Hi. My name is Adam, and I own a jailbroken iPhone. Many people shudder at sheer mention of the word “jailbreak”, but they really shouldn’t. Jailbreaking is merely the means to an end; an end which allows you to open the iPhone up to its many possibilities and functionalities which, frankly, Apple doesn’t give you access to.
By jailbreaking right this second, you can have access to video recording, total customization, MMS, tethering capabilities, and copy/paste. You may be asking yourself: “Why doesn’t Apple just let us have all of this stuff?” My theory is that they are over-protective and are worried about giving the consumer too much power over their device; Apple likes to have total control over what their products do. But I digress.
If you have read this far, you are hopefully seriously considering to jailbreak your phone. The most common cons that people come up with when I try to convince them to jailbreak are that: it voids the warranty, it corrupts the phone’s data, it isn’t really that great… And the list goes on. Let me just say right now that jailbreaking is totally reversible. If your phone’s battery life begins to decline or another issue arises that is covered by warranty, simply restore your phone to a previous backup.
After doing that, you’d have a phone, with all of its original data (besides the jailbroken stuff), which Apple is fully responsible for replacing. This brings me to that second point. An un-jailbroken iPhone and a jailbroken iPhone have the same potential for data corruption, but that is why they invented a little thing called a “back up”, which is an extremely simple process that works for jailbroken phones, as well, so you never have to worry about losing a single byte of data.
As for the point that “jailbreaking isn’t that great”, it really is that great. After reading about my top 5 jailbreak apps (which are all FREE), I’d be surprised if you don’t decide to jailbreak right now.
Winterboard is my favorite iPhone app because it makes my iPhone my iPhone. It is a simple, free app that allows for complete customization of the iPhone through different battery icons, springboard icons and backgrounds, carrier icons, wifi logos, slider images, system fonts and colors, and almost everything else imaginable. Here is just a small example of what Winterboard can do:
From this example you can see just a small sample of the unlimited possibilities that Winterboard provides. This screenshot shows a numeric battery which is a much better indicator of battery life than an image, the ‘AT&T’ carrier logo changed to ‘Adam’, and a theme called Illuminous that makes the icons softer and the background a different image. As you can see, Winterboard is a must-have if you want to liberate your iPhone and make it much more personal.
Cycorder is a pretty straightforward app. It allows you to record video on Apple’s mobile device. The videos come out pretty clear, and the only downside is that moving the videos to your computer is a fairly complicated process. Other than that, the free app does exactly what it should (and exactly what Apple should allow everyone to do), and that is video recording.
Backgrounder is another great, free app that is only available if you jailbreak. It allows you to run apps in the background. This means that you can, for instance, sign in to an instant messenger app and, after activating Backgrounder, you can close the app but still receive messages and appear logged on to your friends:
Apple allows this in their own apps since you can listen to music, load web pages, load mail messages, etc. while also closing and opening other apps on the phone. Although this functionality will supposedly be implemented to all users through the 3.0 update, this is something that I definitely can’t live for 20 minutes without. (Read more about Backgrounder here).
This is another free app that opens up a long-awaited feature that Apple is addressing in the 3.0 update: copy/paste. Although the UI isn’t too great, Clippy gets the job done. It allows for copy/paste in a manner that is very similar to Apple’s upcoming copy/paste method, but you can get it right now! Before installing Clippy, there were several instances per day where the lack of copy/paste made me very frustrated. Life would be difficult without Clippy, too.
Jailbreaking is a win-win situation. You can customize your phone, as well as add video recording, the ability to run background apps, copy/paste, and so much more. It is your choice to jailbreak, but there really isn’t any reason not to; it is completely reversible, it is incredibly simple, and it opens up all kinds of wonderful new things for you and for your iPhone.
Retraction: I have removed the Installous portion of the post. I do not endorse pirating, and I felt it was bringing on too much negative attention.