If you frequently read Beebom, you have probably read dozens of our posts about useful jailbreak tweaks for iOS. Although the majority of our readers have expressed satisfaction with our jailbreak coverage, I admit that we may have overlooked something crucial in the past: mastering the fundamentals of jailbreaking. It might be really intimidating to enter the jailbreak realm if you’ve never done it before. There are certainly some malicious jailbreak tweaks available in the wild. Additionally, there appears to be a lot of controversy around the legality of jailbreaking. In an approachable manner for beginners, I’ll explain what jailbreaking is, how to do it, and whether it’s legal:
What is Jailbreaking?
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about jailbreak because I like to reference it a lot:
Jailbreak: (Noun) A prison break.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the iPhone in the slightest. We need to comprehend Apple’s walled-garden philosophy in order to respond to this query. A closed platform known as a “walled garden” is one where the provider—in this example, Apple—decides to exercise strong control over media, content, and application access. This basically implies that Apple thoroughly examines each software and regulates which apps you may instal on your iOS devices. However, these limitations apply across the entire iOS platform, thereby turning it into a walled-garden. They are not only limited to apps.
Escape from Apple’s walled-garden and removal of all Apple-imposed software limitations are accomplished by jailbreaking. So you now understand the Wikipedia definition’s analogy, right? It’s possible to get past these limitations by doing anything, even installing apps that Apple hasn’t allowed or customising your iPhone in a way that Apple wouldn’t ordinarily permit.
You may be interested in learning Apple’s position on jailbreaking now that you are aware of what it actually entails. Let’s find out if jailbreaking is permitted and what Apple thinks about the practise.
Is Jailbreaking Legal?
The solution isn’t clear-cut because there are so many laws in force. Fortunately, most nations’ laws lean more in favour of jailbreaking being completely legal. The regulations that safeguard DRM technologies, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, typically restrict jailbreaking (DMCA). The US Library of Congress exempted iPhone jailbreaking from the DMCA in 2012, making it acceptable. Every three years, the Library of Congress meets to explore new exemptions and to review current ones. Surprisingly, while jailbreaking an iPhone became lawful in 2012, jailbreaking an iPad did not become legal until 2015. The following meeting is slated for 2018, and it’s likely that jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad will continue to be allowed, at least in the US.
In nations like India, Canada, and New Zealand, it is lawful to bypass DRM for non-copyright-infringing uses, which essentially means that jailbreaking is acceptable there. To my knowledge, no nation has laws that make it illegal to jailbreak an iPhone or an iPad.
Of course, none of this suggests that Apple approves of the idea of jailbreaking their products. What Apple’s support page says regarding jailbreaking devices is as follows:
Unauthorized iOS modifications can lead to stability problems, security holes, reduced battery life, and other problems.
Yes, Apple is correct about that, for starters. As you’ll see in the following section, jailbreaking a smartphone might result in security flaws, and badly made changes can make your phone unstable and shorten its battery life. The fact that jailbreaking your iPhone voids your warranty and, as a result, Apple reserves the right to refuse service for a jailbroken iPhone or iPad is another crucial point to remember from their official statement.
There’s a dramatic twist, though: Apple doesn’t entirely despise the jailbreak community. This is so that the community may assist Apple in finding security flaws, which it then rapidly fixes. Additionally, there have been multiple instances where Apple has directly included functionality from third-party jailbreak patches into iOS. I’d sum up this part by equating Apple’s and the jailbreak community’s relationship to that of the Joker and Batman: I don’t want to murder you, I promise! What would I do without you? You make me whole. (That was a clever comparison!)
Is Jailbreaking Safe?
Thousands of jailbreak apps and customizations may be found in the Cydia app store, an alternative to Apple’s App Store. Although Cydia is home to many fantastic jailbreak tweaks, most of the apps are essentially unscreened because to the sheer volume of repositories and the absence of a centralised authority. Such apps may contain harmful code that has the potential to infect your iPhone with trojans, spyware, and adware.
At least five times in the last three years, jailbroken iPhones have been seriously endangered by rogue apps. The user’s Apple credentials were intercepted by Unflod, which was discovered in 2014, and transferred them to a server in China. When Xsser mRAT was first identified in late 2014, it took user data from their devices and carried out remote server orders.
Therefore, the quick answer to the question of whether jailbreaking is safe for the typical person is no. However, if you’re a somewhat experienced user who is aware of the risks involved, jailbreaking might not seem so horrible. If you want to jailbreak anyhow because you value freedom over security, I’d suggest the following: Installing changes from dubious third-party repositories is not advised. Avoid using unlicensed programmes, and for the love of God, enable two-factor authentication for your Apple ID.
Jailbreaking vs Rooting?
In layman’s terms, jailbreaking an iPhone is the same as rooting an Android device. The distinction between them can only be made after you get into the technical details.
Installing a collection of kernel patches that grant you root (unrestricted) access to the iOS file system is the process of jailbreaking, to put it technically. To get administrative-level root access on an Android device, rooting is the process of locating an exploit. Perhaps the only commonality is this.
Nowadays, the majority of Android manufacturers allow bootloader unlocking on their devices. On Android, you can sideload applications without even having to root your smartphone. In contrast, Apple ships iPhone with a locked bootloader and itdoesn tallow sideloading of apps without jailbreaking it (there is a waybut it s meant for developers). Therefore, the only similarity between jailbreaking and rooting is the root aspect.
Also, Android being open-source means that you can replace the stock OS and install a differentcustom ROMaltogether. If that seems too much, you can even installXposed frameworkand show-off your customization skills. Owing to the closed source nature, that s not possible with iOS, even if it is jailbroken.
The main takeaway from this discussion is this: Android presents far fewer restrictions than iOS out-of-the-box. Even after jailbreaking an iPhone, theamount of freedom you get with a jailbroken iPhone is nowhere near than that of a rooted Android device. Don t get me wrong, jailbreaking unlocks a lot of potential on your iPhone, but truth be told, rooting Android puts Android in a distant league.
SEE ALSO:20 Best Cydia Tweaks To Customize Your iPhone
Understand Jailbreak Better?
I certainly hope that this article helps you to understand jailbreak better and answer most of the questions surrounding it. Now that you understand the security aspects related to jailbreaking, you are in a better position to answer whether you should jailbreak your iDevice. Always remember: with great power comes great responsibility. So, if you ve decided to take a step, follow our guide onhow to jailbreak your iPhoneand once you ve done that, browse through our severaljailbreak related articles. As always, if you ve any unanswered queries, let me know in the comments section below and I ll be more than happy to address them!