Jailbreaking Apple Products
Sometimes when I extol the virtues of my iPhone to friends, I forget that I am one of the minority that is using the phone in non-standard fashion.
I get around Apple’s closed policies by “jailbreaking” my iPhone. I didn’t do this off the bat when I got a 3G last year. At the time everything was so new and exciting anyway.
Once in awhile I’d hear the term jailbroken and feel a deep curiosity combined with a guilty interest. Who had my best interests in mind – this unusual hacker community or Apple? What if I walked into the genius bar because my iPhone quit working and they found out I had “hacked” the phone? That was a look of scorn I wanted not! And frankly, the name sounded stupid to me, it seemed to typify a defiance and need to conquest borne of teenage angst.
Then I was “forced” into jailbreaking in order to unlock my girlfriend’s phone for T-mobile. The rest is history.
It’s been 6 months – I couldn’t live without my jailbroken iPhone. Outside of the week I left it in a taxi and had to buy another. Anyway, Apple’s reluctance to allow certain apps to run is a big deal. And I am not just talking about the things that are always in the mainstream press such as Google Voice. A quick list:
- Send calls from annoying numbers straight to voicemail
- Send / receive SMS from the lock screen
- Pandora controls from the lock screen
- A camera that starts in 1 sec (instead of 3+) inside any app
- Pandora – or any other app – running in background
- Weather, missed calls, SMS alert, email alert icons on the top status bar (huge)
- Spell check complete w/ red squiggly line!
- Email pop-ups
- Task switcher for open apps (apparently Palm Pre has this)
- International unlock for traveling
- Sub folder category icons on the home screen
Who knows, maybe some of these issues like backgrounding will go away when Apple releases OS 4.0 (June?) but it’s doubtful the majority will.
It will be interesting to see how unhackable the iPad is.
Geohot, one of the initial crew who broke into the iPhone, recently exposed a hole in the PS3. No one had been able to do this for 3 years. And there’s speculation that Apple is hiring someone who can completely lock down future devices, and that the new internally created Apple A4 CPU will have DRM and encryption which is essentially unhackable. Knowing the pedigree of this team that is entirely possible.
Time will tell. For now I will bask in the fact that Apple’s closed policies don’t affect me.