#TeamJailbreak vs. #TeamPure, which side are you on?

I have been teetering back and forth as to whether or not I should jailbreak my iPhone 4 and iPad. I have been talking about it during our podcasts and on Twitter. Perhaps you yourself are going through something similar? Ally, captain of Team Jailbreak, has been very effective in discussing the various reasons that jailbreaking would enhance my iPhone 4 experience. Chad, dear leader of Team Pure, has been letting me know how jailbreaking could destabilize my iPhone 4 and make Steve Jobs cry.

Vote in the poll above and use the comments below to tell me which side you are on and your reasons for deciding between Team Jailbreak or Team Pure.

If you want to join in on the Twitter fun, use hashtags #TeamPure and #TeamJailbreak and show your support for Chad (@iChadman), Ally (@iMuggle) and me (@GeorgiaTiPb). Just don't tell Rene (@reneritchie). Shhh...

Help me dear readers, you are my only hope!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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#TeamJailbreak vs. #TeamPure, which side are you on?


Free teathering on my unlimited data plan has me sold. Its the biggest reason i jailbreak. If i didnt have an unlimited data still, i might not jailbreak anymore. The way i figure it, i can hit 200mb in about an hour with teathering. In my mind, anything over 400 mb of data usage, justifies my 30$ data package. Of course sbsettings is a close. Second followed by iblacklist and irealsms. Since pdanet just updated to 4.18, which turns it into a MyWi like app, i teathr more than i ever have before. Up to 5 gb of data this month with a few days left in the cycle

Jailbreaking is awesome. It gives us much more insight into the iPhone. IE: sbsettings, lockinfo, folder enhancer etc.. It's now perfectly legal. And u can factory restore anytime. I also think the developers that produce the awesome apps, like the ones above, it pushes apple to do better.
Just my 2 cents.

What's the big deal? Just try it and if it's not for you restore it. Done. As for myself, I am waiting for 4.2 and then I will jb when it's available.

Sbettings, infiniti folders, 3G unrestrictor, 5 icon dock, and ofcourse bitesms. Default SMS is an embarrassment when u have to exit out an app your in then launch the SMS app just to reply to a text.

On the iPhone forums a huge chunk of the posts are from people that are having weird problems from their JB'n phones. That is what keeps me from jailbreaking.

I'm undecided myself, as the features I'd want from jailbreaking are coming in iOS 4.2 for iPad. However, if jailbreaking can fix the switch from toggling mute to the orientation lock I would jailbreak for that alone.

Bitesms (great Messages replacement), 3g unrestrictor (I pay for unlimited data, if I wanna watch hd YouTube on 3G, you bet I'm gonna), SwitcherMod (makes the multitasking bar much much better), and various camera mods make it worthwhile for me

Do it for the experience, but it's no big deal. You can always restore back to a Jobs approved iOS. I jailbroke with Spirit under 3.1.3 on my 3G so that I could write my contacts to my simcard (before I discovered Google sync). Other than that, no biggie.
Do it - turn to the dark side. :)

If I hear 1 more moron complain about that stupid mute switch being changed i will personally come over to your house and rest my nuts on your chin

Jail Break for me every time.If for no other reason than there are some excellent text packages and themes out there that apple simply refuse to acknowledge improve the iPhone/iPad experience.
Plus the fact that I hate being told what I can and cannot do with something I have paid for!!

I'm not on a side. I jailbroke my 3G and 3GS, but not my iPhone 4 because I no longer need it.
To each his own.

I don't understand this "walking the fence" thing. Just try it and restore if you change your mind. It's no different than putting a case on, then taking it off. :roll:

@ Zachary
you can run hd youtube vids off of the mobile youtube website, without jailbreaking. the UI is much better than the built in app too and you dont need to jailbreak

