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Best Way To Win Back iPhone Jailbreakers: One Word, Multitasking

ProSwitcher for iPhone multitasking

I just read a good post by Wayne Dixon at Macgasm on how Apple could ‘win ‘ against the jailbreaking community. As someone who has enjoyed running my various iPhones jailbroken for a very healthy percentage of the time I ‘ve owned them, I don ‘t want Apple to ‘win ‘ the cat and mouse tussle with folks like the Dev Team and Geohot and others who lead the way in the jailbreaking arena.  I hope there will always be a way where there ‘s a will.

Having said that, Wayne ‘s post also made me think about what Apple could do to sway current jailbreakers to get back to running their iPhones with the stock OS.  There are a number of very nice things that come with being jailbroken, from theming to quick toggling on/off of battery-sucking services, to lock screen enhancements, improvements to home screen and app organizing, and so on.

But I think that the biggest single thing that would convert an awful lot of jailbreakers is multitasking.  If OS 4.0 offers some (strong, well executed) level of multitasking, and a few other shiny new features with it, there will be plenty of folks breaking their jailbreak straight away.

What do you all think?  Is there any other single thing that would tempt you away from jailbreak?  Or anything at all that would?

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  • Yup, multitasking would seal the deal for me. Well, that and proper Google Voice app.

  • I think the implementation of multitasking would have to be impressive as well, because by now what we've got in the jailbreak arena is a very strong offering – especially if you use several of the apps available for this purpose in combination. If the Apple implementation has anything in common with the super lame home screen / app organizing in iTunes that they brought out in the 3.1 update, then forget it, nobody will go back to stock. 🙂

  • tys

    Tethering (at a reasonable price).
    Folders (if I didn’t have Categories, all my apps would take up 7 pages! Now they’re nicely organized on just 2)
    Quick settings access like SBSettings.
    Downloading of any file or attachment to a folder I can later copy to mac.

    There are others I’d like to have but those are the ones I consider essential for me not to jailbreak.
    If those are implemented in a future OS along with some compelling new features, I’m in.

  • Multitasking and SBSettings.

  • Jeremy

    I don’t think I’d ever not jailbreak, just for the fact that it allows me, albeit unnoticed, to protest the ridiculous software restrictions apple has placed over it’s iPhone/Touch/Pad. Even so, the things that would cause me to consider no longer jailbreaking would be:
    -A SBSettings replacement
    -Ability to remove (or hide) stock apps [why do I need Stocks app when I don’t have any investments?]
    -Theming [at least give me a customizable background]
    -A better lockscreen [LockInfo is essential IMO]

  • jacoch

    For me, multitasking is not so important. Apps are starting quickly enough that I don’t really use it although it’s installed for some time now. What I can’t live without is SBSettings, Categories (CategoriesSB of course) and LockInfo.

  • Multitasking is definitely a very very big feature that draws people the jailbreaking. However, I disagree that it would make a significant dent in how many people will jailbreak. My very very unofficial and un-scientific analysis just from what I've encountered over time would probably show the main uses of jailbreak go something like this (sorted by the main reason people jailbreak):

    1) Piracy (Sad. Very very sad. Unfortunately, I think it's true.)

    2) Themes and customization (All the various types of themes, SMS tone changes, Lockscreen modifications, and SpringBoard enhancements like FiveIconDock, Categories, and PogoPlank)

    3) QuickSMS-type apps. (iRealSMS, BiteSMS, qTweeter, etc)

    4) Multitasking

    5) The rest — Which is obviously still VERY large. This includes things many of us can NOT live without such as iFile, Safari Download Manager, Attachment Saver, SBSettings, 3G Unrestrictor, AddExchange, Notifier, Snappy, etc.)

    It's possible my view on the scene is skewed, but I try to watch the whole field to see where things are headed. So, yes I agree multitasking is a very big reason many people jailbreak, I don't agree that Apple adding official multitasking would make much of a difference at all. What Patrick said makes it even more unlikely. At this point, there are quite a few different ways to accomplish app-switching and backgrounding. QuickDo, ProSwitcher, vanilla Backgrounder, Kirikae… The amazing thing about all these choices is that no matter how incredible one gets, there are still a large number of people that prefer one of the other options. That, to me, points out the exact reason why jailbreaking is incredibly important to me (and I'd even risk saying important to the iPhone's success); People need options. Apple can add multitasking. Apple can add lockscreen widgets. Apple can add quick-toggles for WiFi, 3G, etc. They can add all these features people want, and they should, but it is literally impossible to please everybody. Their implementation of all these features will, at this point, almost certainly fall short. People have grown used to an incredible community of hackers willing to listen and tweak the phone to exactly what people want. If one dev thinks it should be one way, a second dev does it a different way and everybody is happy.

