As compared to PCs and Macs, smartphones and tablets are locked-down devices. And these locked-down units have some core restrictions set by the manufacturer so that you can only install specific apps on the device. Moreover you don’t have access to administrative privileges and you can’t tune up the fundamental system. In this article we would like to share with the readers the concept of ‘Jailbreaking’.

What is Jailbreaking?

When talking about technology, Jailbreak terminology is specifically applied to the Apple’s iOS system. It is the systematic process of removing limitations on the iOS and permitting the root access to the file system whether it is smartphone, tablets, Ipods or Apple TV. By jailbreaking the operating system, one can download applications and extensions that are not officially supported by the Apple Play Store. The jailbroked iphones and ipads can still use the App store; can make phone calls and other general functionality. This is different from the Android ‘jailbreak’ (rooting) where user don’t have to bypasss the limitations in order to install additional applications on the device. Android users can do this with a little change in the settings panel. Also jailbreaking a device does not allow sideloading unsigned applications.

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How does it work?

Jailbreakers try to locate security vulnerabilities in the operating system and use these weaknesses to escape the locked-down environment eventually enabling the user to have full access to the device. This leads Apple to work on two motives, first to prevent the jailbreak and second it actually helps the company to identify the security flaws in the operating system.

How to?

Back up your data before doing any such stuffs. For more help on the backup, refer to this link. Find the jailbreak tool available for your device and download it. Current jailbreaking tool (for iOS 7) is evasi0n. Connect the USB-cable and follow the onscreen instructions given by the tool. The jailbreaking as part of the process will install Cydia, an alternate to Apple official play store which allows you to customize your device according to your wish by permitting you to install themes, widgets, web browser, etc.

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Is it legal?

Actually Apple doesn’t like jailbreaking but according to the Digital Millennium Contract (DMCA), jailbreaking an iPhone is totally legal but jailbreaking an iPad is a crime and vary from country to country. Moreover, Apple prevents jailbreaking by releasing updates to the operating system. And this patch is further decrypted by the jailbreaking community after some time. So it’s a game of cat and mouse.

Reasons of Jailbreaking

This is a relevant point to be explained. Following are some of the popular reasons of jailbreaking:

  • Basically, in the locked-down environment of the operating system, you can only do whatever Apple allows you to do. For instance, you can’t change your default Safari web browser or email application.
  • You can’t install applications which are available outside the official App store. This also means that you cannot install the application which Apple does not approve.
  • Jailbreaking allows unlimited level of customization like changing user interface, phone settings, changing themes, adding widgets or Wifi tethering which your carrier wouldn’t allow you to do.
  • Jailbreaking open up the possibility of removing obstructions on carrier-locked iphones so that they can be used with other carriers in a particular country.

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Can we revert the Jailbreak?

Like Android operating system where rooting the device voids the warranty, Apple might not service the jailbroken device. Unlike restoring Android phones, the process is kinda easy. We just have to use the iTunes application installed in our PCs or Mac and it restores the device to the original settings.

If you are serious on jailbreaking, make sure you have the latest tool available for the latest iOS. Also Apple will not fix any device in case of any unstability occurs as it is a violation of iOS license agreement.