A Brief Explanation
If you were not aware already, Apple’s mobile devices tend to be quite locked down compared to their Android equivalents, and users are generally restricted by not being able to change much of anything beyond background App settings, and erm…the background itself. This ‘walled garden’ has allowed Apple to better manage the way their devices work and user expectation, so users are largely getting the same experiences, whichever IOS device they use.
What this also means is that Apps are restricted with how they interact with each other and how integrated they are with the OS, The Apps themselves are also restricted by Apples rigorous testing and approval policy and can only be installed by users through their App Store, so unless Apps can conform to Apples terms, and jump through their hoops, you are not going to be able to do much beyond the surface. Whilst this process is already benefiting many developers, it also segregates a large portion of the open sourced community, because Apple’s terms would, in many cases, be at odds with other open source license agreements. For this reason, excellent software such as Kodi, and SCUMMVM will probably never officially appear in Apple’s App Store.
This is where ‘Jailbreaking’ comes in. The name refers to the metaphorical ‘breaking out’ of Apples ‘walled garden’ by circumventing Apple’s security to exploit the system, which almost brings you the equivalent of root level access to the device, and much granular control. It lets you install an alternative ‘store’ and repository for packages called Cydia, where you can run unsigned and open sourced Apps (at your own risk) and a plethora of mods that can deeply affect the standard experience of the vanilla OS.
There have been various teams over time which have circumvented Apple’s IOS security to provide Jailbreaking facilities, however it has always been a game of cat and mouse, with every subsequent update by Apple patching the previous loophole used by Jailbreak teams to exploit the OS.
Over time, the number of active teams has dwindled somewhat, but the process by which this has happened has been interesting. Some have been employed by Apple as security consultants, while others have just gotten bored over time, and neglected the practice. However Apple does credit every team or hacker for finding security loop holes with every new IOS release, so some teams are attracted by notoriety.
The Latest Jailbreak
With Apple’s current OS iteration, ranging between versions 8.1.3 to 8.3, the Chinese TaIG team have finally released a small Windows only tool that makes the process as simple as plugging in the phone, running the software and doing no more than 5 clicks.
The devices that this software jailbreaks are:
iPhone: 4s and up
iPad: 2 and up
iPad Mini: all models
iPod Touch: 5 and up
Please see below for a link to the software and various guides available on how to jailbreak your device. It is worth noting that the Cydia Substrate is not yet compatible with the latest jailbreak, and the process itself is a little buggy, so unless you really need it, or if you’re already jailbroken on a previous OS, it is advisable to wait.
Like all these things, if you choose to go ahead, be aware that you do so at your own risk, and any damage that you may suffer to your device as a result is your own responsibility, and neither TaIG or Geek Power will be held accountable for the actions you take. You have been warned.
As for me, I’ll be Jailbreaking shortly so that I can get Kodi back up and running on my iPad Mini, which I had replaced recently. Have fun!