@ chobbs11
I don't want to make this a big thing, but that argument isn't a rock-solid one. Check out: http://discussions.apple.com/category.jspa?categoryID=201
That forum is filled with 13,000 pages of iPhone users having weird problems with their phones--and that's just the OFFICIAL forum. Jailbreaking isn't for everyone by any means--there is some element of maintenance involved if something goes screwy, but near as I can tell, it doesn't happen that much more frequently than it does with vanilla platforms. Don't think Apple-approved apps crash all the time? Read reviews on the App Store for any new app. Think things are better polished when they hit the App Store than when they hit Cydia? How many times have you seen an app in the App Store update with "Various bug fixes" or crash fixes? The difference is that you can more easily SEE the panic with the jailbreakers because their community is entirely web-based.
Anyway, to Georgia, give it a shot. At the end of the day, it's a phone--you don't need to sentimentalize the experience as Apple provided it. Ultimately, the device exists to provide functionality--certain apps, BiteSMS being the first to come to mind, provide functionality which is just empirically better than the one Apple gave to begin with. I know that when I got my iPhone 4, I decided that I wouldn't need to jailbreak it like I did my 3G. But after a few weeks, I got all twitchy without the ability to quick reply to SMS's and compose text messages on the fly. (I text a good bit though--so closing apps all the time to open the SMS client got old fast.)
Plus, as many have said, it's totally and completely reversible.

I really dont see a reason not to jailbreak.. Its not like rooting, which makes you not get over the air updates. If you have a problem, it's a one click restore to fix.. Bricked my 3G with the first 3.0 jailbreak, called apple, and they pretty much walked me through going into dfu mode, and restoring.. No harm no foul

I used to be dependent on a jailbreak because the iPhone wasn't easily available in Germany.
After two years, I am so happy I can finally lay that bothersome jailbreak off!!
Staying up-to-date for when you're safe to update and when not is really annoying.
Also, SBSettings+Activator is highly unstable, Winterboard is a resource hog, BiteSMS is torture to my eyes (what lousy Push notifications turn the elegant iPhone into a children's toy) and whoever installs Appsync is pathetic anyway!
There are but a few advantages, like VOIPover3G but they don't weigh up to the risk of one day possibly bricking the phone.
I say: Stay pure!

MyWi rocks! Being able to drive down the Interstate and have the family all (quietly) surfing... is so sweet.

SBSettings, LockInfo, Folder Enhancer, multifl0w, iRealSMS, Winterboard, Action Menu, Activator, Auto3G, Browser Changer, Grooveshark, My3G, MyWi, qTweeter, Synchronicity, Wi-Fi Sync, and iFile.
They all keep making me come back.

I have been jailbreaking since IPhone 2g and I must say that the stability has came forward light years since then. With that said though, I'm a light jailbreaker. I dont try to SSH files into my phone and things like that. I'm not going to make a list of apps either because I would just be repeating what's already posted.

Like said Chobbs, JB equals a lot of problems. It's better to avoid JB. A smartphone isn't to make coffee.

Jailbreaking has enhanced my experience. with My3G, MyWi, SBSettings. this 3 are the big hitters for me to JB. but the list grows almost daily with new apps coming out. i can honestly say that my phone does what "I" want it to do now! why do i want to pay that much for something that i am going to own and not make it truly "MINE"? And my phone has not experienced any issues or lack any performance as some might say.

Some people still has a misconception that jailbreaking is piracy, when it is very untrue.
Those on the fence, just jailbreak, and do no further. You won't notice anything different, except the Cydia icon. You will be glad down the road that you did. If you don't like the Cydia icon, just restore to stock.

Any decrease in stability isn't from jailbreaking itself. It's from apps you install afterwards. Because a lot if jailbreak apps run in the background, they can cause various mishaps. Just avoid installing stuff that causes the most trouble, like Winterboard.

I love how people dickishly act like things are so simple and straightforward, despite the fact that there are plenty of potential inconveniences and whatnot that are conveniently left out of the conversation when users are encouraging others to jailbreak.
People say it won't affect battery life or stability yet both of those took a hit when I jailbroke. I decided it was worthwhile anyway, but the "just do it" crowd conveniently leaves these thugs out of their posts o they misrepresent the situation.
People say it's no big deal because you can just restore if you don't like it, but my syncing takes forever and a goddamned day because of all the wonderful, entertaining, useful crap I've got on my 64GB iPad. The last thing I want to have to do is restore this bad boy. It might finishing just in time for the debut of iPad 2.
It may or may not be for you. Find out all you can from others and, if you want or need it badly enough, take the leap. Good luck to you, either way.

