Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Some days ago I read a news that said iPhone Jailbreak is legal. So I get 2 question in my mine.

  1. before this news jailbreaking was illegal?(if yes why? "because when we buy something we can do anything we want with that product )(and if no then what was this news for?)
  2. what is the benefits of jailbreaking? (are all iPhone applications was reachable through iTunes app store?)
share
    
This question should really be CW. –  Mark Szymanski May 14 '11 at 17:43
    
I'm going to refund the bounty on this and lock it. There is some nice information here, but the question doesn't even specify which set of laws or which location we should be making guesses at what's legal at the moment. –  bmike Feb 10 '13 at 0:29
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

locked by bmike Feb 10 '13 at 0:30

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

9 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I jailbroke my iPhone 4 few weeks ago, specifically for the MyFi, which allows you to tether your 3G connection to your other WiFi-enabled devices (iPad, laptop, etc), without paying $20 to AT&T every month and being limited by 2Gb of data. MyFi is $19.99, but you pay it once and enjoy free tethering after that, especially if you kept your $30 unlimited data plan (I did). Initially beyond that I saw very little reason to use other apps from Cydia store, but now I slowly changing my mind, since I found few real gems.

  • SBSettings - gives you quick panel to toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and few other functions. This is extremely handy, especially when you're trying to preserve your battery (long day on the conference or something) and you don't want to dive into Settings each time you want to turn WiFi on or off. SBSettings is free

  • Notified Pro - this is notification management done right. Notifications have horrible usability in iOS and this app ($4.00 for Pro version, but I think they have the light one for free as well) fixes it by introducing notifications list similar to one Android has, which you can activate from status bar or via other customized shortcuts

  • Frash - which is Flash for iPhone, right in your mobile Safari. Frankly I haven't use it for anything serious yet (and it doesn't support my favorite Flash game Quadradius), but it's a good app to wow your friends, since everyone knows that there's no Flash on the iPhone and you can always prove people wrong.

  • My favorite app IntelliScreen - it's a paid app as well, but it's extremely handy. It gives you a highly customizable lock screen very similar to Windows Mobile's Today screen, so you can look at your calendar, emails, SMS and other info without even unlocking your phone. Really, really handy.

One other thing that I didn't try personally yet, but going to soon is sync with your PC or Mac over WiFi. I hate to do it over a cable.

Now, on the bad side:

  • You have to be more careful and knowledgeable about stuff you're installing. That includes both apps (which are, in general, more buggy and may conflict with each other or with iOS) and stuff like official Apple iOS updates that you can't install unless you know that there's a jailbreak for them.

  • Cydia store (and others like RockYou app store) are less informative than AppStore and quite often it's hard to figure out what certain app does

  • Payment (while they allow multiple ways including AMazon payments and PayPal) is usually much more painful

  • Apps quite often are more expensive (think $4.99-$9.99 range), but on the bright side they worth it

share
    
I change my accepted answer because I think your answer was better. –  Am1rr3zA Aug 26 '10 at 21:30
    
I would just add two awesome and cheap apps: Snappy and Longitude. Just try them. I don't really like IntelliScreen as it consumes a lot of memory (and battery) while, just like any other notification apps, are not really needed. And, boy, I do use push mail and I do quickly reply to anything. –  Cawas Jan 4 '11 at 17:12
    
Can I jailbreak my 3gS back to iOS 3.0.0? –  user6131 May 15 '11 at 10:04
add comment

I Jailbroke my iPhone 4 as soon as the jalibreak was released and had my iPhone 2G Jailbroken before that.

For me it's not about illegally installing applications, it's about intsall tweaks and applications which Apple can't or won't allow into their App Store, for example:

  • Winterboard: Complete themeing system.

  • SBSettings: Easily enable/disable settings from within any application.

  • Infinifolder: Remove the 12 Application limit from iOS4 Folders.

  • QuickReply SMS: Reply to SMS messages directly from the message alert with a popup keyboard and then instantly return back to what you were doing.

  • Cyntact: Show contact pictures in Contacts.

  • BossPaper: Rotating wallpapers (Was available before iOS 4 allowed them)

  • Categories: Allowed Apps in folders years before iOS4 did!

The few short weeks I had my iPhone 4 without it being Jailbroken I found it hard to use as I'd got so used to the small tweaks I'd installed my Cydia, most of them I had purchased.-

share
add comment

As to your first inquiry, Jailbreaking was illegal because of the way the Digital Millenium Copyright Act restricts the circumvention of encryption, copy protection, and other digital security mechanisms. In short, it is not so much the possession of a jailbroken phone which was illegal, but rather the process by which the phone was jailbroken. A common analogy is to liken the DMCA's restriction to a law preventing the crossing of red lines in the road. If there is a public park on the other side of the red line, it is legal for you to be there, but illegal to walk across the line to get there. The recent LoC ruling essentially created an exception to the DMCA's restriction for the specific purpose of jailbreaking a phone for the purpose of installing additional software and expanding it's functionality.

Now, as to Why Jailbreak? In short, Jailbreak if there is an application you want to run which requires you to jailbreak. Apps available through Cydia and other repositories available to Jailbroken iPhone owners run the gamut from those rejected by Apple because they violate the App Stores Terms of Service in some way (Explicit content, use of hidden or illegal API's), apps from authors who disagree with Apples policies in administering the App Store, and apps which rely on functionality only available from other jailbreak apps.

share
add comment

Here's the same question from gadgets.stackexchange.com. Lotsa good info in that post as well.

iOS4 really has circumvented the "need" to jailbreak. The reasons are actually dwindling now. Here are my advantages.

  • Backgrounder allows a (now outdated) type of multitasking. It was ok on iPhone 3G, but with the iPad's more powerful processor, it may be more stable. Once 4.0 is released for the iPad, this won't be necessary any more.

  • MyWi allows you to tether for free if you've got the 3G iPad ($9.99 for the app...$19.99 for 4.0, but well-worth it IMO)

  • For me, it's cool to have access to the filesystem. Utilities like Mobile Terminal, OpenSSH, and iFile are of specific interest to me just for my own nerdish pleasures lol.

Hope this helps!

share
add comment

The Benefits of Jailbreaking are that you can run any software that was created for it, regardless if it was rejected from the Apple’s App Store. Some good applications were rejected for different reasons (using Private APIs, Confilcts with existing Apple apps, etc).

If you Jailbreak your iPhone/iPodTouch you can install any of these, bypassing the iTS.

EDIT: The legal part has been nicely explained by LessPop_MoreFizz.

share
    
it was the only benefit of jailbreaking? and what was the answer for part 1? –  Am1rr3zA Aug 18 '10 at 0:36
add comment

Jailbreaking your phone lets you use non AT&T sim cards in it. If you go overseas to the Czech Republic or to Germany, for example, you can buy pre-paid sim cards in those countries and continue using your iphone if it is jailbroken.

share
add comment

For me jailbreaking allowed me to install an app not allowed on the App Store - AutoSilent. I needed this as a drop of my iPhone (1G) left the silent switch permanently set to silent. AutoSilent allowed me to bypass this.

share
add comment

I jailbreak because of Wifi Tethering and WinterBoard.

share
add comment

Facetime over 3G and tethering are the only reasons to jailbreak an iPhone 4. Multitasking is the only reason to jailbreak an iPad.

Its legal, but make sure you restore the device before you bring it to a genius bar. Apple employees don't have to honor the warranty or applecare if they see that the device is jailbroken.

share
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.