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July 5, 2017

Should I Jailbreak my Phone?

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For a lot of people, an Apple device is pretty much perfect just the way it is. After all, they’re sleek, easy to use and there are plenty of apps to keep us happy on the App Store. However, if you have an iDevice, such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then you may have heard of the term “jailbreaking”.

Jailbreaking your phone allows you to break free of the limitations that are imposed by Apple, giving you full control of your device. Apple’s iOS is designed to be one of the most stable and secure operating systems around, which many people find makes it too restrictive. When you jailbreak your device you bypass these restrictions, allowing you to fully customise your iPhone or iPad to suit you.

If you want to take full advantage of the device that’s at your fingertips then jailbreaking is the answer.  But, be warned, it doesn’t come without its risks. Here we weight up the pros and cons of jailbreaking to help you decide what’s right for you.

Benefits

Access a whole host of new Apps

By jailbreaking your phone you open it up to a whole new world of apps. The closed nature of the iOS system is designed to secure your phone from unauthorised, harmful applications that can leave you with viruses and malware.  Naturally, this limits the amount of perfectly good apps available in the App Store. After jailbreaking however you can install a plethora of unauthorised apps that allow you to customise your phone exactly how you wish.

Free up space

Apple is notorious for its number of pre-installed apps on any new iDevice. What is particularly annoying is the fact that you can’t delete these apps either. That is unless your device has an active jailbreak. After jailbreaking, you can remove Apple’s default Apps and use third-party apps as defaults, creating much more memory space in the process.

Customise your phone to suit you

The default iOS is renowned for its sleek appearance and ease of use. However, there’s much more you can do to the operating system, once jailbroken, to make it suit your needs. Once you jailbreak your device you can install apps that allow you to change your icons, wallpaper, control centre and much more.

Improved security features

There are now much better security options on jailbroken phones (although, be warned- not all are 100% reliable!) Most iPhone users are aware of the Find My iPhone app, which tracks and locates your phone. However, once the phone is on airplane mode, turned off or offline, this app no longer works.

Jailbreaking gives you the option of installing key loggers, lock down individual apps and media files, remotely track and wipe your iPhone making it more difficult to access the device, and encrypt messages. There are even security apps similar to Find My iPhone that takes a picture of whoever is trying to guess your passcode and then notifies you by email.

Risks

Jailbreaking voids your warranty

In a bid to deter jailbreakers, Apple has the power to invalidate all warranties on jailbroken phones. In other words, if you damage your phone after jailbreaking, Apple won’t cover the service repairs. It is wise to take this into account, and the fact that iPhone’s are not cheap, before you make any irreversible changes to your device.

You might ‘brick’ your phone

Although the chances are low, it is possible to brick your phone through jailbreaking. ‘Bricking’ refers to a software error that renders your phone completely unrecoverable without changing the hardware. If this happens, it can be time-consuming and costly.

Limitations to software updates

A phone with an active jailbreak might have some permanent software damage, which might make future iOS updates inoperable on the device.  However, if you do manage to update the operating system, it is usually the case that the new version will not support jailbroken apps. Effectively, by updating the iOS you will erase the jailbreak and the customised features you have installed.

Weakened security

Apple’s iOS is one of the most secure operating systems available and is specifically designed to protect your personal information and the system itself. Once you jailbreak the device you are defeating the phone’s security, putting yourself at risk of hackers, spyware or viruses. You will have to put trust in the people who create the apps you download.

The verdict

Jailbreaking iOS certainly comes with its fair share of benefits. There are so many options out there for us to take our hand held devices to a new level. However, Apple is a leading brand for a reason. Our iDevices can pretty much do everything we want from a pocket computer.

Jailbreaking is not for anyone, and comes with some serious risks. If you’re not confident jailbreaking your phone, or you don’t necessarily need the added features of a jailbroken device, then there’s simply no need to tamper with it. It’s up to you to weight up the pros and cons and decide what best suits you.

We’re here to help

At MyTechy we can help you with all your home technology. Whether you need advice on jailbreaking your apple device or you want help fixing a bricked phone, then you can count on us. For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Call us on 01483 808008
or email info@mytechy.com.