iphone-jailbreakiPhone jailbreaking has been a popular topic at the water cooler, online and around the world. Ever since the first iPhone was released, consumers have wanted it to do more than it is programmed to do. When Apple released the iPhone, it did the best it could by adding features it thought users would enjoy.

While this is the case for most iPhone users, some consumers want even more from it and that is where jailbreaking comes in handy. Jailbreaking allows iPhone users to change how the device works as well as add features, change how current applications work and get more out of the mobile phone.

What does jailbreaking an iPhone mean?

When you jailbreak an iPhone, you are simply making the file system that runs the device accessible. This is hidden from the consumer which means they have to abide by the coding structure already in place. When this code is accessible, it can be changed in many ways that allow the consumer to do more with the iPhone.

Jailbreaking is typically done by downloading a jailbreak program on the device. The program exploits weaknesses in the system’s code and installs new commands. Once the firmware is modified, the manufacturer restrictions are removed. This allows the user to run any program and change the device’s programming code.

For example, a jail broken iPhone allows you to change the icons for each of the applications you have on it. You cannot do this with the current software on the iPhone. While this may not seem like the most exciting feature, jailbreaking the iPhone can do much more than just tinkering with icons.

Is jailbreaking an iPhone legal?

Jailbreaking an iPhone is not illegal despite what media outlets and even sources at Apple might tell you. In the United States, federal courts ruled that jailbreaking was not illegal even though Apple pursued them to make it so. Legally, the iPhone belongs to you once purchased and you are free to do with it what you will. If you want to jailbreak the iPhone under the law you do it at your own risk.

While jailbreaking your iPhone may be legal, it will void your warranty on the phone with Apple. This means that if the phone breaks, has any sort of manufacturer defect or other issue covered under your warranty, Apple has no legal obligation to repair, replace or help you. If you jailbreak your iPhone, you must make sure to restore it to factory settings before you ask Apple for help under warranty.

What do you get out of jailbreaking an iPhone?

When you jailbreak your iPhone, you give yourself the freedom to do just about whatever you want with it. Think about the one feature you wished your phone had and it can become possible on a jail broken iPhone. There is a subculture of anti-Apple enthusiasts who have made jailbreaking the iPhone an art form. This means that thousands are writing apps, testing them and releasing them for jail broken iPhones. Every day new jail broken applications are being introduced which give you even more functionality.

screen changes

If you longed to have an iPhone but are with a provider who does not carry it, a jail broken iPhone can give you that freedom. By jailbreaking the phone, you also unlock it and allow it to be used on other providers. If your provider recognizes you are using an unlocked or jail broken device, it may prevent you from using it on their network. At the moment, AT&T and Verizon Wireless carry the iPhone which means that only a handful of providers are without it.

Image Credit

Jailbreaking the iPhone does not always turn out the way a user had hoped for. When Apple designed the iPhone, they made it work using the best technology and coding structure available. This means that everything the iPhone can and cannot do is that way for a reason. When you jailbreak the device, you take away that stability and can find yourself in trouble in ways you never imagined. This can render the phone useless, unworkable in certain situations and just downright buggy.

If you have done any research on jailbreaking the iPhone, you have heard about it possibly getting bricked. While this is actually a rare occurrence, it can happen to your iPhone if you jailbreak it. When it gets bricked, it turns the iPhone into a useless paperweight. Whenever you tamper with the software and source code of a device, you risk bricking it. If an iPhone gets bricked, it can be recovered, but it is a lengthy process and potentially could ruin your phone’s software.

Every time Apple releases an update to the iPhone, you will have to jailbreak your phone all over again. When you connect the device to do the update, it will be reverted back to what Apple originally planted in the device, updated and then you start all over again. While this may not be a hassle to some, for most consumers having to go through this process over and over may be frustrating, time consuming and not worth the effort.

Conclusion – Should you jailbreak an iPhone?

Jailbreaking an iPhone is not the easiest feat to accomplish, especially if you are less than tech savvy. It can be worth it though if you want more from Apple’s device. While the iPhone was released with the best possible software and hardware configurations, it still may not do exactly what users want it to do.

If you want the freedom to do what you want with your phone, this method may be right for you. Jailbreaking opens up a whole world of possibilities for those who take the time to do it. While it does have the potential to go badly and may be frustrating to get started, it may be worth the risk for those who want to push the iPhone to its limits and beyond.