Another year, another iPhone model, another group of people wondering if they should jailbreak their iPhones. Jailbreaking is a topic we see come up over and over again, and there's quite a bit of discussion about it. To help out, we're going over the common questions about jailbreaking in 2019, and why it's still a poor choice for iPhone users in particular. Continue reading to learn seven things you need to know about iPhone Jailbreaking in 2019.
Okay, What Exactly Is Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking refers to a series of hacks that are designed to create holes in Apple's restrictions over what software can be used on an iPhone. This allows you to download software outside the App Store, and overcome other security limitations. Yes, this means you are hacking your phone. No, it doesn't automatically load malware onto your phone – no one would use these hacks if they did.
Over the years, jailbreaking has become a common practice for a select number of iPhone users who dislike Apple's restrictions, or really, really want a particular app that Apple doesn't allow. Those come from highly developed "app stores" that cater to jailbroken iPhones, like Cydia and Rock.
But Isn't Jailbreaking Dangerous?
Jailbreaking certainly can be dangerous. Apple's restrictions aren't just there to limit what you can do – they also help protect users against all kinds of dangerous software that can't run properly on your iPhone. Download the wrong thing on a jailbroken phone, and you could introduce viruses or create other similar problems.
Those apps may be so shoddy that they'll consistently crash your phone, or they may demand so much power and processing that you'll find your battery life is ruined, or your phone has slowed to a snail's pace. It could also cause big problems with future iOS updates.
At worst, you can start messing with iOS' core files and completely brick your phone, making it unusable. On the other hand, you can also access the iOS file system to fix serious problems, but this takes a level of expertise beyond most users. Easy to break, hard to repair.
Can Jailbreaking an iPhone Save Money?
Maybe, but it's risky. One of the reasons people jailbreak iPhones is to unlock them – which means you switch to any cellular service provider that you want. All you need is a new SIM card number (this applies to the iPhone 6 and all models afterward thanks to recent laws). In the right circumstances, this may allow you to save money on a phone plan.
You can also access apps that give you access to content – music
One reason Apple's App Store has so many restrictions is to stop these problems from happening. Again, Apple's restrictions are there for a reason.
Will Jailbreaking Get Me into Legal Trouble?
Not in the United States. Some countries have laws against jailbreaking, but it isn't exactly a common rule. However, jailbreaking will completely void your Apple warranty. That means Apple is no longer obligated to offer you any services or repairs if they find your phone is jailbroken. A.K.A, they will drop you like a very hot potato.
This, of course, makes it difficult to repair any of the problems that might develop as a consequence of jailbreaking. It also means you'll probably have to buy a brand new iPhone before Apple will do anything for you again.
But Isn't It Easier to Jailbreak Now?
Yes, and that's part of the problem. Jailbreaking tends to get easier as time passes and as better tools are developed. Even the most casual users can jailbreak with software like JailbreakMe, which is very simple to use and will set you up with a jailbroken system with basically one comprehensive download.
However, easier isn't necessarily better. You should really know what you are doing before you jailbreak an iPhone. Going in blind is often a recipe for disaster. If you aren't an expert, it becomes much easier to do harm to your iPhone and harder to get the features that you want. This is why average users
Are Jailbreaking Benefits Better Than Before?
No, although it may seem so. Sure, the process is not as dangerous as it used to be, and there are a growing number of options that jailbreaking provides. Jailbreak app stores like Cydia are also safer places these days, and it's easier to ascertain that the apps you are getting are okay to use and have a strong history of updates to support them.
However, jailbreaking doesn't necessarily offer better benefits than before, in the sense that a lot of popular features have been included in current versions of iOS.
Apple has a habit of looking at the most desired features on jailbroken iPhones, and including those in future iOS updates. That means that many of the past reasons people had for jailbreaking are no longer necessary since stock iPhones now have them – and the trend is likely to continue.
Also, don't forget new benefits like the Apple Card and other various Apple services. These services and related content will be denied to those who end up with jailbroken iPhones, which means you risk missing out on most of the Apple world and all of its unique content.
Ultimately, if you're thinking about jailbreaking your iPhone in 2019, we suggest you take a very close look at iOS 13 when it comes out (sporting Dark Mode and a lot of other new features) to see if it satisfies your need for extra features.
Are There Any Alternatives to Jailbreaking?
If you have the right development knowledge, then yes. You can directly install certain IPA (iOS App Store Package) files on your iPhone if you have a paid Apple developer account and know what you're doing. This likely involves too much work, research, and risk for average users, so we don't suggest it. If you don't already know what an IPA file is, you probably shouldn't try this. It may be best to leave your iPhone as it is.