To me the decision lies in what you wanna do. If you are happy with your phone as is, then don't jailbreak, if you want to have a more customizable experience then go for it. I JB mine for the following apps:
sms GV extension (lets you use built-in SMS app for google voice text messages, no more $30/month to ATT!)
-Springflash is a must on IP4
3G unrestrictor
Notified (keeps a log of all notifications so you can go back and view them)
5 icon dock and 5 icon switcher
Those are just my "must haves" I have jailbreak only games, tones, movie/tv show apps. To me it is really a no brainer.
There are some downsides to it, when i JB my 3g I put so much jb stuff on it, it slowed to crawl and the battery would run out by noon. But by staying away from apps like winterboard and lockinfo this time around, there is really not much of a difference, if any, in performance and battery life from the "pure" version of ios 4. just my .02.

I JB'ed my iPad and it was not a big deal. Most of the cool toys available through Cydia are for the iPhone. When 4.2 is released, I may leave it stock.


People say it’s no big deal because you can just restore if you don’t like it, but my syncing takes forever and a goddamned day because of all the wonderful, entertaining, useful crap I’ve got on my 64GB iPad. The last thing I want to have to do is restore this bad boy.

That's why Georgia can backup her device before jailbreaking. If she doesn't like it jailbroken after trying it out, she can simply restore from her last backup.
So, yes, it really is no big deal.

I jailbreak. I really don't see a reason not to. If you do it right, which is very simple to do, you'll have no problems. My batterylife is great, the phone works great, no problems, and I am in no way some technical genius about this stuff.

People also need to keep in mind that most of the slow downs or crashes are HIGHLY dependent on what you are installing and sorry to say this, but most are user error.
Also, remember that most jailbreak innovations always end up finding their way into a stock iOS version eventually. Do you Team Pure members think apple invented the app store? You would be dead wrong. Cydia was around far before the app store existed or was ever announced. A lot of Apple's "great ideas" are actually borrowed from the jb community.

TeamJailbreak All Day! You have to jailbreak. If you think that the iPhone is amazing w/just the enhancements that Apple bring to the table. Then you'll be blown away by jailbreaking. Everything you could ever want to do on your phone, you can do (minus hardware limits). BiteSMS (Best Messages Client Ever!) 3GUnrestrictor (FaceTime over 3G. WiFi Video Quality over 3G and much more!) TetherMe (Enables Native Tethering for Free) SBSettings (Toggles), Synchronicity (Use your phone While You're Syncing it to iTunes) And don't forget SSH & iFile! Winterboard (Theming), Infinidock, FolderEnhancer, Switcher Mod. Shrink! (Amazing. Change the Size of your icons!) I mean the list goes on and on. You can create free custom SMS Tones, Ringtones. Haptic Pro! Action Menu Plus. Make It Mine. Activator. Just a whole slew of App/Programs/Tweaks that just make your phone that much better.
iPhone + iOS + Jailbreak = The Greatest Phone In The World
It only get's better and better and better. Love Jailbreaking. Complete & Total Control & Fun.

I'm definitely a purist. I tried the jailbreak and nothing was all that great about it.
The only feature i used was making my name the carrier name hahaha

TeamJailbreak ! I've given Apple and AT&T enough money on our original family plan agreement. If either were concerned with the customer cost, they would have built a phone that can be customized and priced phone and plan as competitive leaders. Not the monopolistic behemoths we're stuck with. #CanNotWaitForVerizonIphone

I jailbroke my 3G and 3GS but have kept my iPhone 4 stock. SBSettings and Bite SMS were the biggest reasons. However, with the iPhone 4 battery life, I no longer need to toggle Wifi and Bluetooth on and off. I just leave both on all of the time. I also noticed decreased battery life after jailbreaking. I need my phone for work so I can't be running out of battery life in the afternoon. (and in my last JB, I only installed SBSettings and Bite SMS!)
However, I will say things like 3G unrestrictor, and Bite SMS constantly tempt me to do it again. But I'll stay stock for now.
As for the iPad, I don't have one, but I can totally understand why you would until 4.2 is released. Folders, Backgrounder, etc...

every person that has a Iphone and dont jailbreak it, dont deserve it, the better thinks of and iphone shows before jailbreak, like; bitesms, winterboard, backgrounder, activator, etc, the faster you jailbreak your phone the better it gets.

@Angel should have given jailbreak a bit more time. there's a lot of useful tools and tweaks. :)
I jailbreak simply because it's like getting functionality Apple will eventually give you that much sooner :p

Is there an "Introduction to Jailbreaking" page anyone here would recommend?
Also, is there an app that lets you turn off the cell phone & wi-fi, but keep on the GPS? I like to take pictures in the mountains with a GPS trackier on the iPhone, but it requires you keep the cell phone on even though there is no cell tower. That eats up the battery like crazy.

