Jailbreaking and Apple
I'm new to the iPad, I've only had mine for a week. In that time I've read about jailbreaking it quite a lot for functionality benefits, I'm not even considering it myself, in a year or so I might and I'm sorry if this has been asked and answered before, but if so many people are jail breaking to get this functionality why isn't Apple working to incorporate certain aspects into the iOS as standard?
I can understand issues to do with security with enabling certain functions, but, for instance, surly the addition of different pictures on different screens wouldn't be hard to implement or present a security threat.
As I say I'm new to this and was wondering if there's a official reason.
The basic reason why there are restrictions placed on the iPad is to provide a robust protection against the bane of PCs - virus infection.
Originally Posted by Gazzaho
Apple took the decision to 'sandbox' the programs (apps) in the iPad. This means that apps have only a very limited ability to interact - and this interaction is *absolutely* controlled by the operating system (iOS). So if you tried to write a 'virus' program for the iPad it would have no effect, because it couldn't interact with any other program or the operating system.
That, inevitably, has other consequences and places restrictions on what programs can do. In Windows, for example, applications (programs) can interact and this can be very useful. So some (clever) programmers found a way to 'jail break' the iPad and remove this restriction (effectively 'jailbreaking' means your iPad can 'run' non-Apple approved apps from the Cydia website, where they make such non-approved apps available). They can now run 'unauthorised' apps on the iPad that 'take advantage' of the removal of this restriction. The downside - technically a 'jail broken' iPad could be vunerable to viruses.
But don't worry - a 'regular' (non jail broken) iPad is not vunerable to any 'viruses' that a deviant programmer might write to 'infect' a jail broken iPad. So your IT manager need have no worries - if your iPads are not 'jailbroken' they are absolutely safe from viruses.
Basically, if you accept the restrictions that Apple place on your iPad and don't jail break, you're completely safe - a virus cannot 'infect' you.
Additionally, any 'app' that a normal (non-jail broken) iPad can download will have been thoroughly checked and approved by Apple, so could not contain any malevolent code...
OK - I'll get 'hacked' by the iPad 'jail breakers' - sorry for the 'pun' but, basically, you're safe.
Apple have a number of 'white papers' and other documents on their web site that address this issue if you'd like the links...
Not sure I agree totally with your arguments there Tim. Your hearts in the right place, but being jailbroken leaves you no more vulnerable than being on stock IOS. Look back at 4.0 and 4.0.1 which had the Safari PDF vulnerability. The community had a patch on Cydia to protect us from malicious use before Apple were able to release 4.0.2. In that case, being on stock IOS and visiting a malicious website could have compromised your phone.
The community has a history of acting very quickly in the face of any real threat and letting us know what to do to protect ourselves.
To answer the OPs main question, Apple don't incorporate much of the extended functionality which jailbreaking provides mostly because they, more than any other company IMHO, have extremely well formed and tightly controlled design aesthetics which pervades through both the physical device design as well as every aspect of the OS. Themes, widgets, etc. all break the design aesthetic. SBSettings might be the most convenient interface ever for toggling, but that's not how Apple designed IOS, so we wont' see an interface component like that as part of IOS any time soon, mores the pity.
Apple are, for good or for bad, control freaks.
There are lots of other good reasons too. The more "open" and varied an OS is the bigger the learning curve for most normal folks. In general it is a good thing if users can intuitively learn to use the vast majority of apps without instructions just because everything works the same way...
There's my 2p worth. Hope it was of use...
I would tend to agree with your comments on control freaks, I was just thinking this myself. As I've already stated, how would incorporating a new wallpaper for each separate page affect security for instance? Or for that matter opening, say a PDF document as default in the app of my choice, and when I say app I mean one approved by Apple, or having a default web browser, again approved, other than Safari open web pages.
As I said I'm new to this, and I do understand the sandbox concept and totally agree with it, the PC is a far less secure system, but with malware protection the risks are substantially reduced. Granted there's no protection for zero day attacks but then that also applies to Apple products, perhaps more so because of the belief that it can't happen. You mention one vulnerability with Safari in the past and I believe Apple are now working on another, it would appear it's the Apple way or no way.
Don't get me wrong I'm not overly complaining, I love my iPad and my iPod Touch, I just find it frustrating in a lot of areas, perhaps because of my history of PC use. I keep asking the question, why will it not let me do this or that...
The only thing you have to remember is to change your SSH password.