Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the hacking and jailbreaking of hardware and software, like the iPhone and iOS. A recent DMCA ruling by the Library of Congress made jailbreaking legal, and suddenly there was a huge sigh of relief amongst those with a jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad. However, Apple was quick to remind users that jailbreaking, legal or not, will void warranties and potentially cause security issues. More recently, a patent was discovered hinting at Apple’s intent to remotely disable or brick devices that have been tampered with.
I’m of the camp where if you paid for the hardware and software, you can do whatever the hell you want with it. But then I got to thinking: how many users out there actually jailbreak their devices, and if so, keep them that way?
Once upon a time, I jailbroke my Apple iPhone 3G. At the time, iPhone OS was limited in what it could do and there were certain applications I wanted that were only available by jailbreaking my smartphone (like video recording apps and multi-tasking apps). After about two weeks or so, the joys of custom themes and wallpapers along with apps and features that can only be had with a jailbreak became a tired novelty. I quickly restored my phone back to factory settings.
Now, with Apple iOS 4, many of the features and apps that once required jailbreaking come standard. There are no custom themes, but you can now change your wallpaper and lock screen to whatever you want. Multitasking, however you want to define it, now exists. Video recording isn’t just some crappy, one-dimensional app from Cydia; instead, we have decent quality video and editing apps like iMovie.
These days, it seems like jailbreaking is just a lot more trouble than its worth, DMCA legal or not. What are you going to do? Tether without paying the extra fee for AT&T? Download some clever soundboards?
So, I thought I’d ask you Apple fans – how many of you have jailbroken your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? If so, did you keep it that way or restore it to its factory settings? Feel free to answer the poll below, and if I didn’t include the answer you’re looking for, let me know in the comments.