by Adam Blair
August 22, 2009
I love jailbreaking. It allows for the user to get so much more out of the iPhone. Jailbreaking provides release from the cold, hard shackles of Apple's iron law over the iPhone. It provides options for customization, new and useful applications, and much more. But, most of all, it gives us freedom. This freedom, however, comes at a steep cost. The price of admission to the wonders of jailbreaking are nightmarish and terrible, and I didn't realize what I had given up for jailbreaking until now... My phone died the other day. Ever since I jailbroke it, my iPhone (his name is Brunelleschi) has been on a very slow downward journey in what seemed like a neverending pit of crashing applications, sluggish performance, and a poor user experience. Well, all of this turmoil finally caught up with itself and my phone just stopped working. Luckily, after hours and hours of laborious plugging and unplugging of that little white cable, I managed to bring Brunelleschi back to life. Upon his return, however, he was un-jailbroken. A virginized iPhone, if you will. I planned to re-jailbreak him and prepared myself for months of downloading hundreds of applications from Cydia to restore him to his former, customized, jailbroken self, but then I realized something. While I used the virginized phone, I was stunned at the amazing speed that it had. I mean it was fast, and, not only that, but no applications craashed and it was a perfect user experience. So I asked myself a simple question: Why re-jailbreak? Were those neat little jailbroken gimmicks really worth it? Did I really want to trade my phone's speed and efficiency for a quote on my lock screen and my name on the status bar? Was jailbreaking really a great thing to be done for a phone? A blessing? Or was it really a curse in disguise? A curse which bogged down almost all of the phone's processes as it crashed applications, made the OS unpredictable and precarious, and eventually killed the phone, almost beyond repair? OK, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but it still poses the inevitable question: Should I rejailbreak my iPhone or leave it un-jailbroken? I know that I won't have the Lightsaber lock sounds or the reflective dock, but I will have confidence that my phone will be stable and quick. So I finally made up my mind and left my phone un-jailbroken. Right now, it lacks its WALL-E SMS tone and StatusNotifier, but has gained a long forgotten fervor like that of standing up after a 12 hour car ride. Yes, it is void of some nice features and its own unique personality, but I think that Brunelleschi is better off. But I'm not ready to give up on jailbreaking just yet. I don't think I will ever re-jailbreak my phone after experiencing it in its true form once more, but I am going to try and attempt to bring it back, if not through only a few applications, to the glory days of jailbreaking. So begins my adventure of finding applications and tricks of the legitimate world to match that of the shady and maverick world of the hacker. I will search high and low in forums and the App Store for lawful iPhone downloads which duplicate the functions of jailbreaking. I have begun a quest to bring my phone as humanly possible to jailbreaking without actually jailbreaking it, and all knowledge I gain will be shared with you. This, my friends, is currently the end of my Why Jailbreak column, but the start of a new one: 'Jailbreaking' Without Jailbreaking. In this column, apps and tricks of the law-abiding world will be compared with those of the more umbrageous world from which I was once apart in an effort to relieve some of the pain I still feel for jailbreaking. There will be apps reviewed and discussed which duplicate some functions of popular Cydia apps, also discussed will be the first impressions of the 3.0 update with out its sluggishness, as well as many other topics about a jailbreaker living with an un-jailbroken phone. I hope that you won't miss Why Jailbreak, and I hope that you like 'Jailbreaking' Without Jailbreaking just as much.