One of the holy grails for hackers and Apple fans alike in recent years has been the jailbreaking of iOS releases, and iOS 9 is no exception. It is always tempting to remove the hardware restrictions that Apple places on the iPhone series if possible, but there are numerous arguments against this particular policy. It may feel rebellious to do so, but jailbreaking can be disastrous for iPhone owners.
Firstly, it is worth noting that Apple has attempted to introduce new features to the iOS mobile operating system in order to make jailbreaking a less appealing prospect. With the ability to add widgets, install dynamic wallpapers, send audio messages, and quickly access frequently used controls, iOS 9 is the most flexible version of the mobile operating system to be released thus far.
Of course, this will never dissuade the jailbreaking community from attempting to hack the iOS 9 operating system, even though the arguments against this are quite considerable. But perhaps you ought to pay attention to some of the rationale against jailbreaking. And this issue is particularly important considering that a Chinese hacking team by the name of Pangu has recently released a jailbreak of the iOS 9 system.
Although iOS malware is pretty rare, recent producers of such malicious software designed to run on Apple devices have specifically targeted users with jailbroken devices. Perhaps the most notable example of this is the KeyRaider malware, which accounted for the largest Apple account hack in the history of the company. 225,000 users were ultimately targeted, and even if this is a relatively paltry number compared to some of the other headline hacking examples, it is still an annoyance that Apple fans could well do without.
The more recent YiSpector malware targeted both jailbroken and non-jailbroken iOS devices, but Apple confirmed that it was only individuals who had downloaded applications from outside the Apple App Store environment who could be negatively affected by the hack. This underlines the importance of not jailbreaking your iOS 9-driven device.
With the Chinese jailbreak having already been released, it seems certain that malware producers across the globe will step up their attempts to manufacture new malicious software. This must be a strong argument in itself not to jailbreak your particular device, as doing so simply makes your personal information, data and potentially even bank accounts and credit cards more vulnerable.
But there are other arguments against jailbreaking as well. There is no doubt that it can be a nifty aspect of the iPhone series, with a jailbroken iPhone able to carry out functions impossible on a standard Apple smartphone. However, it is certainly worth while asking one’s self whether or not the risks involved in jailbreaking are really worth the reward.
One of the most important aspects to consider at the moment is the fact that jailbreaking iOS 9 possibly doesn’t even deliver that much extra functionality. With the first jailbreak of the operating system having only just been released, there will actually be minimal options to choose from in terms of tweaks to actually install at the time of writing. Considering the risks involved, this makes it an extremely questionable undertaking.
Many fans of the Apple iPhone series, and experienced iOS users, will completely ignore this advice, as they have indeed been a jailbreaking their devices for many years. And it is always useful to open up your iDevice completely. But not all Apple devices are as compatible with jailbreaking as one might imagine.
For example, although the iOS 9 jailbreak from Pangu is big news, it is notable that the hackers have yet to produce a Mac version. So if you wish to jailbreak your device, you will require a Windows machine in order to do so. Of course, Windows remains the dominant platform for desktop computers, and many iPhone and iPad owners also possess desktop PCs with Windows. But with more and more Apple users migrating to the iMac system, for many Mac users jailbreaking the iPhone will not even be an option just yet, unless they’re willing to purchase Windows and get it running on their desktop.
Another problem with jailbreaking iPhones is that it tends to create instability in iOS 9. There have been notable problems with boot loops, and even sudden restarts once jailbreaking has been carried out. This is also exacerbated by the fact that iOS 9 is a relatively young piece of software, and perhaps doesn’t have all the stability that Apple would be hoping for in its embryonic existence.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons not to jailbreak iOS 9 is iOS instability. Whenever you install new jailbreak tweaks, there’s the possibility that a tweak could mess with other aspects of iOS and cause problems.
And jailbreaking iOS 9 makes it near impossible to update the operating system, so any problems encountered cannot be negated easily. In fact, it is necessary to be extremely careful not to update to a newer version of the iOS operating system, as this can introduce compatibility problems that will even potentially brick your device completely.
Some users may not consider the downside of not being able to update iOS 9 particularly important, but those wishing to do so on a regular basis will need to think about jailbreaking carefully before attempting it.
Finally, the most obvious argument against jailbreaking an iPhone is that it completely voids the warranty of your device. Although the iPhone and iPad series, and pretty much all Apple devices, are renowned for their construction quality, it does mean that if your device ever breaks down, and you take it into an Apple store, you are running the risk that they will do nothing under the existing warranty. Although restoring to the factory settings is an obvious workaround, there can be problems with iOS updates in doing this, and it remains a perilous part of jailbreaking in general.
So those preparing to jailbreak their iPhone…proceed with caution!