State of the jailbreak: iOS 6, iPhone 5, and more

If you're a jailbreaker trying to weigh the benefits of updating to iOS 6 versus staying on iOS 5.1.1 and keeping your jailbreak, we can help you make that decision. Do the features of iOS 6 bring enough to the table to make you hang up your jailbreak, at least for now?

While it'll come down to personal preference and what functionality you just can't live without, follow along and we'll give you a rundown of your options.

Jailbreak and iOS 6

While it is already possible to jailbreak iOS 6 if you've got an A4 device (iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th gen users), it's meant to be a developer build and should only be used as such unless you desperately need to update and jailbreak.

It'll be a tethered jailbreak and it won't come with Cydia. You'll have to manually install it. It's also not compatible with many devices yet. If you've got an iPhone 4 or 4th generation iPod touch, you can check out our how to and weigh out your options.

As with any major iOS update, iOS 6 may render a lot of jailbreak applications useless or buggy until they're updated to support it. So keep in mind even if you decide to update and jailbreak, many of your favorite apps may not even work.

Should you update to iOS 6

iOS 6 brings with it a ton of new features that may outweigh the reasons you currently jailbreak. If you heavily rely on apps such as LockInfo or IntelliscreenX, you may want to hold off. The same goes for your favorite quick reply messaging apps. iOS 6 still has not integrated a quick reply feature so if that's on your must have list, iOS 5 is where you'll want to stay for now.

Again, carefully weigh out what features iOS 6 brings with what you depend on daily with your jailbreak under iOS 5 before making the jump. If you need help deciding, check out our comprehensive guide to everything iOS 6.

iPhone 5 and jailbreak

Considering the iPhone 5 will run on Apple's new A6 chipset, it'll create a new set of hurdles that jailbreak developers will have to tackle. If you plan on picking up Apple's latest and greatest device, you'll most likely have a while to wait before a jailbreak will be compatible.

The iPhone 5 will come with iOS 6 stock and you'll have to stay that way for as long as it takes the jailbreak community to release a tool that supports it.

Older iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models

Unless you've got an iPhone 4 or an iPod touch 4th gen, there's currently no option when it comes to jailbreaking the official release of iOS 6. If you're still on iOS 5.1.1 you're better off staying there if losing your jailbreak is out of the question.

The bottom line

iOS 6 is a pretty large update and whether or not you should update is your decision. It'll take a while for jailbreak developers to update their apps with iOS 6 support and many of them will not work in their current state. Consider this before making your final decision.

As for our recommendation? If you're on iOS 5.1.1 and jailbreak is super important to you, stay where you're at for now. If you're jailbroken but don't take advantage of too many tweaks and hacks and can part with it for a while, update to iOS 6. You won't be disappointed.

