According to a Wired article Apple believes that a jailbroken iPhone is a threat to national security. If that’s not a good enough reason to want to Jailbreak your phone then I don’t know what is. I have jailbroke every iTouch and iPhone i’ve had. The first question people always ask me about it is why. My best answer, Why Not?
My first experience in jailbreaking came with my 1st generation iPod Touch. I will say, it was definitely a scary process. At one point I couldn’t even get the device to boot properly. That’s definitely not how I wanted the process to go. In the end however it was definitely a great learning experience. Since then I have jailbroken several iPhones and iPods with little if any trouble.
So what is the biggest reason to jailbreak an iPhone? The best reason I can think of is that I want to be able to use my device how I want to and not how Apple tells me I should. When your device is jailbroken you have access to the an online store of applications and general device improvements that can go a long way in improving the overall usability of the phone.
To start with I am a Google Voice user. To hear that Apple refused to allow the Google Voice app into the store is what helped me to make the decision to jailbreak my 3Gs. Within Cydia, the app directory on a jailbroken device, there is a fantastic Google Voice application called GV Mobile. Problem solved.
Second I like the idea of being able to stream live video over the network to a service like Qik or UStream. Apple of course does not allow that because of the bandwidth limitations they implement with all of their apps. There is however an app distributed by Qik that will do exactly that. Again, problem solved.
There are also some apps in the Cydia store that are paid apps but I have found they are definitely worth it. One of my favorites is called 3G Unrestrictor which is an app that lets you bypass the download restrictions and other network restrictions by making your device think it is using wifi and not the cellular network. This is a great tool to use with apps like the Sling player application and even the iTunes store.
Apple really likes to promote the App Store as a big selling point for the iPhone and iTouch. Similarly you can do the same with Jailbreaking. It’s all about the apps. If your looking for a solution that allows you to not only customize the look and feel of your device but likewise add functionality, Jailbreaking is definitly your solution.
So your probably thinking, “This all sounds great but I don’t want to destroy my phone trying to Jailbreak it.” That is a valid point. I can only say that if you are careful and follow the instruction to a tee then you will have nothing to worry about. These devices are designed to enter a “Recovery Mode” in the event of a problem so worst case scenario you have to default your device. That’s definitely not a big deal if you backed it up before starting the process as the directions will indicate. So why not just do it! Let you inner hacker loose for a bit and try it out. I will promise you that you will find it to be a lot easier than you thought it would be.
Links to Jailbreaking Resources:
http://blog.iphone-dev.org/ – The people behind many of the cracks and hacks
http://www.iphone-hacks.com/ – Jailbreaking resources
http://www.readwriteweb.com/ – Jailbreak Info
Qik – Streaming Video from your Phone
3G Unrestrictor – Fool apps into thinking their on Wifi
Multifl0w – Allows you to run programs in the background – Multitasking
iPhoneModem – Allow you to tether with your Phone
Winterboard – Allows you to theme your device