After iOS 7 is jailbreaking dead?

Cydia running on iOS 7, but for how long?

Users of i-devices (iPhones, iPads etc.) have been a resourceful bunch. As much as Apple has tried to create a singular experience for users, hackers have found ways to add features and visuals that they want – much to the ire of Apple. By “jailbreaking” their devices, users can install programs like Cydia that allow them to add function and style that, to some, surpass the iOS’s built-in design.

But this has always been a cat-and-mouse game between hackers and Apple. As each version of iOS has been cracked, a newer version gets pushed out by Apple that fixes bugs, adds features, and – oh yeah – eliminates the crack. 

Jailbreakers have been pretty successful, but jailbreaking takes time and as Apple has been active in terms of updating hackers have started to fall behind. Even as iOS 7 looms on the horizon, hackers are still tinkering with iOS 6.1.3 and 6.1.4. Jailbreaking is also a bit complicated for some not familiar with the hacker-lingo, and some jailbreaks are not complete. While older jailbreaks allow you to use your phone as you normally do, newer jailbreaks require you to connect your device to your computer before shutting it down. If you’re battery runs out while you’re running around town, you’ll not only lose your jailbreak but maybe even your functionality until you can tether it to your PC or Mac.

But with iOS 7, jailbreaking might be on its way out.

“As well as completely redesigning the firmware, Apple has also added in a lot of new features, many of which seem to be eerily similar to jailbreak tweaks.”

Hackers used jailbreaks to add features to iOS 6, and as it turns out a lot of those features have been added to iOS 7. Jailbreaking tweaks like Auxo (Control Center and multitasking) Clockify (clock) and 3DBoard (wallpaper parallax effect) will be rendered pointless in iOS 7. Other tweaks, such as carrier unlocking and wi-fi tethering will still be popular for those who jailbreak their iOS 7 devices. However the update may make jailbreaking more of a nuisance than a necessity. 

If you have an older device that won’t be updated to 7 at all or not have all the features available, there is still a compelling reason to jailbreak. There are plenty of tweaks available through Cydia (sort of an App Store for jailbreakers) that can make your iPhone running on iOS 6 look and work like iOS 7 already. However jailbreakers are still working on 6.1.3  untethered jailbreaks as well as iOS 7 with some success. However a lot of testing needs to be done before the hacks can be released for public use. 

As an old fogey still using my iPhone 3GS, I’ll be left out in the cold when iOS 7 rolls out. While I’ve wanted to jailbreak my phone (and have in the past with mixed results) to get the iOS 7 look, the lack of an untethered jailbreak makes it unappealing to me. I’m more inclined to update my device at this point than I have in the past, which is what Apple is shooting for.  You can count on the hackers eventually winning the battle, but you can also be assured that Apple will counter it. If you’re content to play the game, jailbreaking will still hold some appeal for you. The lure of hacking may draw in a small crowd though at least for the near future.


Posted on September 8, 2013, in iphone and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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