Taking the bait on jailbreaking

So, I finally decided that leaving well enough alone was not enough of a barrier to possibly bricking my iPhone, so I jailbroke that mother—just as I obliquely threatened to at the end of this post. And while Frank may have regrets, yes, had a few, I only regret that I didn’t do this long, long ago while the Samsung Galaxy was still far, far away. (No, the Galaxy had no real bearing on my decision to jailbreak my 3GS. Just trying to stick the Ewok yub nub dance in your heads all day. I like Apple, therefore I am evil.)

The process was amazingly easy. After backing up my iPhone in iTunes, I tried out the Pwnage Tool from dev-team. It failed. I think perhaps my 3GS is a rather early version with an incompatible baseband. Or it was just an anomaly. As I didn’t have the time right then to try again, I restored my phone and waited until the following weekend. This time, I tried the GreenPois0n untethered break. One and done, baby. Wish I’d known how long it would take my phone to boot up the first time, but otherwise, no surprises.

Just sweet, sweet Cydia-based glory.

Naturally, I went nuts downloading heretofore unattainable apps that would make my iExperience everything Steve Jobs never wanted it to be. My orgy of clandestine app installations include:

  • Activator – Gesture and button navigation manager
  • AptBackup – Backup installed Cydia apps for easy re-installation
  • biteSMS – Sweet SMS replacement client
  • EZDecline – Answer/reject call even when locked
  • FaceIt – FaceTime enabler
  • Five Icon Dock – Duh
  • Five Icon Switcher – Duh redux
  • GPower Pro – Add reboot and relaunch springboard to the shutdown screen
  • GridTab – Turn Safari tab layout into grid
  • Infinifolders – Remove 12-item limit from folders
  • IntelliScreen – Puts info (calendar, mail, weather, etc.) on lock screen
  • Mark Read – Mark all messages as read in Mail
  • SBSettings – Access common system prefs by swiping menu bar
  • Shrink – Change the size of app icons
  • TV Tube Sleep – Replicates look of an old tube TV turning off when you put phone to sleep.

I’ve got a few others, including more than one theme installer. But one of my favorite little add-ons isn’t even a proper app. It’s a bit of code called Twizzler whose sole purpose is to remove the egregiously annoying failure of an “enhancement” to the official Twitter iOS client called the Quick Bar. It is awesome. Frankly, I would’ve jailbroken my phone just for this—that’s how much I hate the Quick Bar, and how little I liked any Twitter client alternatives. Well played, BigBoss. Well played.

If only my Hackintosh build had gone so painlessly. Perhaps building a Sandy Bridge Hack will prove a delightful experience. Perhaps I left the lid off the paint thinner again.

Later,

Fox

Comments closed
    • dashbarron
    • 9 years ago

    Oh God, please tell me I’m not the only one who misread the title too fast and read “Taking the Jail Bait”

    Edit: In my defense Fox, with the type of cliches, analogies, and everything else you write in your article I wouldn’t be surprised. Always love the articles though!

    • Kharnellius
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]So, I finally decided that leaving well enough alone was not enough of a barrier to possibly bricking my iPhone, so I jailbroke that mother—just as I obliquely threatened to at the end of [b<][u<]this[/u<][/b<] post.[/quote<] I assume "this" was supposed to be a link? [quote<](No, the Galaxy had no real bearing on my decision to jailbreak [b<][u<]by[/u<][/b<] 3GS. Just trying to stick the Ewok yub nub dance in your heads all day. I like Apple, therefore I am evil.)[/quote<] "by" should be "my"? Makes sense to jb an older phone, if nothing to get more life out of it.

    • Jahooba
    • 9 years ago

    I use Folder Enhancer instead of Infinifolders.