I did my old 3GS ages ago when it was necessary. I did it on both my 4 and iPad. On MY 4, battery life is significantly worse and anything having to do with safari has an ungodly long lag time. All I'm running from cydia at this point is sbsettings and My3G. MyWi sounded awesome, but I couldn't get it to work reliably and I have a 3G iPad with unlimited data, so no need to kill the battery on my 4 any faster. Jailbreaking my iPad was a complete waste of time since it's already unlocked and even with ONLY sbsettings installed, it is far less stable and seems to have some kind of memory leak. I had apps to allow for folders and backgrounding but they made it so slow, I took them off. I think on my iPad, iOS 4.2 will make me have no need to jailbreak. I'll keep my jailbreak on my 4 for now because I need to unlock it. I think with the recent changes to the app store guidelines, jailbreaking will become less necessary.

Im gonna be quick coz it took me 2 years (yes 2 years!) to decide and make up my mind if JB or not: consider an Iphone 4 as a ferrari.. why drive only at 100KM when you can drive at 300KM?
thats my philosophy!

i'd probably jailbreak my ipod touch 2, ipod touch 4 & ipad if i could actually do it. i've tried on an ipod touch 2 and i just couldn't make it work. seems like some nice benefits though.

After JCal patted Fastlane on the back for scratching the surface, but ignoring the substance of my post, I have to assume reading comprehension is an issue here.
Or just folks who don't know how to make and support a point. Oh well. I'm sure there are things you two are good at that I suck at, but this exchange appears to be a waste of time.

You are an idiot if you don't jailbreak your iphone / ipad. That like having an HD Flatscreen TV and not having HD service.

AT&T has no coverage where I live and t-mobile does. (The nearby cell tower actually used to be AT&T but they sold it to t-mobile.). So, I (and all my iPhone neighbors) jailbreak specifically to unlock.
However, would I jailbreak if I didn't have to? Maybe. It's really nice to have SBSettings, Intelliscreen, iRealSMS 3.0, Flashlight, and Cycorder (on my iPhone 3G). But, it's always a pain to wait for the latest Pwnage and upgrade to the new software. (Then using ultrasn0w to unlock.) It usually takes a few restores to get everything right and then load everything back onto the phone.
But, if you're just jailbreaking and not unlocking, then it seems much easier to use one of the plethora of jailbreaking tools and have fun for a while, knowing you can always just restore.
Back in the day jailbreaking REALLY added functionality. (Remember when there was no Cut & Paste? Lol.) But, now it's just a few nice things to have.
Good luck deciding!

If you have to ask at this point you shouldn't even touch Jailbreaking. It's not for you, you're scared of risk and like complacency. The fact and expected knowledge that you can restore back to where you were right before a Jailbreak is reason enough not to hesitate from trying it. But like I said, at this point, you shouldn't even touch Jailbreaking if you have to ask about it.
The reality: Jailbreaking is a dependency, once you've experienced it you'll always want it (like others have pointed out, SBSettings and other little tweaks complete iOS where needed). As well, slowly as it goes, Apple is adding the missing features/tweaks in each iOS version. Who knows what iOS 5 will offer, but I am sure there will be some stolen Jailbreak tweaks in there.
Jailbreak software is unstable and needs constant updating. The developers don't play nicely with each other and in general it only adds to the issues you may already experience under stock iOS. The library is vast and vastly incompatible with itself. There are many tweaks that have incompatibility issues with others as well as tweaks that have not been updated and don't inform you of their incompatibilities.
In all honesty, you should stay away. Jailbreaking requires you to be able to handle problems on your own. If you will be needing to annoy your friends or co-workers for help, just don't, it's annoying. You're an adult, act like one and make your own decisions.

