How Apple’s iOS 7 helped me kick my jailbreaking addiction

“I’ve had iPhones for years, but I’ve never really been keen on using one that wasn’t jailbroken,” Killian Bell writes for Cult of Mac. “As much as I love iOS, some of Apple’s decisions always kept my iPhone from working exactly how I wanted it to.”

“Jailbreaking gave me the ability to sidestep those limitations and make iOS my own,” Bell writes. “While I was frustrated that Apple wasn’t making major changes to improve its platform, I was happy that I could make them myself using unauthorized third-party tweaks.”

“Then I started using iOS 7, and everything changed,” Bell writes. “iOS has finally reached the point where everything you need from a mobile platform is baked into it. There is certainly room for advancement, but the time and effort it takes to maintain a jailbroken device is no longer worth the few improvements you get by taking matters into your own hands.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
With Apple’s iOS 7, is there any reason to jailbreak anymore? – August 21, 2013
iOS 7: Apple’s war against jailbreaking now makes perfect sense – June 11, 2013


    1. “At first, I hated iOS 7. That was mostly because of the design: I thought the changes Apple made were terrible. I even wrote a piece about how “iOS 7 reminds us to be careful what we wish for,” in which I criticized the amateur look of the new, flat icons, and the inconsistencies between different parts of the OS.”

      No /s there.

  1. I get a couple of calls a week asking if iPhone users can safely jailbreak iOS 7. When I ask why, they tell me that they want to theme it back to iOS 6. I said I wish I knew how, my technical skills are subpar when it comes to jailbreaking. Besides I heard that jailbreaking makes your phone behave weirdly. I really don’t know. I may be wrong on the behaving weirdly part.

    I was so happy with iOS 6 (and its predecessors) that I never learned how to jailbreak. Now when I want to learn how to jailbreak the atrocious iOS 7 (to theme it back to iOS 6), I get cold feet because deep down I’m a scaredy cat – too scared to mess around with my iPhone. I use my iPhone for work and can’t have it behave like it’s on LSD. So I put up with shit instead.

      1. No, people think I’m some kind of Apple guru or something because I’m a real life Apple evangelist around where I work. So they bring their Apple related problems to me.

        I have to say here & now that I don’t claim to be an Apple guru so before anyone throws brickbats at me, I’ve already issued a disclaimer.

    1. I’ve jailbroken every iPhone since the original (not including the 5c since I went from the 5 to the 5s). I’ve never had a problem.

      On the one hand, it’s unlikely to result in any problem for you if you go slow, invest some time learning before doing, and don’t go hog wild. It’s a bit like what adding system extensions to MacOS was like. There are even some things that you can do that empower you in ways that the stock iPhone doesn’t. I actually consider having a stock iPhone to be a bit more of a risk for me in my constant use of it for business.

      On the other hand, jailbreaking simply to tweak the look of iOS is in my opinion a pretty weak argument in favor of jailbreaking for someone really dependent on their iPhone.

        1. Sure, I wear many different hats. I co-own a company that I’ve been running for a few years now. We have a virtual office with my partners all living in different cities and employees around the world.

          This allows me to work not only from home, but anywhere that there’s connectivity. I have all kinds of fond memories of working on projects or being on conference calls in really amazing places around the world. Its been great.

          As such, it’s always been worth it to me to have the latest iPhone, iPads, and various MacBook to work off of.

          We do media production and marketing. I have a lot of large files coming in and going out with clients and employees. Not having file system access for example is a huge issue.

          While there are ways around some of this with employees, I never want to try to have a client work around what should be my issues. So if a client sends a file in a weird format or posts a video to YouTube as a way of sending it to me, I don’t want to ask them to do something else to accommodate my situation. Instead, I’ll use something like MxTube, download the video, process it and then FTP the file to where it needs to go.

          Being jailbroken has also enabled things in the past like Skype over 3G. It’s also allowed me to enable tethering when I’ve swapped the SIM with a European SIM where the plan allowed tethering, but without jailbreaking it wasn’t possible.

          I could go on and on with specific stories, but the best one would be about how out company wouldn’t even exist if I didn’t have a jailbroken iPhone. It’s a long story, but the short version is that I was trapped in datacenter and everything was going to be lost unless I could back everything up on a hard drive to be setup on a new server at a new location. There was really tight security at the datacenter where you had to make an appointment in advance, and there were no ins&outs, so when I arrived and discovered one of the admins had taken out the keyboard and monitor, I just about had a heart attack until I realized I could SSH to our server with my jailbroken iPhone and back up everything I needed. Today there are terminal apps on the iPhone, but at the time this could only be done with a jailbroken iPhone. There’s a similar story about how I had to use my iPhone as our temporary webserver (just as a maintenance information page), but that’s a story for another time.

    2. No worries. I have jailbroken iOS 7 and have themed away all of the ugly, cartoonish looks back to the professional look of iOS 6. Plus added tons of features not available on stock iOS. Been a happy jail breaker for 5 years now; wouldn’t own an is device if I couldn’t jailbreak it

  2. I have the opposite impression. Up till now I would never jailbreak a device to add features, but iOS7 makes jailbreaking a very attractive possibility.