    Other must haves:

    iFile
    CyDelete
    Iconoclasm

    • rickydlam
    • 9 years ago

    Some other Cydia apps you should consider:

    BrowserChanger: Sets default browser to a third party browser such as Mercury Browser
    CameraButtons: Allows the use of volume buttons as the shutter button. Also adds some activator gesture functionality
    CyDelete: Delete cydia apps from your springboard by clicking the (x) like traditional appstore apps
    Infinidock: Paid alternative to 5 icon dock, can obviously have more than 5 icons
    Iconoclasm: add more columns and rows to springboard
    Infinifolders: self explanatory
    Lockinfo: Add weather/calendar/mail/sms/missed call/voice mail notifiers to your home screen
    Multiflow: Expose or Palm Cards style switcher
    Panorama: Android like panoramic background
    Weather Icon: Real time updated springboard weather app icon (it isnt always 73 degrees.. apple..)

      • rickydlam
      • 9 years ago

      I also forgot MiWi: wireless/wired tethering for a one time $20 fee

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    Since my original iPhone 3G, I’ve on-and-off again considered jailbreaking. However, I know quite a few people who have done it, and I can’t say I’m very impressed. There are quite a few downsides, but the biggest for me are:
    [list<] [*<]Stability: I know enough people who have Jailbroken for long enough to know that it just isn't as stable once you do it. Many of the people I know who once Jailbroke their phones, ended up going back to stock within a few months. [/*<][*<]Security: If you think [url=http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/02/google-spikes-21-malicious-apps-from-the-market-with-big-downloa/<]this kind of stuff[/url<] isn't happening in Cydia, you have your head in the sand. [/*<][*<]Updates: Waiting sucks.[/*<] [/list<] On the other side of that, from your list, the things I'd actually care about at all are: [list<] [*<]Mark Read - Mark all messages as read in Mail [/*<][*<]SBSettings - Access common system prefs by swiping menu bar [/*<][*<]Twizzler [/*<][*<]And this wasn't in your list, but Scott did mention it in the podcast: Free wifi tethering without losing my unlimited plan and paying an extra $20 for no reason.[/*<] [/list<] Of those things, the only thing that might even make me consider risking the issues I listed above is the tethering thing. But, honestly, I don't travel all that much, and when I do I can always get by fine with hotel WiFi and the 3G on my phone. If I traveled more than 2-3 times per year, maybe I'd consider it more seriously, but... Skinning aka making the UI ugly? Widgets that don't work right and crash and cause compatibility problems? FaceTime over 3G which doesn't work well? Meh. Count me unimpressed. I would love it if you'd come back here in 6-8 months or so and tell us if you're still running your iOS device Jailbroken.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 9 years ago

      Isn’t the tethering work-around against the AT&T ToS?

        • blorbic5
        • 9 years ago

        It is against Verizon for those who switched, and i believe they can terminate your contract but don’t quote me on that.

        • glynor
        • 9 years ago

        In most editorials I’ve read they say yes, it is against the TOS. The terms usually contain so many carrier-advantage loopholes that they can pretty much cancel you for whatever they’d like. I don’t think there is much evidence that they are actually exercising this option in any kind of widespread manner, though.

        I know one person who has a jailbroken 3GS that he’s been using with tethering for a long time, and has never had any issues from AT&T. Of course, it might be pretty difficult for them to prove that you are actually using “rogue tethering”. When AT&T did the switch to the tiered data pricing, we checked our usage, and I was actually consistently using [i<]more[/i<] data on my non-jailbroken phone than he was with tethering (AirVideo FTW).

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      Security-wise, If you have a 3G, you are better off jailbroken, because Apple ain’t patching vulns in Safari/otherwise anymore.

        • glynor
        • 9 years ago

        That is true, though you really have to be careful what you download from any non-trusted source. Who’s to say those “patches” aren’t making things worse? Or installing a rootkit and then closing the door behind them? I’m sure MOST of them are not, but you never know unless you understand the code yourself or you implicitly trust the source.

        For the record, I don’t have a 3G anymore. It is so slow by modern standards, I think I’d say “if you have a 3G, save your pennies and buy something else”. There are some really nice low-end Android phones (even off contract pricing) right now that would be much better to deal with than an old 3G.

      • thanatos355
      • 9 years ago

      Wait! What? Stability? I’ve been jailbreaking my iPhones since the original model came out! I have never once had any stability issues that weren’t present in the pristine state. I cannot begin to tell you how many devices that I’ve jailbroken since then. Hell, I’ve jb’d 6 just for people in my household. That doesn’t begin to count all my friends’ and the rest of my family’s phones. My mom has more problems with her untouched 4 than I have ever had with any of the devices that I’ve jailbroken.

      As far as updates go, I’m still running 4.0.1 on my personal phone because I’ve seen no tangible benefit to “upgrading” any further than that as of yet. Now, I do have a pair of 3g’s running 4.1 and a 3gs with 4.2.1 as well. The majority of updates from Apple seem more intent on “fixing” the latest jb exploit than providing any additional stability/bug fixes/usability to the consumer.

        • Corrado
        • 9 years ago

        You must have missed the plethora of JavaScript engine optimizations that speed it up GREATLY. I also can hotspot my iPhone4 now as well as take ‘HDR’ photos.

        I’ve also had some stability issues after JB. 4.1 was rock stable, but my 4.0 and 3.x JB’s were horribly unstable. I’m on 4.3 now and I don’t think I’ve rebooted my phone other than to update or had anything lock it up since I upgraded from 4.1 -> 4.2 -> 4.3.

          • glynor
          • 9 years ago

          That’s basically the experience I’ve seen and heard reported by others. On some versions of the OS, the Jailbreaks are perfectly stable (assuming it worked correctly the first time), on others the situation is much, much worse. Most of the 3.x jailbreaks I’ve seen we not very good. Most of the 4.x ones were pretty good, but not all.

          Either way, I was never trying to suggest that jailbreaking isn’t compelling in certain cases for certain people. I was just commenting that there are [i<]things you give up[/i<] and that, for me personally, the rewards are not worth the risk.

            • thanatos355
            • 9 years ago

            I understood what you meant, and honestly I can understand your position, but I’ve never experienced any of those issues personally.

            I think a lot of it is like people that have computer problems caused by user error. They don’t know why it’s not working correctly, but they’re unhappy that it isn’t, and they lack the knowledge to successfully correct the problem themselves.

            I’m a tinkerer by nature, so I’m not discouraged by something that doesn’t work the way I think it should. Instead I just keep poking at it till it either does, or catches fire. lol

            • Skrying
            • 9 years ago

            I’ve had stability issues on my iPhone 4 4.2.1 with just the jailbreak and SBSettings running. There’s an issue, it’s widely known and acknowledged. Is it worth it? I think so, but it’s there.

            • glynor
            • 9 years ago

            I absolutely get it. I am too on my PCs at home. They’re all hand-built and carefully maintained. I run a SageTV DVR and have an Ubuntu box at my feet and a variety of VMs on this machine.

            On my phone, my laptop, and my servers at the office… I want it to Just Work. I also have an easier time protecting my truly private data on my PC (TrueCrypt and vmware player). My phone has a LOT of stuff on there that I’m sensitive about (like [i<]exactly[/i<] where I am at any given moment, for example). To each their own.

            • thanatos355
            • 9 years ago

            “To each their own.”

            Couldn’t have said it better myself. Everyone has their own priorities and goals and ideas on how to get there.

      • njenabnit
      • 9 years ago

      I think the comment around stability can be true, but in most cases I think the root of the problem is Winterboard themes. I have had no issues with my iPhone 4’s stability jailbroken, but I don’t use Winterboard. My 3GS would drag it’s feet pretty hard when I would load up themes though.

      You are probably right around security. I’m not sure what it takes to get your app into a cydia repository. Hell, cydia will let you add your own repositories if you want. But really, you face the same security risks you would find on any other platform that connects to the internet. Even Apple approved apps can have their own [url=http://www.macworld.com/article/152835/2010/07/iphone_flashlight_tethering.html<]separate functionality[/url<] that slips through the cracks occasionally. Updates really aren't too big of a dealbreaker. The functionality apple provides within updates is often minimal. Of course there are exception. I was anxious to upgrade to 4.2 just because they started letting people use the "Find My iPhone" app for free.