Unless you have to, I will never support jailbreaking... Not to say that I would really care what you do, it's your iDevice, but I will never do it again. I jailbroke my iPod Touch awhile ago and the experience was terrible.
Now, I'm not sating the jailbreaking doesn't add awesome functionality - it does - but the animations of things were slower, the device was slower and ridden with bugs, glitches, and constant crashes. Not only that, but eventually it got bricked and would not turn on at all. I was forced to go out and but a new iPod because i couldn't fix it be it by restoring or whatever.
I will never go back, besides, most of the features that I was after (multitasking, folders, wallpapers, etc.) were added by Apple in a superior way. If anybody wants to, so be it, but I think that I and most other people are content with what Apple gives and dont want to sacrifice the awesomeness, speed, and overall functionality of the iPhone just for some more features...

I was seriously considering to JB but all the apps I was interested in cost a ridiculous amount of money. No thank you.

I just switched to the iPhone 4 recently. Prior to that I've never used an unjailbreaked one.
I've made a list about what I loved about my 3GS when it died to decide whether to switch to Android or Windows or whatever.
On top of my list stood simplicity and reliability. Not a single JB app was on my list. I've been without JB for 2 weeks now and I love the feeling of having 100% warranty!
I'm pure now and nothing can change it.
I did use some awesome themes on my 3GS, though (typography 4), but ALL themes kept crashing on any firmware as was SBSettings. If Apple would release similarly unstable software all hell would brake loose!

JB all the way from Down Under. Could not live without Lockinfo and MyWi. Why pay for two data plans plus you only have to buy the cheapest iPad.

All I want is a phone that works smooth as glass. I don't want to spend hours trying to figure out why a Cydia app is draining my battery. I don't want to worry about updates not playing nice with jb. I don't need to work around the system. If I have a problem with my phone I don't want to spend extra time restoring it before I take it to apple. I could care less about customization. I have better things to do than to sit around and try to decide what theme to install. All I need is for my phone to work for my I teensy to work my calendar to work and my email to work, which they all do.

Well.... I jailbroke and later carrier unlocked my original iPhone(My little sisters now, still running great with a pre paid t-moble sim) but I didn't install very many jailbroken apps, it was essentially for the carrier unlock.
After the warranty was up, I jailbroke my iPhone 3g with mixed results. The added functionality of many of the above mentioned apps was fantastic, although like several previous comments mentioned, the battery life suffered as did the general reliability.From time to time Safari,SMS, and the maps app would crash along with other apps, both legit and jailbroken. The performance was noticeably better running 3.1.3 jailbroken, than restored with 4.1. I don't know if this is a virtue of the jailbreak or a shortcoming of 4.1 on the 3g, although I'm leaning towards the latter.
My ipad(3g 32gig) was jailbroken the day I received it (early June) Mostly for the SNES emulator using the iPhone 3g as the controller. I'll be updating to 4.2 when available and revisit jailbreaking after that point.
My iPhone4 remains un-jailbroken. I need a reliable phone and I'm not willing to take the associated risks inherent to jailbreaking.
That's my experience in a long winded nutshell, and the best advice I can offer is as long as you don't NEED the phone like I do for work to contact you(paycheck=good) go for it, learn from the experience and if you find that it's not for you, restore.

Wow!!! JB seems more like a pain in the ass then making things better I'll stay pure tyvm... iOS4.2 can't come fast enough...!

Wow, I've never heard so many people make JBing sound so awful. For me, I've never had more than a small issue—my girlfriend's pure 3GS has more problems, and I haven't had any battery trouble on my JBed (jailbreakme) iP4.
My main reasons for JBing are functional: SMS from lockscreen (biteSMS) and notifications in my status bar (Notifier) which let's me see if I have an email without unlocking. Other niceties include FaceTime over 3G, more icons on my homescreen (Five Icon Dock), and the ability to define gestures to open apps and do other actions (Activator).
Yes, it means paying a little bit more attention, but it's hardly a full time job.

Are you kidding? You are on an iOS themed podcast as well as this blog. What is there to debate? You know how to Jailbreak. You know how to un-Jailbreak. Do you conduct a pole whether to go to the bathroom or hold it in for longer?

jailbreak fo sho!!! jailbroke my 3g only added necessities, 3g unrestrictor, mywi, infinidock, sbsettings, activator, ans snaptap, no need for themes or any garbage like that, mywi allowed me to tether and drop my home internet connection, this has saved me bout $50 per month (i got unlimited data tho) it also allows my old 3g to multi task : )

I don't have the logo on my screen I have 4g iPod can sum1 tell me how to get it I searched it also u know on 4g where u can search stuff well I type in FaceTime but wen I tap it it won't open help me!!