what you mean. I spent ages tinkering with my Galaxy S3; customisations and swapping out ROMs as often as I change underwear! Sometimes less is more.

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I jail broke my 1st two iPhones and to me it made the IPhone experience great. Now I have. IPhone 5 and the IPad mini 1st generation and I have not had the need to jail break either of them. I feel that iOS 7 and all of the apps in the App Store meet all of my needs for both.
If you are a power user and need to have all of the different tweets jail breaking gives you then go for it. If you are just an average user you most likely don't have the need to jail break

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While there may be fewer reasons to jailbreak most see Cydia as an old friend myself included. The one thing I couldn't adapt to in iOS 7 were the flat icons, hello Cydia/Winterboard.

I always jailbreak my iPhone and never bother jailbreaking my iPad. To be honest, I really only jailbreak for one app. I have unlimited data and am willing to pay the tethering fees to tether, what I am not willing to do is allow my app store and audio books to be limited to 100 and 50 megs respectively. So basically, I jailbreak just for 3G unrestricter.

If apple would remove the download limits, like blackberry and android have, then I wouldn't jailbreak at all. The reason I don't jailbreak on the iPad is because I only use it via wifi.

Well .. When u choose Iphone as ur primary smartphone and then you intend to jailbreake it that mean in my opinion you are using the wrong device .. You are going to exclude the most essential benefit of IOS in it security and OS stability .. I think Android is good OS now and it would be better from owning jailbreaked device for those ppl looking for more relaxed OS !

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I've jailbroken all of my iPhones only because I LOVE BiteSMS. Until Apple makes SMS notifications more user-friendly and efficient, I will continue to jail-break.

So for me iOS is very stabile ether way with or without jailbreak and when it comes down what people like! My wife won't jailbreak hers at all not even bite sms moves her! Love springtomize and cctoggles! I am still missing a good notification centre tweak!

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Yes I absolutely need jailbreak, the original gestures not working good enough for me. I need to customize gestures for some flexibility in a way I use my iDevices.

MOVIEBOX is worth JB all by itself, not to mention all the other tweaks. I NEVER had stability issues because I READ. If you haven't noticed apple slowly implements these JB tweaks in ios, but in my opinion too slowly for me not to JB. Here are my top JB tweaks.

MOVIEBOX-almost any movie (some in theaters) any tv show any season
BITESMS- better than imessage for quick reply and compose
PandoraDownloader- Unlimited skips, no ads, plus download pandora songs.
Slide2kill- Multitask swipe up to kill one app, swipe down to kill all
CCControls- Add tons of options to control center
TetherMe- Enable tethering on your device and use it as hotspot for other devices
IcaughtUPRO- Put the wrong password and your phone will take a secret photo with the front camera and email you the picture and exact location of where your phone is.

I'm not interesting of jailbreak anymore. I was a big fan of jailbreak with my old iphone 3G, 3Gs but now with iphone5 and iOS7 I have all I need from my device.
On the other hand, Apple is working hard (with some open mind) to improve the iOS with many many features and tweaks.

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In a word; no. As the saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". The crap it causes is just needless stress, but then, typical bloke, do I ever read the instructions, eh no, can I bothered, eh no, I'm just a lazy tw*t. Just my opinion, and eh appreciate it if you wouldn't add to it, ha ha

I prefer to stick w/Apple's software on Apple's hardware. Makes the most prudent sense to me for a stressless as possible user experience.

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I jailbroke for BiteSMS solely. Many other things have been fixed by iOS 7, mainly Control Center and the availability of Notification Center on the lock screen. However, I have still found uses for Activator and a new found love of CCControls! Must have if you use Control Center as frequently as I do.

In the 5 years I owned iPhones I have always been Jailbroken. Since iOS 7 it's the longest I've used an iPhone without being Jailbroken. Not because I don't want to anymore but because I'm running the betas. Once iOS 7 was out the 7.1 betas were available and my love for seeing what's new and shiny in iOS plus helping make it a more stable OS trumps being Jailbroken. I would always suggest to a regular user to Jailbreak simply because as good as iOS is now there are still things missing that are available on Jailbreak. A few examples is the tweak that enables access to playlists right from the lock screen or control center. Another is the ability to use Touch ID on your iPhone to unlock your Mac. I would say that once 7.1 is out and there is a JB I will do it but I'm willing to bet iOS 8 will be just around the corner so I may have to buy another iPhone for the betas.

I jailbroke for HiddenSettings7 and S/NES emulators. If Apple allowed emulators in the app store and would speed up iOS 7 animations, I wouldn't need to jailbreak.

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i take exactly the same view as chris i loved jailbreaking in the past and have become quite comfortable with it but IOS 7 defientely upgraded IOS to everything pretty much that i want from IOS there isn't everything but it's all really small which aren't even nearly worth jailbreaking for so i converted to team pure

I've been fine without jailbreak since the iphone 4... Now with iOS 7 and the 5S I don't think there's a need for jailbreak anymore

It was fun for a while but today I don't see the point in all that hassle. iOS is good enough for me, and I can even use Chrome! ;-)

I have to say that after using the latest jailbreak for weeks I had to restore back. I loved the messaging but the battery burn was just too much to take. My phone would actually get to hot to use during some times.

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I have had the iphone 5 hated it went back to my all time favorite 4s but both were JAILBROKEN had the iPad till I recently bought the iPad air and iPad mini which both are as well JAILBROKEN couldn't imagine owning a apple product without doing so love to be able to customize my everyday devise to my prefer ability

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I have been looking at getting an iPhone for awhile. I don't want to pay for one through a carrier like Sprint, AT&T, etc because thanks to my student loans, I'll have to pay a deposit. But I saw a good deal on one through H2O wireless, but unfortunately they don't offer tethering/hotspot. This leaves me to have to do a jailbreak so I can run a third party tether app.

The problem with that is, I no longer have a Macbook, and my current machine is a Chromebook running Ubuntu Linux. As I haven't been able to find anything for Linux that runs any jailbreak software for newer iPhones, I am going to have to outsource it. Any ideas?