        • glynor
        • 9 years ago

        I totally agree about the Winterboard themes. They’re awful (and almost universally ugly). They are probably the most common cause of instability, but there are others.

        Regarding the security of the App Store… I see that type of reference (the Flashlight Tethering app, or the volume control camera button app) a lot when people compare problems on the App Store to the Android Marketplace. I think that’s a bit of a false equivalency. A developer slipping in a hidden feature (and usually getting caught and pulled) is a long way from the behavior of the apps that Google had to pull recently. But, you’re certainly right. There are risks on any platform. Security isn’t about building a fortress, though. It is about mitigating risk.

        One other thing I notice is that lots of people say “Apple doesn’t update much with the iOS revisions”. While I’d certainly agree that most iOS point releases are minor, you absolutely can’t go by just the change-logs that Apple puts out. They don’t comment on most of the things that they do in each OS release. And, besides, sometimes the smallest little tweaks make the biggest difference in everyday use. For example, iOS 4.2 enabled support for .ics files, which made dealing with calendar invites on an Exchange server much nicer. Small, but quite valuable when you need it.

        But, again, my point wasn’t that jailbreaking isn’t for anyone. It was just that for me the benefits of Jailbreaking are really quite insignificant considering the risks.

      • Anonymous Hamster
      • 9 years ago

      I’m also a long-time jailbreaker, and I’ve never had any stability issues. I think that this issue is just like with the PC: If you load it up with lots of cruft, it will become unstable. The same goes for security, to some extent (there will always be some security issues for both regular & jailbroken systems).

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    You need SBSettings. I have it on my iPod 3rd gen. It lets you swipe the status bar and then get instant access to brightness slider as well as a handful of other nifty things.

    Sandy Bridge hack might work out well, but all the cool kids are building socket 1156 Hackintoshes with Radeon 5770 graphics.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Good to hear!

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    You know what a really neat trick would be? Convincing Apple that some users are smart enough to handle themselves and don’t need to be breast-fed apps.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      You’d have to find some way for Apple to make some money that way. This is the trend – it’s happening in Android and WP7, too, and will happen with all new platforms.

        • jpostel
        • 9 years ago

        HP/Palm WebOS is the only one that is really open. Back in the day of RIM, Palm, and Nokia being the only smartphone players, Palm was the most open too.

          • bthylafh
          • 9 years ago

          …and look what it got them.

            • dpaus
            • 9 years ago

            Ouch!

            • thesmileman
            • 9 years ago

            BOOSH!…and or Ca-COW!

            • douglar
            • 9 years ago

            But can he still use the blue tube to put “Cat Party” on it?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 9 years ago

            Exactly. The platform holder today needs to find a way to monetize it beyond the initial license sale, especially Google since they “give away” the OS.

            • njenabnit
            • 9 years ago

            I am just fine with buying apps. I have a jailbroken iPhone 4 and have purchased the following jailbreak apps:

            My3G
            MyWi
            BiteSMS
            and then some app that switches your phone from 3g down to edge when not in use (although I don’t use this one as it takes too long to reconnect to 3G here in OKC)

            I would easily pay for SBSettings if it were not free. The ability to turn wifi off in about 2 seconds is worth it for me.

            I used to have a lot more apps than that, but I only restored these apps from the most recent update. As far as I am concerned, Apple is missing their shot at my $$ (although in my case, the only app that would even come close to meeting their requirements is SBSettings).

            • derFunkenstein
            • 9 years ago

            Believe me I’m not griping about the Cydia store. I just meant, in reply to 5150, that app stores are the future for every platform because the platform owner needs to monetize the platform beyond the initial hardware sale. It’s how the gaming console industry works (and has worked since the 1980s) and it’s finally been exported to all kind of computing platforms thanks to digital distribution.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This