February 9, 2013

On That New iOS Jailbreak

Two years ago, there was a good argument to make for jailbreaking an iOS device. The iPhone was becoming more powerful every year, and Android was bringing some pretty cool, albeit geeky features to the smartphone table of feasting. Many of these jailbreakers were looking for a breed of notification center, different keyboards, or a chance to make their iPhones look completely horrendous with a customized theme. While the jailbreaking has by no means died, it has appeared to have remained steady over the past two iterations of iPhones and other iOS devices. Not anymore. A jailbreak for the latest version of iOS — iOS 6.1 — has just been released and, judging from some comments around the web, Apple fans couldn’t be happier.

This is, of course, the first jailbreak available for iOS 6.1, released only days after Apple officially released their update. The jailbreak community is getting very good at this kind of thing.

The new Evasi0n jailbreak (because it wouldn’t be hacking without confusing the difference between numbers and letters) is also untethered, meaning jailbreakers won’t have to go through the entire process all over again if they need to reboot their phone. According to Alex Heath of Cult of Mac, Evasi0n is “one of the easiest jailbreaks ever.” According to the developers responsible for Evasi0n, installing this jailbreak only requires 5 minutes of your time, as well as an iOS 6 compatible device, a USB cord and a computer capable of running 3 to 4 year old software. When one jailbreaks their device, they’re able to download apps which haven’t been approved for sale in the Apple App Store. This means, of course, that these apps aren’t approved by Apple, but may also provide some extra functionality that Apple never intended to bake into their smartphones. It’s essentially like turning your super secure iPhone into a top-tier Android phone, just wrapped in a Jony Ive designed case.

If I may speak candidly, I’ve jailbroken several of my devices in the past, just to see what all the hubbub is about, and each time I left feeling incredibly disappointed. Perhaps I don’t have the same imagination, the same thirst for life, the same big hopes for my mobile lifestyle…but a jailbroken phone, in my opinion, is little more than a stock Android phone, only buggier. In each of my experiences, the text spacing shifted for some reason, leaving my home screen looking like someone had arranged it in Microsoft Word. The device would randomly shut down or restart with no explanation, and the apps either didn’t work correctly or simply wouldn’t load. I paid for a few of these apps and later regretted doing so. Jailbreaking your iDevice sounds like a fine idea, sure…but in the end I always felt like the few added benefits didn’t outweigh having a rock-solid secure phone that just worked when I needed it to. It was fun to change my icons into different things and have early access to Wi-Fi syncing, but these small benefits definitely did not outweigh the advantages of a reliable phone. That said, I’ll probably try out the new Evasi0n jailbreak for funsies…but I’m not expecting to use it for very long. Stay tuned to this week’s Applesauce for the final verdict.

Image Credit: skvoor / Shutterstock

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