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On the fence about jailbreaking? One man's opinion on why you should.

This is a discussion on On the fence about jailbreaking? One man's opinion on why you should. within the iPad Hacking forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; I've got a good bit of experience with the jailbreaking scene and thought i'd clear a few things up for those who may be new ...

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  1. #1
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    On the fence about jailbreaking? One man's opinion on why you should.

    I've got a good bit of experience with the jailbreaking scene and thought i'd clear a few things up for those who may be new to this. I'm going to cover the only two things you really need to know: what advantages are there to jailbreaking your iPad, and are there any reasons not to.

    Once you've jailbroken your device the only visible difference at first will be 1 extra icon on your springboard called Cydia. You can think of this as the 'AppStore' for things that Apple has decided not to allow (read: all the stuff you really want). All of the programs I will mention below are available there. As in the AppStore, most of the items are free to download, some aren't. These apps are the reason you jailbreak, and I'll go over some of my favorites now.
    • For starters there's winterboard. A full theming utility which will allow you to install any of the hundreds of themes that are out there. Change the look of your icons, remove icon labels and so much more.
    • Backgrounder allows for full backgrounding of applications so switching back and forth is instant and your streaming music won't stop when you want to do something else. You could wait the months it takes for 4.0 to come to the iPad, but you don't have to...
    • How about iFile? A file explorer just like you're used to on the computer. Pair this with ssh and now you have an easy way to transfer files to the iPad without iTunes. One example use is that you can transfer an mp3 to your device and use one of the free music players in Cydia to play your iPod music and your transferred mp3's. You could also just use this method to take a large file over to a friends house rather than using a USB stick.
    • More awesome tweaks than you can shake a stick at like this one. Hate the typical process for moving lots of icons around across multiple screens? You need to try MulitIconMover!
    • Wow! Can't believe I'm only getting to this one now. Probably my most essential is Safari Download Plugin. Tired of seeing 'Safari cannot download that file'? Yea I was too, but now I browse to an mp3 on the web, download it right to my device, then play it all within seconds, and all without sitting at the computer and waiting through an iTunes sync. This is possible through the power of jailbreak.
    • There's also SBSettings so that a simple swipe across your statusbar drops down a list of toggles so turning off Bluetooth is just a click away, and you don't even have to close out of your app. Adjust brightness, toggle wifi, and see your currently available ram.
    • There's a full lockscreen dashboard that gives you access to tons of configurable widgets. It's called SmartScreen and once you've seen a screenshot, you will want it.
    • How about playing super nintendo games, with two players, using your iphones as controllers?
    • How about syncing your device from across the room over wifi? All this and much more are waiting for you on the other side.

    So by now you're undoubtedly saying "yes I want those things, but isn't jailbreaking complicated, dangerous and irreversible?"

    I'm pleased to say the answer is simply No. The process is soooo much easier than when jailbreaks first came about. You download a program, plug in your device, and click on 'go'. It's done in about a minute. Think you can handle that? Your data is all still there and everything syncs just like it always does. Does it take longer to boot up? No. Is there any lag on the springboard? No. Will apps randomly crash or battery life be affected? No. And if you decide you want to revert, the restore button in iTunes is always one click away.

    If you feel you're ready to take the plunge, here is a link to a tutorial which walks you through it in 7 easy steps. Come on in, the water's fine.

    EDIT (thanks to mikestoolz): All idevices use the same ssh password and once you've installed ssh you will want to change it from the default. Here's a simple guide. How to change default ssh password

    EDIT (thanks to lilman): For a complete, untraceable wipe of a jailbreak, follow these steps here to put your device into recovery mode: How to restore from Recovery Mode

    EDIT: There seems to be some concern about the fact that cydia apps don't have the same review process as AppStore apps.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilman
    The potential security risk is that you are running apps on your iPad that have not been reviewed by Apple and so you cannot be guaranteed that the apps aren't doing something malicious. It's very easy for someone to write an app that does exactly what it says it will (like play SNES roms) but it is also doing something bad in the background. The Cydia apps are probably safe, but anyone who jailbreaks better be careful about where they get their jailbreak apps from.
    This is true, however, the hosts of the default repositories do test the packages they host, and with an intensely avid jailbreaking community, questionable apps are quickly identified and removed.

