We have some very smart (and very cool) folks that write for us here on JAiB, who are also very knowledgeable about all things iPhone of course.  So I thought it might be fun to take a leaf out of the book of one of my favorite tech sites “ Gear Diary “ and […]
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Our Thoughts: On Why Jailbreaking Is / Is Not Worthwhile

SBSettings iPhone jailbreak app     PogoPlank iPhone jailbreak app

We have some very smart (and very cool) folks that write for us here on JAiB, who are also very knowledgeable about all things iPhone of course.  So I thought it might be fun to take a leaf out of the book of one of my favorite tech sites “ Gear Diary “ and do some occasional sharing of The Team ‘s thoughts.

Today, our topic is jailbreaking “ and what makes it worthwhile, or not, for some of our contributors.  Most of us have been jailbroken at one time or another “ but I think all of us recognize that it is often a tough call on whether to do it, or to maintain a jailbreak when iPhone OS updates (that break JB) come out.  Read on for some quick thoughts from several of us on this subject


Never jailbroken. Never would either.  I guess as a matter of principle. I wouldn’t "mod" my mac either, I like it the way it is, except for a few decorative embellishments.


My main deal is accessibility. I use apps like SBSettings and Stacks V3 to make my own ideal iPhone UI. That’s all of my apps on one home screen with one-swipe access to all of the radios.
Then there are apps like Elert and iRealQuickSMS that let me reply to and view messages without leaving the app I’m in — super useful for gaming.


Two main reasons why it is worthwhile for me: app switching and apps / home screen organizing.  App switching is a huge advantage and is continually useful every day.  And now thanks to PogoPlank I can run 170 apps, have just one home screen, and find and access all my apps much more easily and quickly. 


I have jailbroken before, mainly for backgrounder and winterboard, but can (and do) easily live without them when Apple comes out with a new firmware update that has things I need much, much more (like copy/paste, which was crappy with that JB app).  

Currently stock and don’t feel a compelling urge to JB right now, mostly due to two reasons:

1.  I use the iPhone much less here for things I’d want to have JB apps for — at least, the ones I know of.

2.  Just the possibility of bricking a 3GS in Iraq sends shudders up my spine.


I’ve been both jailbroken with every major OS version and non-jailbroken. I will jailbreak for a week or so to try out some new great hack or JB app, but I always return to stock eventually.

Like Michael said below, I don’t want the additional drain that I’ve noticed the JB puts on the battery. I don’t fully understand the technicalities of the jailbreak, but I have, without a doubt, measured a noticeable decrease in battery life when jailbroken. I also experience a significant reduction in OS and app stability, even with just a minimum amount of JB apps installed.

This instability even carries over to non-JB apps which are never a problem on a stock iPhone. For example, Navigon works perfectly on my stock iPhone, never crashes, is responsive. On a JB iPhone, with SBSettings, elert, tlert, qTweeter, and Backgrounder, Navigon continuously crashes and is very unresponsive, to the point of being unusable.

If I reduce the JB apps I’m using, then it starts to become an issue of why even bother? Isn’t the point of JB-ing to be able to do things that Apple doesn’t let the stock iPhone do, like run apps in the background (I only use this for streaming Pandora while doing something else), add some additional functionality to stock apps, or tweak the homescreen layout. I find it hard to justify JB-ing when even such a small amount of tweaks to my iPhone causes it to be so much more unstable and sluggish. The additional functionality isn’t worth the trade-off, in my opinion.

There are some very cool things that can be done with a JB iPhone, and I only wish it could be more stable and didn’t place such a hit on the battery. I wish someone could explain to me why a JB iPhone, even with no other apps on it, seems to drain the battery faster than a non-JB iPhone, same version and the exact same stock apps, nothing else, when placed side by side and kept running until drained. The JB one is always dead way before the stock one. I don’t understand why this would be.

*** A quick note on Josh ‘s headaches and issues.  He is using an iPhone 3G.  Although I ‘ve not had issues as severe or frequent as Josh ‘s when using previous generation iPhones, many of us agree that the whole jailbreak experience, and its impact on stability / performance etc, is far, far better on an iPhone 3GS.


I’ve never gone the JB route so can’t comment on why its good.

But basically why I haven’t is that I don’t want to experience any (more than normal) battery drain – and the possibility of it completely going pear-shaped put me off.

So there you have it “ our quick thoughts on jailbreaking and what does or doesn ‘t make it worthwhile. 

Now we ‘d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.  What makes it a go or no-go for you guys?  Oh, and I ‘d love to hear your thoughts on whether this sort of sharing of team thoughts is something you ‘d like to see more of.

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