    Truly, iOS7 is stunning as Medusa, groundbreaking as a gravedigger, and simple like Forrest Gump, just as they say, but it assaults my eyes and scrapes out my retinas with garish colors and icons that are hard to tell apart. I would love to jailbreak iOS 7, not to add features, but to break out of the flatland of the ugly Metro interface and into the beauty that used to be Apple’s hallmark.

  3. I’ve refrained from jailbreaking, as I feel safer with my iOS devices in their stock configuration. But I do get jailbreak envy from time to time. A couple of things I have forwarded to Apple (even in an email to Tim Cook, out of exasperation) that I hope Apple will seriously consider for a future iOS release:

    1. The ability to attach files of any type, not just pictures, to an email. This is a huge issue for me, as I use my iPad increasingly as a full-blown computing tool, not just a consumption device. Yes, I can attach a file from an app like Pages. But you can’t reply to an inbound email with an attachment you want to send back – instead, you must compose the email via Pages to send an attachment. That’s convoluted. Thanks, Scott Forrestal.

    2. The ability to upload files of any type, not just pictures, via a website. For example, I am about to lose my job (my position is being eliminated resulting from my company being acquired – ugh). I have to apply for jobs and upload my resume. Trying to do this via Safari typically gives me one option: the only file Safari and the iOS API allows to be uploaded are pictures. My workaround is to use the third party iCab browser, download my resume from Dropbox (which is then stored in iCab), and only then can I upload my resume. Rather convoluted.

    3. This one would be a huge architectural change, so I’m not getting my hopes up: a central file manager like The Mac Finder. iOS was not designed around a Finder environment like OS-X. That’s a shame, as doing so in my opinion hinders the productivity that users could gain from their iPads. That said, there are workaround apps, such as File Manager, Files, Dropbox and Box, the latter two acting as my iPad’s external hard drive (metaphorically speaking). Yes, you can manage files this way, but in many ways, it’s more complex and kludgy than it needs to be.

    I can only hope that Apple watches how its customers are using the iPad and iPhone and respond accordingly. Often, how users adopt to a new device such as the iPad surprises the OS developers. That’s understandable. It’s hard to anticipate how the public will use a product. But I can only hope that Apple sees what we’re doing with our iPads and responds. That’s how iOS can evolve, and how Apple can continue to stay a step ahead.

    1. Here’s a partial solution for you. Dropbox can sync folders other than the “Dropbox” folder. Here’s how.

      Let’s say you have a folder where you keep all your resumes, and that folder is imaginatively named Resumes. You want to sync the contents of Resumes with your iOS device without moving files around on your computer. You can do it in two steps:

      1. Make a symlink to the folder in Terminal:

      ln -s /users/herkimer/documents/resumes

      2. Move the symlink into the Dropbox folder

      Dropbox will sync any changes you make to the files in the Resumes folder or its subfolders. The iOS Dropbox app will give you immediate access to all of those files.

      Suppose you have a Resumes folder on your iMac and on your MacBook Pro. You want to sync them, but you don’t want to rearrange your filing system. (The folders must have the same name.) Do it this way:

      1. Turn off Dropbox on both computers.

      2. On each computer, create a symlink to the Resumes folder.

      3. On each computer, move the symlink into the Dropbox folder

      Dropbox will sync the contents of the folders automatically. You can begin writing a document on one computer, then switch to the other computer and pick up where you left off.

      1. I left off step four, which is obvious, but just in case:

        1. Turn off Dropbox on both computers.

        2. On each computer, create a symlink to the Resumes folder.

        3. On each computer, move the symlink into the Dropbox folder

        4. Restart Dropbox on both computers

  4. One would not need to jailbreak iOS7 if Apple simply allowed users to gracefully step back to iOS6. The fact that there is a large and growing jailbreak population means that Apple isn’t giving knowledgable users what they really want. For a premium product, that’s a bad trend. Apple could open up iOS a lot more. Real options for skins, fonts, colors, etc would not be hard. It’s really not surprising that Apple’s refusal to give users basic controls like selection of font is interpreted as a middle finger to a lot of people. It’s time for Apple to loosen up. Let users fix the ugliness that is iOS7 already.

      1. How about you climb out of your fanboyistic shell these are valid points!
        Don’t listen to this guy Macuser. You are obviously on board and now regret it like many many users. Or at least you know what you want fixed/changed and it appears from each beta the lacking features that would shut all of us UI critics up are not being addressed. Skins, color, theme and font customization would go a hell of a long way of pleasing everyone.

      2. Evolving, yes. Progressing? Not so much.

        Please tell us one user function that iOS7 accomplishes that iOS6 did not.

        It’s great that it’s all ready for forthcoming 64-bit software, but flat tiles and washed-out thin font are horrid. The calendar is garbage. Introducing a new way to access a part of the control panel is small improvement compared to the time wasted squinting and recharging. Animation slowed down the UI. All stupid change that does not benefit the user.

    1. “The fact that there is a large and growing jailbreak population means that Apple isn’t giving knowledgable users what they really want.”

      Where did you get this fact?
      How many is it – really?
      And, NO company has to, or should, cater to every small group of people who have some particular desire.

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