Since I started blogging about jailbreak and upgrade methods for iPhone, I have received emails from readers about reason for jailbreak and the difference between jailbreak and unlock. And question like, “My iPhone already got Apple’s AppStore to download applications. Is there any reason to jailbreak my iPhone?”. I thought it’ll be good to write up a blog post to address all the similar questions. First, let me explain the question about “Unlock iPhone vs Jailbreak”.
In brief, jailbreak your iphone means you are allowed to install 3rd party applications on iPhone. This applies to all version of firmwares. And, for unlocking iPhone, it refers to the process to open up your iPhone to accept all carriers. Unlocked iPhone allows you to use SIM card from all carriers. You are no longer bind to the official carrier (e.g. AT&T) approved by Apple.
So, with the introduction of iPhone AppStore, why do we still need to jailbreak? For this question, mostly queried by iPhone 3G users, I have thought of 5 reasons to jailbreak iPhone even with the presence of AppStore.
Reason #1 – Install 3rd pary applications via Cydia and Installer
The introduction of AppStore in iPhone 2.0 is the best feature for this firmware update, I have to admit. But even with thousands of applications available on AppStore, there are some other great applications, such as Netshare, banned by Apple to hit the Appstore for certain reasons. And this is the place where Cydia and Installer comes in and let you download all 3rd party applications. Some of the great applications you can find on Cydia are:
- Cycorder / Video Recorder – Let you capture video on iPhone
- NemusSync – Sync iPhone calendar with Google Calendar
- MxTube – Download and save YouTube video on iPhone
- iAcces – Let you use all kinds of Chinese Input Method
- iPhoneModem – Let you use iPhone as modem and give your laptop connection to Internet via iPhone
- Mame4iPhone – Play arcade game on iPhone
Reason #2 – Video Recording
Compared iPhone with any other mobile phone in the market, there is one area iPhone would definitely lose – Video Recording. With jailbreak iPhone, however, you can easily turn the iPhone camera into video camera for video recording by using Cycorder or iPhone Video Recorder.
Reason #3 – Changing iPhone Looks & Feel
Are you bored with the standard icons that come with iPhone? Ever think of changing the look of iPhone? With jailbreak iPhone, you can use Winterboard to apply theme on iPhone and make it look even cooler. Here are just a few samples to show what Winterboard can do for you:
Reason #4 – Full control of your iPhone
This may not be the reason for non-tech iPhone user. But for geeks, this may be why you need to jailbreak the iPhone. As you may know, the inner part of iPhone is a trim-down version of Mac OS X, which is actually a Unix core. So, you may wonder whether you can install some Unix applications such as Apache web server, on the iPhone. The answer is yes. With iPhone jailbreak, you can install a lightweight version of HTTP server and other similiar servers. And, one server that most Jailbreak iPhone users are using is a SSH daemon. With SSH, you can connect to iPhone remotely and transfer any file to/from it. Pretty cool, right? You can further refer to this post about how you can use SSH to transfer ringtone to the iPhone.
Reason #5 – Unlock iPhone
Lastly, the most common reason for jailbreaking iPhone is for unlock. This is one of the mandatory steps you need to through before you can unlock iPhone.
Note: Presently, there is no unlock solution for iPhone 3G. QuickPwn/WinPwn/Pwnage Tool can only jailbreak iPhone 3G.You can now use yellowsn0w or ultrasn0w to unlock iPhone 3G. Follow this guide to unlock your iPhone 3G or this unlock guide for iPhone 3GS.
Hope this post can answer all your questions about jailbreak and help you consider whether jailbreaking is for you. If you have already made up your mind, you can start looking at this post (Mac / Windows) about how you can use PwnageTool or Redsn0w to jailbreak iPhone.