    There will ALWAYS be a significant need for some amount of openness in the platform. Apple refuses to understand this. The harder they fight the jailbreak community, the larger the hole is that they're digging themselves into. I personally upgraded my 3G to a 3GS without a second thought the day it was released. As I've watched Apple fight their users more and more every day, I will definitely not be upgrading to the next iPhone until I know it can be jailbroken. I absolutely love my phone, but without being able to tweak it how I want, it's more or less useless. Other options are gaining ground very quickly and are MUCH more open. Apple needs to realize this very quickly. Their 150,000 apps won't keep people around forever.

    • Great points! I'd have to agree with you on nearly all of that. I so much hope you're wrong on pirating being the number one reason, but I guess I wouldn't bet against it either. I certainly agree that there are a great number of reasons to jailbreak, and that choice is important for a lot of us. Like you, I sincerely hope there will always be jailbreak and jailbreak developers to push the boundaries.

    • kelly

      i agree…not piracy as my number one, but sometimes it is nice to be able to try before i buy. my biggest NEEDS are customization and quick SMS apps…i cannot live without my biteSMS.

  • Anonymous

    There is nothing apple can do to make me stay with their version of the OS. Jailbreaking gives you the full potential of ur phone and that's what I like.

  • What about just make it more efficient when we leave applications, especially games? When I am winning 2-0 with 30 seconds left in soccer and my phone rings, or I need to check my calendar, I used to cringe-now I just run backgrounder. I don’t see why every app can’t have the ability to immediately save its exact state. The other thing that would take care of apps like bitesms/jailbreaking is to have android style notification. Allow the user some freedom, such as displaying their calendar on the lock screen, and allow quick access to settings, and setting the few hardware buttons to anything the user wants. Do most of these things and you’ll win over all but the nerdiest and pirates. I have suggestions to win over the pirates too, but this is already rambling and its nothing you all haven’t thought of. In short, keep the core the same, and adopt what Android does better (settings and notification).

  • Drew

    Folders! Seriously, categories is the one app I refuse to unjailbreak for. Others are nice, but I need something to organize all of this stuff.

  • Rodney

    SBSettings and Lockinfo. On the 3G, with the limited processor and memory, multi-tasking is not a real option…..it is just too under-powered. But I could not be without SBSettings or Lockinfo.

  • Lots of great reasons folks – keep 'em coming. 🙂

  • Matthew

    I use Sygic Mobile Maps (Europe) on an 8gb iPhone 3G. It uses up a LOT of space and I only need UK, Germany and Spain for the maps. My phone is jailbroken simply so I can access the root folder, find Sygic and remove all the maps I don’t need (about 1GB). I can also then add the speed camera files and alert voices from PocketGPSWorld which work great with the app!

    That’s why I jailbreak!

    If Apple made it easier to access the file structure or even, at the very least, make it easier to add files to a folder for apps to access (as the rumours for the OS3.2 iPad OS seem to suggest they are) then I’d consider not bothering with the hassle of jailbreaking.

    SBSettings is also very very useful!

    • Wow, now that's a damn fine reason if ever there was one.

  • Sorry for the off-topicness… What's the theme for the icons in the pic ?

    • It's Glasklart.

    • kelly

      looks like glasklart…i have it on mine too!

  • Christian

    Freedom. If Apple gave me freedom to do whatever i wanted with my own phone, then I wouldn't jailbreak.

  • Nick

    I have the following Jailbreak apps installed on my iPhone:

    Jailbreak (blackra1n)
    Proswitcher (with Activator)
    MobileTerminal ("root" & "mobile" pw's changed for security)
    BTstack keyboard app
    "find in page" bookmarklet
    Rotation Inhibitor
    SplitScreen (or TVout-mirror version)

    The single biggest things for me are BTstack keyboard support, Splitscrn for additional tv-out support and, of course, multitasking.

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