While jailbreaking already provides tons of functionality, there's still room for improvement and expansion in 2012. Last year I did a list of jailbreak concepts Apple should implement and low and behold, they implemented quite a few of them. But that's part of the game. Part of what spurs more innovation is creativity and pushing boundaries. And at the end of the day it's really the user base that is the most useful when it comes to helping developers out. They can't create it if they don't know we want it. So this is our list of the top 5 things we'd like to see jailbreak accomplish in 2012.
A jailbreak for A5 devices
We already know pod2g is working on this. While we will most likely get one in 2012, I'm not excluding it as one of the biggest wants for many users. We just received an untethered jailbreak for A4 and older devices. Hopefully a jailbreak for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S aren't that far behind. While an untethered version would be epic win, I'd take a tethered version for starters.
While Cydia is probably one of the most used apps on my iOS devices, it can become rather frustrating at times. Saurik made some updates to Cydia in 2011 but nothing to get too excited about. Cydia could use a facelift and some speed enhancements.
While it may not be at the top of saurik's list right now, I know Cydia is frustrating for many users on a day to day basis. Not to mention the organization of packages is rather daunting for many new jailbreakers. They have no idea where to start or what apps they should be downloading. Sure, they can always come to TiPb but for those not familiar, how about adding a jailbreak starter pack in Cydia? I know several new users revert back to stock quickly out of confusion and frustration.
I'd like to see Cydia step up its game to show users what jailbreak is all about. It isn't about pirating apps and installing illegal software at all. It's about enhancing and customizing your experience.
More iPad compatible apps and tweaks
While there is support for jailbroken iPads, it's very minimal. I'd really like to see that change. As of right now, I really can't find a good reason to jailbreak my iPad. A lot of this could have to do with the lack of support for current iPad 2 users. Jailbreak developers may not want to put the time and effort into supporting the low number of jailbroken iPads.
Hopefully a jailbreak for A5 devices will create more interest in jailbreaking the iPad. Even though there are a few good reasons to jailbreak the iPad, I'd like to find a reason I can not live without. I'd like to have a reason or find a jailbreak application compelling enough to make me not want to live without my iPad being jailbroken.
If I'm missing out on some to die for jailbreak utilities for iPad, please let me know. I've yet to find them.
More support updates from developers
After iOS 4 was released, Cydia was plagued with tons of apps and utilities that were never updated to support it. Even though jailbreak tool after jailbreak tool was released supporting almost every device on the market, tools were left to collect dust. Some of them were actually very useful utilities that I really missed using after updating. Things like changing keyboard styles were little tweaks that were left untouched for months.
Some developers are extremely good about updating their tools. Others are not. Where that happens, I'd really like to see new jailbreak developers step up and come out with new solutions. Heck, just improve upon someone else's idea. It seemed as if the jailbreak community was left with a ton of tools that were left in limbo. A package may work, it may not, it may just crash your springboard. I'd like to see less of this.
Maybe this is something that needs to come bundled with updates to Cydia. This is another reason jailbreak may be off-putting to some new users. They download tweaks that aren't compatible with their devices and when it isn't stable, they restore and never give jailbreak another chance. We need to avoid experiences like this as developers.
A more unified jailbreak process
This one may be asking a bit too much but heck, I'll throw it out there. While redsn0w and tools like it are pretty user friendly to begin with, there are tons of tools out there and that's confusing to new users. What tool do they use? Is one not compatible with their device? Programs like ipswDownloader aim to make it easier for beginners, but a lot of beginners won't know what an IPSW is let alone what the tool does, where to find it, or know why they need it.
If jailbreak developers could come together to make a great tool that accommodates all users, I think the jailbreak community would see a great benefit and many more users. I see tons of people in my office every day that bricked their device or jailbroke it with an incorrect tool. I also see people that searched and researched jailbreak online, became overwhelmed, and would rather come and pay me to do it correctly than mess something up themselves. I know there are tons of other users out there that are put off by the overwhelming amount of information and tools out there. Working together to find a way to make the process more streamlined would be time spent that would pay off in the long run.
I think my overall outlook on jailbreak is this - people buy Apple devices because of the experience and the ease of use. If jailbreak complicates things too much, they'll stray away. Of course there will always be power users and ninjas that will put in the time to make it work. But the bottom line is that most iOS users just want their device to work and work well. If jailbreak developers can find ways to make the process and overall experience better, I think they'd see a lot more users willing to give it a try or a second runaround.
What do you guys want to see jailbreak developers aiming for in the coming year? Let us know!