With this week ‘s revelations about a major security flaw on the iPhone “ an SMS vulnerability that could lead to hackers taking full control of an iPhone with no user action required at all “ we get a good reminder of one of the biggest reasons why many may choose not to jailbreak their […]
" />

Reasons Not To Jailbreak – How ‘Bout Firmware Updates?

Restore

With this week ‘s revelations about a major security flaw on the iPhone “ an SMS vulnerability that could lead to hackers taking full control of an iPhone with no user action required at all “ we get a good reminder of one of the biggest reasons why many may choose not to jailbreak their iPhones.

I know many of you have said to me in conversations this week “ on the site here and via Twitter etc. “ that you cannot see ANY reasons not to jailbreak.  Well, here ‘s one “ firmware updates.  Updates to the iPhone OS that is.  And specifically how much of a pain in the arse it is every time you need to A) choose between applying an urgent or desirable firmware update or keeping your jailbreak and B) go through the relatively painful restore process that is usually involved if you ‘re jailbroken and want to install a new firmware update.

When you ‘re jailbroken you cannot usually just do an Update of the OS (which would keep your installed apps, settings etc), but nearly always are forced into one or more restores “ which put you back at Square one, needing to resync your apps to your phone, re-do your settings, and so on.

There are reports today that we ‘ll see a security patch from Apple tomorrow to fix the SMS vulnerability “ which will almost certainly come as a 3.0.x type update via iTunes.  This of course is an urgent update for all iPhone users.  It ‘s one that I would certainly plan to apply as soon as possible “ and that means I ‘ll need to do a restore, which is never any fun (to put it mildly).

Most firmware updates don ‘t address security issues, but may contain fixes for major bugs or add shiny and attractive new features.  In those cases, there is often a choice between grabbing the new firmware with its fixes and additions but knowing that it is not yet jailbreakable, or holding off on a firmware update because you want to wait until a new jailbreak process for it is released, which can take anywhere from a matter of very few days to several weeks (going by past history of the ongoing cat and mouse game on jailbreaking between Apple and folks like the Dev Team).

With the iPhone OS 3.0 “ and upcoming 3.1 “ firmware, the Dev Team have already warned that if you want to be sure you ‘ll still be able to jailbreak your iPhone after 3.1 is applied, you MUST run a restore process (or two) and grab two specific files that are generated during the process and keep hold of them.  These files are meant to safeguard your ability to re-jailbreak post 3.1 update. 

That ‘s an extra something I ‘ll try to get done today “ in preparation for a security update and for wanting to re-jailbreak following it and / or 3.1.

So I am mostly happy with running my 3GS jailbroken “ almost entirely because of app switching “ but not looking forward to the restore process coming up.  And I think it ‘s fair to say that this is a valid reason for many people for not jailbreaking.

Continue reading:

TAGS: