News Analysis: With an increasing number of people looking to jailbreak their iPhones, it's time for a refresher on why such a move is a bad idea.
When the U.S. Copyright Office ruled recently that
jailbreaking did not violate federal copyright law, a cottage industry of
jailbreaking applications immediately popped up across the Web. Although
jailbreaking was common before, the ruling has set the stage for far more
companies and individuals to find ways around Apple's iOS and allow users to
potentially get more from their smartphones.
But the more consumers get out of their phones, the worse it
might be. As nice as it might sound to get beyond Apple's restrictions, those
rules are partially in place to protect users
. Since the jailbreaking
community has so far delivered few apps that justify going through the risky
process, it seems that, at this point, doing so makes little sense. Here's why
jailbreaking the iPhone is a bad idea.
1. There are security concerns.
The most obvious reason
not to jailbreak the iPhone is security. As soon as a user jailbreaks the
device, they're putting themselves in undue risk. In fact, it's estimated by
some security experts that a jailbroken iPhone loses the majority of its
security features. And considering that users store sensitive information on
their iPhones, knowing that they could put all that data in danger just to
jailbreak an already nice phone should be enough to make them stay away.
2. The benefits are limited. The
real value of jailbreaking an iPhone is hard to judge
. For some users, the
act of jailbreaking is a way to fight back against Apple and other technology
companies that supposedly "lock" users into a device and mobile carrier
package. For others, it's the promise of something better. The only issue is that
there isn't much to like once the jailbreaking is complete. In essence, the
user has a device that works just as it did before without some of the old
restrictions placed upon it. And once owners start using the jailbroken device,
they quickly find out that it provides the same experience with different apps.
In other words, it's not all that great. And it really isn't worth it.
3. One can only hope nothing goes wrong.
jailbreaking an iPhone, there is a risk of losing data or turning it into a
useless brick. Realizing that, users are taking quite a risk when they decide
to jailbreak the device. The process could go easily and take just a few
minutes, but it might also go horribly wrong. And in a worst case scenario, the
user may have to buy a new iPhone. Jailbreaking might sound like a great idea at
first, but things can quickly go awry when a user decides to jailbreak a
smartphone. And that must be kept in mind.
4. You don't want to get cut off from OS updates.
Apple updates its operating system, those who jailbreak the device are left out
in the cold. As soon as the user plugs their jailbroken iPhone into their
computer to download new software, Apple closes the operating system and
installs the new update. That means that if a user wants a new version of
Apple's software, but still wants to maintain all the jailbroken features,
they're out of luck. Apple doesn't want users to jailbreak its smartphones. And
it does everything it can with each new update to stop that. So, if an update
is really important to a user, it's probably best not to jailbreak the
smartphone in the first place.