What does Jailbreak mean?

Jailbreaking is specific to Apple devices and allows the user access to applications which are provided by a third party. After performing a Jailbreak you will not only have the App Store but another source called Cydia. Cydia is similar to the App Store but is not owned by Apple.

Why would I want to Jailbreak my iPhone?

In the past Jailbreaking was very popular for a couple of reasons. One was the fact that many applications which are available for the iPhone were not available through the App Store. Another reason is that in the past it was necessary to Jailbreak your phone in order to unlock it. Thanks to factory unlocks this is no longer the case. Currently most people who Jailbreak there iPhones do so in order to install third party apps. In some cases these apps are required to achieve full MMS functionality on a phone which has been unlocked and is being used with a different carrier. In the case of the CDMA+GSM iPhone 4S it is also required in order to use a Gevey SIM card adapter for the unlock process.

Will Jailbreaking my iPhone void my factory warranty?

Technically speaking the answer is yes. The good news is that Jailbreaks are reversible so you can always remove your Jailbreak before taking your phone in for a warranty repair. Note that getting a Jailbroken iPhone restored to factory settings is often a tricky task to perform. Apple can recognize a device which has been Jailbroken so additional steps are often necessary in order to perform a restore through iTunes.

Is it legal to Jailbreak my iPhone?

While “Jailbreak” actually sounds like it might violate some sort of laws it is has been determined that you are able to perform this process if you choose to as long as you do it with an iPhone. For any other device see below.

What about Jailbreaking iPods and iPads?

According to the Library of Congress it is not legal to Jailbreak a tablet device. Since “tablet” is such a broad term it is believed that both iPads and iPods fall into this category. It is unlikely that this law will be enforced but it is almost definitely illegal to Jailbreak any device which is not a phone according to our interpretation of current legislation.

Will Jailbreaking cause problems with my iPhone?

Jailbreaking in and of itself should not cause any problems with your iPhone. On the other hand it is entirely possible that some of the applications available through Cydia might cause some unexpected behavior. Since third party apps are not tested by Apple it is difficult to predict how they might affect your phones functionality.

What else should I know before Jailbreaking my iPhone?

Never use the reset option on a Jailbroken phone! If you navigate through your iPhones menu and find the master reset option be very careful. Selecting this option may cause several problems.

  • Using the option that clears all of the information on your iPhone will permanently delete everything on your device.
  • Using this option on a Jailbroken device may take several hours and often leaves the phone in a non-operational state while disabling your ability to restore it through iTunes.
  • Using this option on a Jailbroken iPhone will often make it necessary to upgrade your phone to the latest, and often non-Jailbreakable software version.

If you do not perform the process properly you may experience a number of different problems including an iPhone that no longer works. Jailbreak your iPhone at your own risk!