Why Not to Jailbreak your iOS Device | FOM

Jailbreaking allows users to gain root access into the operating system, enabling iOS users to download additional applications, extensions (tweaks), and themes that are unavailable through the limitations of the Standard OS and App Store. This process, which requires a third party computer worm, is most commonly sought out by users who desire more personalization and customization options and to gain free access to otherwise “Paid” Apps within the App Store. After you have jailbroken your device you will gain access to a user interface called Cydia which is like the App Store on steroids. You will find little in the way of limitations when using Cydia hence it’s desire.

Like most first time users, I began corralling every app that I hadn’t ponied up the dough for via the App Store. Next on my agenda was to personalize, personalize, personalize. And that I did. By the time I had incorporated all of the “tweaks” my little heart desired, my iPhone’s Home Screen and Notification Center were unrecognizable as an iPhone. I loved what it did, what it looked like, and especially having the free reign to download any app available. Terribly enough, the honeymoon hit bad weather almost as soon as we stepped on the beach.

One of the largest blessings with Apple products in association with it’s applications, is the notification and fiscal ease of upgrades. Almost every day we look down at our App Store App and see a digit notification that there is an update available. Naturally, one of the main goals of applications is to stay steadily on pace with the Operating System it was designed for. I cannot use an application that was built specifically for iOS 5.1 when I haven’t upgraded from iOS 5.0.1 yet. With that in mind, I began running into a series of predicaments concerning my collection of apps acquired through Cydia. I notice one day, and not uncommonly, that my App Store App was sending me a notification of upgrades available. Like any other time I open the App Store App and click “Upgrade All”. However, seeing that I in fact hadn’t purchased these applications from apple, the permissions disallow for upgrades. Fine, I thought. After all, the applications that said they needed upgrades were still functioning the same as before because they were designed for the Operating System that I was currently using. So…… no worries. All the while, in the back of my head I knew that I would have to be re-visiting this issue soon. There was another immediate issue associated with this too. Although I had made the decision to not worry about the upgrades, there was still the notification icon sitting on my App Store Widget reminding me every day that I had dishonestly come by certain applications. How can I deal with this new moral dilemma? Hide it from myself, right? Yeah that usually works. So……through a little research and understanding that our jailbreaking community had thought of everything, I came across an array of programs that actually hide your iTunes and App Store Notifications. Problem solved.

Wait!! More problems. Perhaps others may not have this problem, but I simply got carried away. I forced my iPhone and iPad from a stellar productivity tool into a maintenance hindrance . Because you are essentially running an Operating System on top of an Operating System you are asking your device to work twice as hard. That in mind, battery and heating issues became common. Charging my phone more often and even at instances turning it off for short periods just to let it cool down, were actions I regularly practiced. Stubborn still I didn’t decide to restore my phone to it’s intended operating system. I had decided that I would rather deal with what was possibly compromising the integrity of my device than not have the alterations and tweaks I had grown so fond of.

Keynote, 7 march 2012

When people think of the Keynote presentation on 7 March, the official announcement of the iPad HD is probably what they remember being the most excited about. I too was entranced with all the great new goodies that looked to be packed into the new iPad.
What I remember specifically, however, about that day was being officially done with my jailbreak. Here’s why. In order to facilitate some new application cohesiveness and address a few other minor issues, Apple launched iOS 5.1. Here was my crossroad. Once again I was faced with a decision to go this way or that and I’m glad to say a chose this. The dilemma arose because each jailbreak available is characterized to a specific operating system. Any variation of that operating system causes for a revamping of parameter files and entry points. So, when a new OS enters the market you have one of two choices. Drop what you’ve done to your phone via the jailbreak by restoring it and upgrade the OS, or keep what you have and wait for another jailbreak to be released. If I were to wait for the release of a new jailbreak ,then until that point, I would not be able to facilitate my device to use new applications built with 5.1 in mind. Well, iPhoto for iOS caught my eye through the Keynote and I had to have it. I’ve referred to myself on occasion as a picture snob and I meant it. Good bye jailbreak, hello iOS 5.1, hello iPhoto for iOS, and what do know? No battery or overheating issues anymore.

The bottom line for me is that when we get greedy with these devises we jeopardize their capabilities. Now some may argue that and I would partially agree, because even as I pointed out, the jailbreak actually loosens the reigns that iOS places on it’s devices. Although that specific fact is non-arguable, up for debate may be the limitations you place on yourself in certain avenues just to loosen them up in others. I have found that for my own personal needs this entire process, in all it’s splendor and glory,is not worth it. A fellow blogger and creator of Friends of Mac, Christopher Brunner, recently re-posted an article by iMore addressing a quote from Henry Ford frequently used by the late Steve Jobs:

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”

The relevance of this quote is true in many lights but specific to this topic by addressing one major issue.
As the consumer, we will always have the “what I would have done different” mentality with new products and innovations especially holding true to the ones that we subject ourselves to buying and relying on in an every day circumstance. I applaud the creative side of the brain but hear me out.
There are a collection of heavy brains helping develop, create, and push out these remarkable devices to us on a regular basis. Sure an upgrade here and another one there may not have met our standard or expectation, but who are we to question that progress. We live in a society where the best isn’t anywhere close to good enough, so here is my encouragement. Allow our devices to do as little or as much as you need them to do within the parameters of it’s intended ability. Don’t gamble with compromising it’s integrity for a little fancier Notification Center, or a 5 Icon per Row Home screen. Patience is a virtue…..or something like that.


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