Advantages of Jailbreaking
If jailbreaking your iOS device didn't carry with it some decided advantages, then we doubt that very many people would go through the trouble of trying it.
Here are a few upsides to owning a jailbroken iOS device:
Freedom from the App Store
Individuals who have created iPhone or iPad apps and submitted them for approval to the Apple App Store understand how cumbersome and tedious this process is. Some people resent Apple's power not only to "hobble" the capabilities of its own hardware, but also to screen (some would say censor) the third-party apps in the App Store.
As previously mentioned, you can install practically any first- or third-party iOS app on jailbroken iOS hardware. Nevertheless, this freedom carries with it possible security and system stability implications; more on that a bit later.
Broadened and Deepened Device Capability
Do you really want to use the Siri Virtual Assistant, but have an iPhone 4 instead of an iPhone 4S? No problem—you can do it with jailbreaking. Do you want to store additional app icons on the Dock? No trouble—this is a snap after jailbreaking. The creativity and sheer power of some non-Apple-approved apps is staggering.
To whet your interest, have a look at the following "best of" jailbreak app roundups:
- The Must-Have Jailbreak Apps
- Top 10 Jailbreak Apps and Tweaks for 2011
- Best Jailbreak Apps for 2011
- Here Are Your Top Jailbreak Apps of 2011
- The Best Jailbreak Apps for iOS 5
- Top 10 iOS Jailbreak Hacks
By contrast, jailbreaking your iOS device allows you to trick out the device's look at feel such that you have a truly unique piece of hardware. Check out the following screenshot and tell me that this user hasn't made his or her iPhone their own:
Figure 1 A customized jailbroken iPhone 4
Jailbreaking Is Legal
You read that correctly: Jailbreaking your iOS device is considered to be "fair use" and is therefore not a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. However, you should understand that jailbreaking your iOS device is a violation of your customer end-user license agreement Apple and therefore voids your AppleCare warranty.
Jailbreaking is Easily Reversible
Let's say you jailbreak your iPhone and then later discover that the device has a hardware issue that requires an AppleCare repair. Given our knowledge that iOS jailbreaking voids the warranty, are we simply out of luck with respect to our coverage?
The general answer to this question is, "No." As you will learn in upcoming installments of this series, it is quite simple indeed to restore your iOS device to its pre-jailbroken condition. Once restored, you can then bring your iPhone or iPad to the Apple Genius Bar and submit it for AppleCare warranty service.
On the flip side of the coin, if you cannot restore your jailbroken iOS device and nonetheless decide to submit it to Apple for repair, we can essentially guarantee that Apple will deny the claim.