Pros & Cons of Jailbreaking Your iPhone

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Guest article from Dylan Johnson-brief bio below. Thanks for offering to guest blog, Dylan!

Jailbreaking your phone allows you to gain access to areas that are normally off limits. Normally, Apple has total control of your phone but by performing this process, they lose the control. In the case of the iPhone, jailbreaking the phone allows users to access things not offered in the Apple store, which means third-party apps not authorized by Apple. Even though companies like Apple do not like this idea, it is not illegal and there is really nothing they can do about it. However, just because you can do something, does not always mean it is a good idea. Here are some pros and cons to jailbreaking your iPhone and you can decide yourself “To jailbreak or not to jailbreak.”

The Pros

Traveling Internationally
When you travel internationally, roaming charges would normally be incurred when you are outside your home country. If you jailbreak your iPhone, you will be able to purchase a very inexpensive SIM card from the country where you are visiting and put it in your iPhone. Although you will be using a different phone number, local calls will be a breeze and very inexpensive.

Get Any App You Want
Although Apple has quite a selection of apps for the iPhone, there are some things you just cannot get through Apple. By performing a phone jailbreak, you can gain access to anything. Not only can you download apps that are not available with Apple, but you can also customize settings and themes for your iPhone. These are features that are not available from Apple.

Reactivate Phones
The same way you can buy a SIM card overseas or international, you can buy a SIM card to put in a phone that is no longer activated. Instead of giving the phone to someone, who in turn will have to get a contract to use it, if the phone is jailbreaked, they can switch carriers. This will definitely be less expensive than signing a contract and you can budget your expenses with a pay as you go card. There is a small downside, some of the features that AT&T offers will not be available, like the voicemail but all and all it is a great idea.

Fully Reversible
If you are unsure this is what you want to do or not, jailbreakme is an app that is fully reversible. That means if you do not like the functionality of your phone after it is jailbreaked, all you need to do is re-sync your phone to the computer via iTunes and it is back to new.

More Customized Content
Cydia is a great app to revive the look of the iPhone. You can change wallpapers, statuses and even icons by using it. Of course, it only works on jailbreaked phones so if you are interested in these features, jailbreaking might be the choice for you.

The Cons

Bricking
This is a phenomenon that can occur when jailbreaking an iPhone. It does at it implies, it makes the phone unusable, thus named a brick. It will require a complete reset and restore, which will wipe out all information on the phone. It can be fixed but it can be quite a hassle.

No Apple Warranty
If you alter your iPhone in a way that is not approved by Apple, i.e. jailbreaking, the warranty becomes null and void. One of the great things about Apple is that you can take your phone to any Apple store and have your phone serviced. This is a convenient and helpful feature to go with the iPhone because you are assured customer support.

The Potential for Bugs
Well, if you change your iPhone’s functionality, you might remove some of the protective features. This could make your iPhone susceptible to bugs and viruses. Features such as FaceTime and MMS have reportedly been rendered useless due to bugs on unsupported jailbreaked iPhones. Although software and app developers have been able to work out quite a few of these issues, you are still at risk if you jailbreak your iPhone.

Security
Again, by kicking Apple out of your iPhone, you have many risks. One of the most important of these is security. Apparently, hackers are able to hack jailbreaked iPhones and plant virus software on the phones from a remote location. The thought of your phone being a breeding ground for viruses might deter a jailbreak for sure.

No Updates
We all know Apple as well as other companies with smartphone technology offer frequent updates. If your phone is jailbreaked, you will not receive these automatic updates. This could affect the functionality of your iPhone drastically. You can install jailbreak updates, they are just a little trickier.

All in all, jail breaking your phone has a bit of a bad stigma and scares people a little, however a lot of it is unfounded. There is not as much to fear as one might think. You do lose your warranty with Apple, however if you are cool, there is no harm in trying to bring it in to apple. I have actually heard it usually works anyways. So, if you like to play it safe, there is no harm in that and you and your phone can live worry free. If you are feeling adventurous or you’ve got a knack to hack, then this is rookie stuff.

Dylan Johnson is photographer and creative director at Security Options He writes on home automation, green technology, music and photography.

1 thought on “Pros & Cons of Jailbreaking Your iPhone”

  1. To go along with your con on Security, I would add that for most businesses who allow such devices to access corporate resources, if your iPhone is of the jailbreak variety, the corporate security team will NOT let you access corporate resources. It is too risky without the proper security measures.

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