Jailbreaking an iPhone is talked about all over the web but why does it sound so complicated. The many in-depth guides are great – if you are technically minded and can understand all of the jargon. I have found a couple of easy ways to unlock and Jailbreak your iPhone and you don’t need to be some tech expert to get started.
In this website I have a few spy software reviews looking at several of the top cell phone monitoring software products on the market – Flexispy, Mobile Spy and mSpy software. For entertainment value you should check out my Spybubble review as well – it is one of the worst!
If you want to try any of these products on an iPhone you are going to have to Jailbreak it first. I will explain in simple terms what this means, why you would want to Jailbreak an iPhone and then tell you how to Jailbreak an iPhone – with a minimum of fuss – you will be amazed at how easy this is and best of all it is free.
The Problem with Jailbreaking Guides
Most Jailbreaking guides are written by very technical people and go into a lot of detail but this often serves to confuse most normal people who simply want to get the job done. When I first started researching the subject I got bogged down in all the technical stuff and suffered from information overload! It can be a very technical subject but most of us just want simple answers. Hopefully this easy guide to Jailbreaking iPhone will save you some time searching the internet and getting overwhelmed in the process.
Contents – click the title to go to that section
What Does Jailbreaking an iPhone Do?
The Apple iPhone, just like their other products, is designed to work only with software and applications provided (sold!) by Apple. Many companies do this sort of thing to maximize their profits and control the market. Soon after the iPhone was released many tech geeks got to work and came up with ways to change the software on the phone so that it would be able to run third party software and apps.
This is what is called Jailbreaking an iPhone – it refers to freeing the iPhone, or rather the user, to download apps or software from other companies.
You will hear about different types of Jailbreaking – tethered and un-tethered. Don’t get bogged down in the details, tethered Jailbreaking means that if you need to re-start your phone it will need to be connected to a PC and broken all over again – not ideal. Un-tethered Jailbreak means you can use your phone as normal and re-boot as required without affecting the Jailbreak. Always go for the un-tethered option if available.
The Benefits of Jailbreaking Your iPhone
Many companies and individuals have developed an amazing range of software applications for cell phones – some to enhance the features and capabilities and some just for fun. There are literally thousands to choose from and many are free or at least really cheap to buy. The apps market is huge now but if you have a regular iPhone you can’t use them unless it has been Jailbroken.
What is Unlocking an iPhone?
Jailbreaking and unlocking an iPhone often get confused but they are two very different things. For most people it is preferable to do both – you must jailbreak first, then unlock. Unlocking refers to freeing your phone for use on other GSM carriers or mobile providers. Many cell phones, not just the iPhone, will be locked to a single service provider. When you unlock your phone it can be used with any service – you could use another SIM card when traveling to save international costs or just switch to a cheaper tariff. Again it will add another level of freedom of choice.
How to Know if an iPhone is Jailbroken
Perhaps you are working with a phone and need to know if it has already been Jailbroken. First of all look in the apps menu and look for Cydia, Installer App or Icy – any reference to these. As part of any Jailbreak, you will have an app like these to enable you to install other applications. These can be hidden but it is not that easy to do and is quite rare. If you see these apps – you have a Jailbroken phone.
Another tip is to go to Jailbreakme.com and if your phone has a Jailbreak, it will prompt you that it has already been done. If all else fails you can note any suspicious looking apps on your phone and look for them in the Apple Store – if they are not there then your phone must already be Jailbroken.
How to Hide the Cydia Icon
When an iPhone has been Jailbroken it will show the icon of Cydia or Installer App in the main screen. It is easy to hide these icons if you need to. From within Cydia search for a free app called SBSettings and install it. Then open up SBSettings and select hide icons – a menu will open where you select the icons you want to hide. It can easily be reversed from within SBSettings. Another app called POOF works in much the same way.
Is Jailbreaking an iPhone Legal?
