Jailbreaking an iOS device is most likely and desired operation among people. How good jailbreaking is for your device is debate able. But people’s focus mostly on the Pros of it, which allows them to alter the style and been able to deal with so many different applications for their desired routine functions. Your talk about games, making your device stylish (themes), day-to-day apps, jailbreak is the best solution. I will try to share my opinion for 5 main reasons for jailbreaking your iPhone, iPad or iPod.
- Tethering for free! Long before WiFi tethering was introduced on iOS 4.3, developers and hackers had exploited the iOS ecosystem to bring free USB, Bluetooth, and WiFi tethering to the iPhone, allowing you to share your mobile broadband connection via USB, Bluetooth, or WiFi. Examples of those programs–they’re paid apps on the jailbreak app store called Cydia–are MyWi and PDANet. MyWi is still my favorite and doesn’t require a desktop client to be installed on your PC, and allows for WiFi tethering, whereas PDANet requires a desktop client to be installed. Again, both are paid apps on Cydia. Â Beware, excessive unauthorized data use can result in skyrocketed pay-per-use data fees, the termination of your account, or other penalties incurred by the carrier. So those are the risks, what are the gains? For one, if you’re on the AT&T metered plan, which maxes out at 2 GB of data, you won’t have to add the Data Pro Tethering plan for an additional $20 for an additional 2 GB of data per month. If you’re grandfathered into AT&T’s old unlimited iPhone data plan, you won’t have to switch to the metered plan and be forced to add the tethering option. As young kids say, unlimited data FTW!
- FaceTime over 3G. There are a few apps that allow you to fake your iPhone into thinking your connected over WiFi. Why is this important? For two primary reasons. First, Apple limits FaceTime video calls to iPhone that are connected to a WiFi network only. Second, Apple also limits apps that are downloadable over the air to 20 MB; apps that are larger than that can only be downloaded when the iPhone is connected to WiFi. With paid apps, like My 3G or 3G Unrestrictor, users can fool their iPhones into thinking that the device is connected on 3G when in fact they aren’t. I am not sure how FaceTime performs on Verizon’s CDMA iPhone, but on the GSM 3G iPhone on AT&T, the quality is pretty decent and not bad at all; in fact, FaceTime quality was far worse on a friend’s slow home DSL connection than over 3G with My 3G.
- Customize your icons and deck out with themes. Sure, Apple has made recent changes to allow for background images and wallpapers through some iOS revisions over the year, but before Cupertino, California made iOS customizable, there was–not an app for that but–a jailbreak for that! Apple’s customizations go only so far–folders have a maximum number of apps you can put in them and you still can’t change the stock icon looks, for example. On Cydia, there are both paid and free themes, utilities, and system tweaks that will allow you to make a folder with an unlimited number of apps, a themed out device with customized lock screen, have custom app icons that aren’t meant to be if Steve Jobs had his ways to keep the iPhone’s clean utilitarian aesthetics, and more! For instance, since my alma mater is the University of Southern California Trojans, I can have a USC-themed lock screen, change my “Calendar” app icon to show a fighting Trojan instead of the Apple look, and of course have custom USC ringtones made by developers who created the USC theme.
- Install apps that would have never passed the Apple scrutiny to appear in the official App Store. After you jailbreak, there is the option of installing the Cydia app store, which is really where all the real action is when you jailbreak. Without Cydia, unless you’re a hard-core geek who gets off on the technical side of things, there isn’t a real point to jailbreaking. However, thanks to Cydia, consumers, like me, who know nothing of the technical mumbo-jumbo can get in on the action. Before Google was able to get Google Voice approved in the app store, developers took to action and created third-party Google Voice apps and sold it in the Cydia store. Those themes and customizations? Well, they’re packaged together and can be had for either free or a low cost (depending on the developer) in the Cydia store. What about controversial emulators, like those that allow you to play old Nintendo and N64 games? You’ll never find them in the App Store since Nintendo is wary about porting its games and illegal download of the game’s ROM, but developers have taken to action and created emulators for Sega, Nintendo, and PlayStation systems in the Cydia store. If you’re a classic Nintendo gamer and have a bit of nostalgia, you can even find a Bluetooth hack that allows you to pair your Wiimote game controller to play your favorite edition of Mario Brothers.
- Create widgets to make it easier to access settings, like toggling WiFi. Apple has done its best–and an admirable job at that–to create a clean UI with iOS, but simple things like toggling WiFi and Bluetooth still requires a number of steps to access, including clicking on the Settings menu, hitting the WiFi option, and then accessing the WiFi toggle switch. iOS users who need to frequently turn on or off their WiFi or Bluetooth radios can download a utility on Cydia that will create an icon–like any other app–that when pressed, will do the same job with a single tap.
These are just among the top reasons to jailbreak, and certainly some of the reasons why I have resorted to jailbreaking in the past and currently. But should you jailbreak? If any of these reasons are important to you, then you should. Unlike hacking in the Windows Mobile days where developers tried to best each other to create the most elegant themes, jailbreaking is more than just customizing and “pimping out” your device. It’s about gaining functionality, adding features, and making your life easier. And if you happen to want a one-off iOS experience that’s different than your next door neighbor, you can go ahead and ‘pimp out’ your iPhone to your heart’s content with the number of thematic options.