Apple’s new mobile operating system iOS 11 was unveiled only a few weeks ago. The software is still in beta stage. Its final version would only become available in September with new iPhones. However, the jailbreak community has already started looking for loopholes in the software. Now a group of security researchers has demonstrated an iOS 11 jailbreak at the Mobile Securities Conference (MOSEC) 2017 in Shanghai, China.
Is a public iOS 11 jailbreak coming this year?
According to a tweet from Min Zheng, the senior security researcher at Alibaba, researchers at Tencent Keen Labs demonstrated the iOS 11 jailbreak on the second beta firmware of the OS. Tencent Keen Labs also executed their jailbreak tools on the iOS 10.3.2. The jailbreak tool is attributed to Liang Chen, who is the founder of Tencent’s Keen Labs.
ios 10&11 jailbreak by keenlab～！ pic.twitter.com/BfZ0utqHPv
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— Min(Spark) Zheng (@SparkZheng) June 23, 2017
The iOS 11 jailbreak demonstration doesn’t guarantee that we will see a public jailbreak when Apple rolls out the iOS 11. The security researchers may notify Apple to fix the loophole or sell the exploit to governments and security agencies. However, the MOSEC demo does indicate that it’s still possible to jailbreak the latest iOS versions.
The jailbreak community would be closely monitoring how Keen Labs’ tool evolves. Other hackers such as Luca Todesco or Team Pangu could also exploit the same vulnerabilities targeted by Keen Labs to bring a functional public jailbreak. However, Apple has been aggressively patching every possible loophole, making it increasingly difficult for hackers to liberate the newer versions of iOS.
Last month, reports surfaced that Team Pangu was planning to release a new jailbreak tool for iOS 10.3.1 in August, about a month before iOS 11 rollout. The tool is reportedly code-named Janus. The timing plays an important role because it would prevent Apple from fixing the loophole in the new update that would prevent the exploit from working.
What’s new in iOS 11 beta 2?
While security researchers are working on iOS 11 jailbreak tools, the Cupertino company is beta testing the software ahead of the public release. A few days ago, Apple released the second beta of iOS 11. It runs a lot smoother than the first beta. It also brings several new features such as the ability to adjust opacity for Assistive Touch. The new beta also allows iPad users to disable the frequently used apps in the Dock.
Other new features in iOS 11 beta 2 include Do Not Disturb While Driving, which turns off all the alerts, messages, and notifications. When you are driving, it will notify the person trying to contact you that you are driving, and you’d get in touch after reaching your destination. If the message is truly urgent, the other person could type “urgent” in the message to get it past the new feature.
The second beta also brings Hindi dictation to Siri. Users in India will now get three keyboards for Hindi, Hinglish (a mix of Hindi and English), and Hindi transliteration. Now you’ll also see a blur effect when you swipe down to bring the notification center, and while dismissing the notifications. There are about two dozen other new features and improvements in iOS 11 beta 2 that you can check out here.
Many iOS 11 features are inspired by jailbreak tweaks
Jailbroken devices can run features and apps that are not available on the standard versions of iOS. That’s why more and more iPhone users want to liberate their devices. Over the past few years, Apple has been borrowing features from the jailbreak community and adding them to iOS to prevent users from jailbreaking their iPhones and iPads. The iOS 11 includes about a dozen new features that Apple picked directly from the jailbreak tweaks.
For instance, the iOS 11 offers the ability to move multiple icons on the Home screen simultaneously. Jailbreak tweaks such as MultiActions and MultiIconMover have been offering this functionality for years. The new OS also lets you customize the Control Center to add or remove controls to your liking, which is a feature borrowed from tweaks such as Onizuka, FlipControlCenter, and CCHide.
Other jailbreak-inspired features include display record (inspired by jailbreak tweaks CCRecord and Display Recorder), Smart Invert dark mode (similar to Noctis and Eclipse), one-handed keyboard (OneHandWizard, OneHanded), Files app (iFile, Filza), ability to scan QR codes using camera (NativeQR), animated GIFs in Photos app (GIFViewer), and cellular data toggle in the Control Center (CCDataMore).
The iOS 11 will be available to the public with the release of the iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 is expected to arrive a little later in October/November. Here’s the complete list of iPhones, iPads, and iPods that will be compatible with the iOS 11.