I’ve been an iPhone owner for about a year now, and I have jailbroken it off and on throughout the time that I’ve owned it. When I first got the device I jailbroke it to play with some of the apps people were developing, but I really didn’t see any that were must-haves, and they especially didn’t touch the quality of what’s available in the official App Store today. So my iPhone never stayed jailbroken for long.
It’s a different story for me now. I jailbroke my iPhone 3G for the first time about a month and a half ago, and couldn’t imagine having it any other way. Why is that? Here are my reasons:
- Run apps in the background – There is a free program available through the repositories that will allow you to run any iPhone app in the background. I like to listen to streaming Internet radio stations while doing other things on my phone, and this is really the only solution for doing that.
- Try out paid App Store apps before you buy them – This is reason enough to jailbreak your iPhone. Basically how this works is you can install any app from the App Store (yes, including paid ones) without dropping a dime. You’ll want to become familiar with sites such as Appulo.us, which are where you can download the “cracked” apps from. You’ll also need to install an app from the repositories that will basically tell iTunes it’s okay to sync the stuff you haven’t actually purchased.
- Easy tethering solution – Another program in the repositories, called PDANet, is the ultimate tethering program. It’s free if all you want it for is HTTP access, but if you cough up the $30 you can also use things like VPN access. There is little to no configuration to get it running… just connect to your device like you would a router, and you’ll be on your merry way.
- Backup app configurations – Chronus can also be found in the repositories, and is an extremely valuable tool when it comes down to backing up the configuration/settings of your apps. You can then email yourself the backups you made so that they are safely tucked away off the device in case anything should happen to your iPhone. If you pay the $7.99 for Chronus you’ll even be able to backup all of your programs in a single click.
Those are the reasons that I have so far for jailbreaking my iPhone. I know what you’re thinking about number 2… how could I “steal” apps from the developers without actually paying for them? I’ve actually bought more apps now than before I jailbroke my phone. Why is that? I’m able to see what programs I find useful and fun instead of relying solely on the reviews in the App Store. I’ve pretty much committed to myself that if I keep an app for more than a week that I’ll go ahead and buy it. It’s inevitable that some people may use this method as a way to get programs illegally, but I use it more as a way to “try before I buy.” Not only that but iTunes won’t automatically update these cracked apps for you, and if you like to stay on top of updates you’ll probably want to purchase them.
What about you? Do you have an iPhone or iPod Touch that you’ve decided for or against jailbreaking?