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Agreed! I've been a pretty religious jailbreaker.. I decided to update my iPhone 4 to iOS 6 last night and give it a whirl. Primarily because my iPhone 5 will be in my hands (tomorrow by 3pm!) soon, and I will have to get used to a life without a jailbreak anyway. It's actually not too bad. I think the only thing I really miss is SBSettings.. but in iOS 6, they've re-arranged the Settings app.. Airplane Mode and Bluetooth are at the top now. So, that alone is enough to make me not miss it too much. I say update.
  • I was always about the /root access on my Android devices. Since buying the iPhone 4 in the spring I've yet to the JailBreak scene. This weekend however I found out I'm unable to use any type of Wifi Analyzer on iOS (which blows). This one stance by Apple is moving me more towards jailbreaking my phone.
  • yeah wififofum is awesome, i will def miss it with my iphone 5. PDAnet will also be sorely missed...
  • I would miss Lockinfo, having my daily schedule available at a glance via the Pocket Informant plugin has now become crucial as my brain can't be bothered to remember any more. :/ Also, I would not be happy having to transfer files via kludgy web apps instead of via sftp through ssh. Not happy at all.
  • Seeing how iOS6 main features aren't available on an iPhone 4, not worth losing my jailbreak. Especially tethering. Eventually I will upgrade to a 5. Hopefully we'll be closer to a jailbreak by then.
  • +1 I have an jailbreak iphone 4 not worth losing the jailbreak especially since I have the JB Siri, ios 6 picture menu and assistant love which allows you to launch apps using siri
  • Mywi, My 3G, sbsettings are the three most important tweaks for me to hold on and keep my jailbreak.
  • Well I guess the facetime over Cellular does work for me... unfortunetly I'm also running on a iPhone 4S which means i'll be waiting for the dev team.... come on guys my donation for this jailbreak is waiting!
  • OHHHH, Even though I have been impatiently waiting for my iPhone 5 to get her I have also been dreading loosing my jailbreak, especially SBSettings and Intelliscreen X! I can live without WiFi tethering for a while but the other are are definitely going to be a tough loss. I think I'll wait to update my iPad iOS 6 for a while. Come on jailbreakers! We need you!
  • My iPod Touch 3 isn't getting iOS6 and there are no must-have features that will be applied to my iPad2, so I'm holding off until I can be sure of regaining Jailbreak on the iPad. I will eventually get the iPhone, but not just yet.
  • I already updated my 4S and the only things I am missing are: SBSettings, Zephyr, and SwipeSelection. I catch myself doing the gestures a number of times since last night but I guess I will get used to living without them.
  • 100% agree!! I updated to iOS 6 and I did 't regret it!! I was a fan of jailbreak but with iOS 6!! Naaaa I don't need jailbreak! So if ur not using jail break 100% upgrade to iOS 6 and enjoy!!!
  • I have the 4s and I am holding out on the update. I admit that Apple is doing a great job of closing the gap. However, I am not ready to do without my lockinfo, mywi, custom themes, and other tweaks. Plus the kicker is AT&T wants to charge me extra to use facetime over their network when I already have that perk with my jailbreak. Just my thoughts...
  • Any decent "upgrades" for the iphone 3gs with ios6? A little obsolete but my buddy still perfers to keep it for now
  • i jailbroke my last one. honestly i found little point to jailbreak. i used sb settings but other then that nothing i even remember and definitely nothing i miss. plus it always screws up my upgrades. i'm not doing it again or missing it.
  • Having major problems. Problems restoring, upgrading my iOS. I'm jail broken and would rather unjailbreak. I've tried everything that was referred to me, and still no restore or upgrade. I'm already hating the fact that I've jail broken my i4. Any help please would be helpful on restoring or unjailbreaking. If its easier you can email me.
    Martinez underscore g two thousand five (numbers) at yahoo dot com. Thanks in advanced.
  • UNTETHERED JAILBREAK for iOS 6 (all iDevices with iOS 6 are supported) is available! Go to:
  • How about a Jailbreak download site that does not require the user to sign up for spam?
  • Hi, I have recently updated my iPad 2 to I.O.S 6 and have yet to jail break my iPad 2 as I was waiting for my 1 year warranty to run out, now that it has, I would like to jailbreak. But the only thing I want from this is to keep the iPad theme that it comes with it and also have the ability to get every app in the App Store for free. If it is possible to do this please help, your help would munch appreciated. Thanks
  • Let me get this straight... your express and stated purpose for wanting to jailbreak is so you can steal.
  • Well technically yes, and if apple didn't charge extortionate prices for apps then maybe I wouldn't want to do this; but seeing as I am a student who's not legible for a job I don't have the money to pander to apple's demands, therefore I want to be able to have apps that I would like or need. Especially when apps that help with GCSE's are priced at £3 a piece. So maybe once in a while because I don't have the money I would like to get the apps for free, and I was told by a lot of my friends that this was the main function of jailbreak but I didn't believe them, which is why I came to this forum hoping I could get information. Not to recieve a comment about me wanting to steal, I have never stole anything in life and intend to keep it that way but I was just wondering if a bit of luck could come my way after having one of the worst years of my life, and recovering from an illness that not many people go through.
  • Theft is theft, there is no justification. And you're not stealing from Apple, you're stealing from the application developer. The primary purpose of jailbreaking is not to steal apps, but rather to enhance the functionality of the device. I jailbroke my iPad so I could set a different browser as the default, have various toggles (WiFi, BT, screen brightness, etc) in the notification drop down, modify the keyboard to show the current caps sate on the keys, and other similar functions. I love freeware and use free software whenever I can, but if what I specifically want is a commercial item, it is either paid for or I go without it. There is NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THEFT.
  • Wow, I really can't be bothered with you, your one of those people that surfs forums looking for a fight, please stop hiding behind the keyboard thinking your king. All you needed to say is that it isn't right to use jailbreak for free apps and its just to modify your previous equipment. There was absolutely no need for an all caps rage mode. I was just looking for help and answers.
  • You sir are a complete and total moron. You want help. Yes it's possible to be a thief and steal many pieces of software (apps) with a jailbroken iDevice. It is not supported, condoned, advised or in any way right...but it's certainly possible. You're self righteous indignation is misplaced and frankly ignorant. What kind of response did you expect to get when you tell everyone that your sole purpose for wanting to do something is to steal?
  • Ok I understand, I understood before you two went all crazy, was there any need for all this, you could of just given me the polite response and we'd all be done with this but you had to go and be so belligerent.
  • You were trying to justify stealing. That is why we are coming down hard.
  • I wasn't trying to justify theft and I am not a moron, I know that stealing is bad but the majority of the world are greedy and selfish. There was absolutely no need to insult or get angry at me. Now that that's over what how would you recomend me to jailbreak and which is the best way to go about it. I can understand if you don't want to help but I would appreciate It non the less.
  • Whatever. Jailbreaking an iPad2 with iOS 6 is questionable, technically speaking. There was only one jailbreak method for the 2/iO6 I'm aware of that is "untethered", and it's behind a personally find questionable. I don't mind that something is not free, it's the specific paywall itself I find questionable. In case you do not know, "untethered" means being able to reboot the device without it needing to be plugged into (tethered) the jailbreak app on the PC (or Mac). And, as if that's not enough, the author of the jailbreak app I use on my my iPad 2 and iPod Touch 3, Greenpois0n Absinthe, had announced that he is not working on any jailbreak for iOS6 at all. For these reasons, I am not allowing my iPad to update to iOS6.
  • Thank you, really helpful, and i,m not being sarcastic. We got there in the end didn't we.
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