    So I recommend this:
    Don't add sources that you don't trust, and don't just download packages (apps) left and right without doing your research. A simple google search will tell you if the package in question has any problems associated with it. Someone who just downloads everything they see will run into trouble for sure.

    I hope this has helped and don't hesitate to post if you're wondering about a specific question, i'll do my best to answer.
    Last edited by Deenybird; 06-01-2010 at 01:11 AM.

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  3. #2
    iPad Master!
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    I have a JB iPhone, but have no interest in JB iPad.... however.....

    This is an excellent post, and clearly gives the advantages of JB to help someone decide. Good job! The force is strong with this thread...
    Bremen Cole
    iPad 1st Gen 16G

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the post. I had promised myself that I would, but I'll wait until the silly limitations get on my nerves. I'm still basking in post-iPad afterglow.

  5. #4
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    I bought my pad, drove home, plugged into my PC, entered iTunes info and jail broke with Spirit.

    Never used a stock pad and most likely never will.

  6. #5
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    Nice list of jailbreak pros, but you may want to include some of the cons, like:
    -Potential security risks
    -Voids Apple warranty
    -Some jb apps can be buggy to the os (like OpenSSH can make the wifi icon disappear)

    If you want to restore from a jb you shouldn't simply go through the restore option in iTunes as there will still be traces of the jb on your iPad. Instead, you need go through the recovery process (doesn't take much longer) detailed here: How To: Put your iPad into Recovery Mode

  7. #6
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    to original poster(deenybird):
    You may know how to jailbreak and what apps are available, but you do seem to be misinformed or just a jailbreak fanboy who thinks nothing can go wrong when jailbreaking.


    First item on your list, Winterboard. This is not something that is ready for iPad yet and a ton of people who have installed it on the ipad are no longer able to move icons around on their springborad.

    you say that it wont slow down the ipad/iphone. Thats just simply not true, even non technical people would know that running more things at the same time will use up more resources and slow it down. (common sense?)


    Running Supper Nintendo games on the ipad(ROMS). Can it be done? yes. But isnt that illegal? YES!!!!

    Syncing with itunes wirelessly? syncing takes long enough as it is but doing it over wifi takes FOREVER!


    Jailbreaking is a security risk.

    You must install OpenSSH and change the default password if you dont want to risk your ipad getting hacked or virus installed without you knowing.

    jailbreaking voids apple warranty. Yes the can tell even if you perform a restore(most apple genius wont however unless they know what to look for)

    JB apps are many time buggy and have memory leaks.

    many Jailbreak apps in cydia right now can stop your ipad from working if you install them because they were meant for the iPhone.



    The list goes on but I think thats enough for now....

    If you want your ipad to be a secure device DONT JAILBREAK IT!
    If you want to tinker with what can be done if apple didnt have any security checks on the device then go ahead and give jailbreaking a shot, but make sure you know what your getting yourself into and remember that your device will never be "secure" while its jailbroken. Jailbreaking removes security checks/restrictions. Many legit apps downloaded from the apple app store will recored your phones info (including phone number) when it detects your running a jailbroken device. also a legit app from the apple app store could decide to whipe out all your info if it detects that the device is jailbroken or there app has been cracked.

  8. #7
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    Thanks everyone for chiming in. I appreciate and welcome all comments. I'll take some time to clear up some further myths and will be amending my first post with some of the points that were mentioned. As you're reading through this thread keep this one thing in mind. While others may be throwing around rumors and hearsay, I am actually using a jailbroken ipad (for about a week and a half) and a jailbroken iphone (for over a year) so I have first hand knowledge of all the things I will speak about. It's up to you to decide who to trust.