Both Jailbreaking and unlocking your iPhone are perfectly legal. In 2010 a case was brought before the U.S Library of Congress and decided that it was legal under the Fair Use Doctrine – ref. Wikipedia. At long last some sense in the world!
What About the Downside?
Ahh there is always a downside isn’t there? In my opinion the disadvantages of Jailbreaking your iPhone have been exaggerated and if you take a few precautions there is no real downside. The main worry is that your warranty with Apple will be void if you have a Jailbroken phone. If you are out of warranty, you have no problem. If you need to return a phone under warranty – simply restore the original settings and they have no way of knowing it has been Jailbroken.
The other main downside which is often mentioned is that a jailbroken phone can easily be infected with viruses and malware. There is some truth in this but any phone can be hacked and there will always be a risk. Make sure to download any software and apps from trusted sources and you should be fine. It is obviously in Apples best interests to keep spreading the word of the potential risks.
How to Jailbreak Your iPhone – the easy way
So now you know what the terms mean and you have decided you want the freedom of a jailbroken iPhone. I have done this many times for friends and clients – although I don’t own an iPhone myself (never liked them!). I’m certainly no tech expert or a Geek! But if you can cut through all of the unnecessary information, and go to the right places – it should be very easy for anyone to do. The best bit is that it is absolutely free! But beware of the sites selling Jailbreaking software – it is free and they are a con.
Before You Do Anything!
You need to do a full backup of your iPhone and save it to your PC hard drive or a memory stick. Do not skip this – if you have any problems with the process this is your safety net. Having a backup means you can restore your phone at anytime and so take away any risks. You can backup and restore using iTunes (Apple of course!). Connect your phone then go to – Devices – iPhone-backup. If you run into any problems or want to reverse the Jailbreak you can reset the phone to the factory settings and then restore your backup through iTunes – your phone will be back to its original state.
Now you are ready to begin. The first time I tried this I was a little nervous – it seemed too easy after all I had read about the subject, but trust me it works for most phones. Using the iPhone you want to jailbreak, simply go online and log on to www.jailbreakme.com – no need for a PC or cables.
If your phone is compatible the process will begin and you simply need to follow the instructions to complete the jailbreak – no typing or complicated actions required. It will automatically determine if your operating system is compatible with their software.
It only takes a few minutes and when it is complete it will confirm the Jailbreak and say that Cydia has been added to your home screen. Cydia is basically software through which you can now access all the different apps and add-ons for your newly jailbroken iPhone. Go to Cydia and explore, your phone is free!
What if That Didn’t Work?
If you access this site with your PC or your phone OS isn’t compatible, the process will not prompt you with any instructions. The very latest operating systems may not work with this program but it is constantly updated. Don’t worry if this site doesn’t automatically work for your phone – there are other options, almost as easy. We also have some links to other resources – our resource page of course!
Jailbreak Option 2
Jailbreakme.com is definitely the easiest solution I have found but if this wasn’t successful for your phone you will need to download some software manually to your PC and then run it on your phone; again it is easy enough to follow.
To do this you will need to log on to www.jailbreakme.com using your PC this time. Click the link “or use a different Jailbreak on your computer” – this will bring you to a download page where you can find a suitable download for your operating system – click on the one you need, matching your phone, OS and computer. Simply download the software and follow the instructions – it is almost as easy as the first method.
When a new version of operating system is released by Apple – do not upgrade right away or you will loose the Jailbreak. Wait until the Jailbreakers have a new hack available, then you can do it again. When you upgrade your operating system - Apple is back in charge!
Don’t be afraid to try this, nothing bad will happen to your phone and as long as you have a back-up you can easily restore your phone. If you want to make use of the many available apps and modifications, or you need to install spy phone software – you need to Jailbreak your iPhone. Keep things simple and save yourself a lot of time by not reading all the Jailbreaking guides – try this one first.
When you have escaped from the Apple Jail – head over to read my post –
Recommended iPhone Spy Software Apps – and find one to suit your needs.
Need to know about Rooting an Android? – check out my How-To article.