Why I’m Done With Jailbreaking

 by Mohan Ramkumar  on   25 Feb 2013

Forbes reported that over seven million people opted to jailbreak their iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. And, that was two weeks ago. This makes Evasi0n the most popular jailbreak ever. I wasn’t one among them. You could call me a jailbreak fanboi who until recently waited with bated breath for a jailbreak after every major iOS release. But, I’m done.

I have loudly supported jailbreaking, canvassed people to jailbreak and have helped a few of my friends to free their iOS devices. After eagerly embracing all the jailbreak releases for over three years, this time I gave it a pass. There is no major incentive in jailbreaking anymore and I think that Apple has done a great job filling the gaps that existed in iOS.

I jotted down a few issues that drove to me to Apple’s fold again. It’s interesting to see how far the iOS ecosystem has come!

Tethering and Do Not Disturb

For years, iOS didn’t allow tethering the mobile internet connection. This was as ridiculous as not supporting basic copy paste or the ability to take screenshots of your mobile screen out of the box.

Back then, I used to travel a lot and not being able to take advantage of mobile broadband didn’t make any sense for me. I have gotten used to tethering since the Symbian days and it was one of the first things that drove me to jailbreak.

The amazing MyWi app from Cydia helped me stay online when I was out and about. After the launch of Personal Hotspot though, tethering has become a non-issue. Features like Do Not Disturb and better notifications are other examples of Apple bridging the gaps in iOS.

Cydia

Without mincing words, I’ll admit that Cydia is a groundbreaking achievement in indie mobile distribution. But, I’d say it’s also the digital equivalent of a bullock cart when it comes to performance, usability and load times.

If I remember correctly, Cydia existed even before the iOS App Store. But, I wonder how much of it has changed over all these years in terms of user experience. I loved the Rock app store and it was fun till it lasted. Forgoing Cydia for iOS app store wasn’t painful at all.

Performance

iPhone 3GS is a pretty frail mobile phone. It has started creaking and crawling with every iOS release and jailbreaking adds to the strain. Occasionally, I have witnessed sudden battery drains more than once after jailbreaking. I am planning to use this mobile phone for one more year and I didn’t want to take any chances.

Installous

I wasn’t sure about the quality of apps back when I bought my 3GS. For me, Installous was a place to download and try apps before I purchased them. I knew it wasn’t right, but, I never used it for pirating apps. I followed the Android Market (it wasn’t Google Play then) rules. Fifteen minutes to try and then delete it or buy it from the app store.

For instance, I wasn’t sure if a wireless video streaming app will work given the gamut of firewall and security apps installed in my PC. I tried it using Installous, got it to work with my firewall setup and bought a legal copy from the app store.

Over the years, iOS apps have set benchmarks for quality and user experience to an extent that just reading a review is suffice to make up my mind. Frankly, quality apps are the reason I haven’t jumped ship for a big screen Android powerhouse.

Wait Time

Do note that I’m mentioning this at the very end. Evasi0n was unveiled after about four and half months of iOS 6 release. This is the longest it has taken for a jailbreak to show up, but the past couple of versions took a significant amount of time as well.

I do admit that it’s a selfless effort from dedicated volunteers and I salute them for all their time and effort. However, combined with the above mentioned reasons, an extended wait time was just not worth it.

To Close

The one thing I miss dearly though is the SBSettings app. A simple idea, but a brilliant implementation made it the ultimate command and control center. Hope Apple “swipes” this nifty idea in the upcoming iOS releases.

There are few more advantages when you jailbreak and the major one (according to me atleast) is customization. I’m not interested in decking up my mobile phone with unicorns and ponies, so I’m good on that count.

Making a political statement that I’ll do whatever I please with the device I paid for is another. After all this time, I don’t see a point in doing that. At this juncture, nothing short of a mobile Hackintosh would be a worthy enough statement. Let’s all shoot for that!

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