    First item on your list, Winterboard. This is not something that is ready for iPad yet and a ton of people who have installed it on the ipad are no longer able to move icons around on their springborad.
    Winterboard is continuously updated and the few most recent versions have been working flawlessly. Winterboard has been nothing but perfect for me.

    you say that it wont slow down the ipad/iphone. Thats just simply not true, even non technical people would know that running more things at the same time will use up more resources and slow it down. (common sense?)
    Wrong. Jailbreaking itself doesn't slow down the device. Running 'more things at the same time' means that you are backgrounding apps, in which case both battery life and performance will take a small, nearly imperceptible hit.

    Running Supper Nintendo games on the ipad(ROMS). Can it be done? yes. But isnt that illegal? YES!!!!
    Wrong. Using legally obtained ROMS will not break any laws.

    Syncing with itunes wirelessly? syncing takes long enough as it is but doing it over wifi takes FOREVER!
    It may take a bit longer for major syncs, so do those when plugged in to USB.

    Jailbreaking is a security risk.

    You must install OpenSSH and change the default password if you dont want to risk your ipad getting hacked or virus installed without you knowing.
    I do recommend changing your default ssh password. I will include this is my first post. However, the chances of getting hacked through SSH are akin to winning the lottery of getting struck by lightning. I doubt anyone can name someone personally who has ever had this trouble. Regardless, changing the default password is a 10 second process and should indeed be done. BTW, can you name the virus you are afraid will be put onto your device because I would like to know.

    jailbreaking voids apple warranty. Yes the can tell even if you perform a restore(most apple genius wont however unless they know what to look for)
    A proper restore of the device will leave no traces at all.

    JB apps are many time buggy and have memory leaks.
    I don't know which apps you are referring to, but I would recommend not downloading poorly written apps whether you are jailbroken or not.

    many Jailbreak apps in cydia right now can stop your ipad from working if you install them because they were meant for the iPhone.
    Instructions, requirements, screenshots, version info and more are provided for each jailbreak app. If it says it's only meant for the iphone, then don't download it.

    Jailbreaking removes security checks/restrictions. Many legit apps downloaded from the apple app store will recored your phones info (including phone number) when it detects your running a jailbroken device.
    Statements like these need proof to back them up.

    also a legit app from the apple app store could decide to whipe out all your info if it detects that the device is jailbroken or there app has been cracked.
    This is why apple has a review process for apps. So that none of them will be able to harm your device.

    Nice list of jailbreak pros, but you may want to include some of the cons, like:
    -Potential security risks
    -Voids Apple warranty
    -Some jb apps can be buggy to the os (like OpenSSH can make the wifi icon disappear)
    Already touched on the first two points. And I am running ssh without any wifi icon issues at all.

    If you want to restore from a jb you shouldn't simply go through the restore option in iTunes as there will still be traces of the jb on your iPad. Instead, you need go through the recovery process (doesn't take much longer) detailed here: How To: Put your iPad into Recovery Mode
    Good point I will add this to my first post as well.

  9. #8
    iPad Junkie!
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    There's one other issue no one has mentioned that keeps me from jailbreaking for the moment, at least until I see what 4.0 can do for me, and that's...

    You can't just install an update when iTunes says there's one is available for your iPad (or iPhone too, technically). Isn't it true you can't just merrily install updates when iTunes says they're available because you have to wait for the jailbreak patch/update first?

  10. #9
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    Things that make it all worth it:

    - Playing SNES with the WiiMote
    - Using Full Force to force some iPhone apps like Facebook into high resolution iPad mode

    Who cares if it voids the warranty? You can easily restore your iPad before taking it back. I had to do that when I owned my iPhone.

  11. #10
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    Deenybird pretty much every one of your comments in your reply is incorrect.

    Please dont post things like this as fact unless they are indeed fact.

    and are you a developer? or just saying things as if you know what goes on in the developement and app submition process? I am a developter myself how about you?


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