Jailbreak: A New Column


There are many aspects of the iPhone that I wish were more developed. Better usability. Time-saver shortcuts. Visual enhancements. Missing functionality. We each have our own list of what is missing, what we would love to have, and what we would love to see in a future iPhone OS update. While I am confident Apple will meet expectations eventually, I, along with thousands of other like-minded individuals, am not going to sit around and wait.

So I have a confession to make: I jailbroke my iPhone 3G the day I got my hands on it, and I’m liking it so much I’m never going back.

The thing is this, I form a bond with every gadget I own. For a device such as a cell phone, something you have on you almost 24/7, it seems only natural that you will grow into both the way it works and its various quirks. For the latter, you either learn to live with it or find a workaround for it. The casual user will most likely live with what is offered out of the box, while the power user and the adventurous will pursue new and novel ways to suit their devices to their ever-increasing needs.

On the Mac, it is very easy to go out and look for the right application that will do exactly what the OS does not. On the iPhone, where the platform is fragile and hence rightfully closed, the hard part is waiting for Apple to figure things out. In the meantime, there are the hundreds of clever workarounds that independent developers — iPhone owners and enthusiasts themselves — have devised. The catch is that you will have to jailbreak, which Apple certainly does not endorse.

I was inspired to write about jailbreaking after having several casual conversations I had with other iPhone owners. I was surprised at the amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt some of them had regarding jailbreaking. Some didn’t know what it was, while others had heard of it, but had dismissed it due to what they perceived as black art, complex and mysterious. But really, just as it has always been, is, and will be on any other computing platform, with enhancements and new functionality come certain caveats. Just do your homework, follow the instructions and you’ll be fine.

This post is an introduction to a regular iPhone jailbreaking column I will be penning, one that will include everything from reviews of applications to tips and techniques. Regardless of whether you are an iPhone owner who has yet — but is looking to — jailbreak your iPhone, or an enthusiast who’s already hacked your iPhone, I hope there will be something for everyone. And if there is anything you would like to see in a future post, do drop me a line.

Coming up next: Five Things You Need to Know About Jailbreaking. Stay tuned!


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