One of the holy grails for Apple iPhone aficionados is to jailbreak the iOS operating system. This is something that cracking teams have particularly focused on, and something that frequent users of the iconic smartphone range tend to value highly. If the iPhone series attracts a frequent criticism, it is that Apple continues to ensure that it is too locked down in nature. Jailbreaking enables a customization and personalization that is simply impossible otherwise, and thus iPhone users impatiently await the jailbreaking of every iOS system.
Cracking teams hacking latest OS
The latest iOS 9.2 release is no exception to this rule, yet it has taken some time for the usual high profile suspects to break this particular piece of software. Both Pangu and the TaiG team have been working on the existing iOS 9.2 release, with the two groups of hackers engaged in a battle to be the first to jailbreak the software.
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It has even been reported recently that the TaiG Team was ready to release its 3K Assistant jailbreak tool, with iOS 9.2 apparently hacked and cracked suitably. But the claim that this iOS 9.2 jailbreak had been completed has now been retracted from the source close to the cracking team. Now it seems that we may be weeks into 2016 before we see the first jailbreak of the iPhone OS.
Increasingly, it seems that Chinese teams are playing a major role in jailbreaking activity. This has certainly been the case in the last year or so, with an almost unprecedented level of jailbreaking work having been conducted over this 12-month period. With experienced jailbreakers currently working on the iOS 9.2 system, it seems just a matter of time until users will be able to customize the operating system and download third-party software.
Jailbreaking remains a relatively controversial practice. Although many iPhone users like to jailbreak their devices, Apple still officially discourages this practice. The consumer electronics giant particularly likes to cite the security compromises that jailbreaking often leads to, and there can also be problems for consumers when Apple closes the backdoor that led to the jailbreak. This has caused certain devices to be bricked, which can obviously be rather irritating and inconvenient for users.
Nonetheless, many iPhone consumers still consider the advantages of jailbreaking to considerably outweigh the downsides. The unlimited customization of iOS that it offers, coupled with the installation of applications that inevitably would not pass the Apple verification process, makes for an attractive proposition.
And many jailbreaking features have ultimately been so successful that Apple has ultimately incorporated them into the official version of iOS. For example, the Control Center appeared as a jailbreak years before it was an official function of the iOS system. And to this day, more flexible versions of the Control Center are available via jailbreaking than through official Apple channels.
So when can we expect the latest jailbreaking tool for iOS 9.2 to be released? The first thing to note is that it would be a logical move for the teams involved in jailbreaking the software to at least wait for the latest version of iOS to be released. With iOS 9.2.1 having entered beta testing, it would seem to be sensible for the cracking teams to indeed wait for this final release to hit the iPhone range. Delaying jailbreak tools until after this software release would ensure that jailbreakers would have the longest amount of time to apply them to the operating system.
The problem with releasing the jailbreaking tool now is that it could potentially give Apple the opportunity to include a patch for the exploits used. This could then be part of the iOS 9.2.1 update, effectively rendering the job pointless. It would not only limits the time available for jailbreaking, but would also ensure that any potential jailbreakers would be locked out of the latest iOS update.
Nonetheless, despite the seeming a waste of labour that this would represent, the fact that these two high-profile cracking teams are in direct competition could result in a release sooner tather than later. This may very well precede the release of iOS 9.2.1, so iPhone users keen to customzse their devices should keep their eyes peeled for this jailbreak release.
Recent jailbreaking innovations
Despite the popularity of jailbreaking, many Apple users are still unaccustomed to the advantage is that it offers. Recent releases of iOS have been jailbroken with interesting and valuable results, and some of the technical achievements of jailbreakers certainly make downloading their tools worthwhile for even an average user.
For example, the jailbreak FiveIconDock that enables iPhone users to utilize five icons on the display as opposed to the four that Apple generally allows, is considered to be extremely useful by many of those people who have used it. It simply ensures that the iOS experience is slicker and more efficient.
Another jailbreak tweak that has found a lot of favor is that of CCSettings, which enables Control Center to be both scrollable and also packed with icons. iPhone users that become familiar with this particular jailbreaking feature often report that iPhones which do not use it are inconvenient by comparison. CCSettings removes the need to constantly go into the main Settings app, and makes the iPhone experience more enjoyable as a consequence.
SpeedIntensifier and LittleBrother are further jailbreak features for the iOS system that have won great acclaim from those who have downloaded them.
So the potential advantages of jailbreaking iOS 9.2 are clear, yet this has not been achieved at the time of writing. It seems, though, that a solution to the jailbreaking of the operating system is just around the corner, and iPhone users will be eagerly awaiting this eventuality.