To jailbreak or not to jailbreak?
I’m a member of a forum for iPod Touch users and most new owners of an iPod Touch would ask the same question, what is the advantage of jailbreaking your iPod? Here’s my take on that but first a couple of FAQ’s about the topic.
Is jailbreaking safe? Will it brick my iPod?
It’s perfectly safe although there are times when people can’t make it to work in the first try. Fortunately, it’s very easy to restore it to its original state as well. I haven’t heard anyone bricking his iPod due to jailbreaking.
Will jailbreaking my iPod void its warranty?
Yes it will if Apple finds out about it. Fortunately, you can simply restore your iPod to its original firmware to hide the jailbreak from Apple. As far as I know as of the moment, there’s no way that your iPod can retain traces of jailbreaking after a restore (especially a DFU restore).
Is jailbreaking illegal?
According to Apple it is but it’s still up for debate. You paid for the device so you can do whatever you want with it right? Just like modding a PSP to play homebrewed games. Jailbreaking should fall under reverse-engineering which is protected under DMCA.
UPDATE: It is now legal in the US to jailbreak the iPod thanks to the Library of Congress.
Will I lose my data, notes, contacts, photos when I jailbreak my iPod?
A safe jailbreak requires you to restore your device and this will erase all your contents: game and app data, notes, photos, etc. However every time you sync your iPod to iTunes, it creates a copy of those stuff in iTunes. When you do a restore, you can choose to retrieve the last backup and sync it back to your iPod.
Ok now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the pros and cons of jailbreaking.
- I guess the major advantage is that you get to customize the look (theme) of your iPod and modify some of its behaviors. Check out this Gruppled Lockscreen:
- You will have access to apps that is not being published in the App Store. My favorite is MxTube which allows me to download YouTube videos for offline viewing. There are also game emulators such as NES, Gameboy, PSX, etc.
- Free apps! I guess this is the one of the main reason why people also want to jailbreak their iPod. To install cracked apps and games so there’s no need to buy them off the App Store.
- Treat your iPod as an external storage with i-FunBox. Yup, you can transfer media or whatever files you want to your iPod without the use of iTunes.
- If there’s a new firmware available, you have to wait for a bit before iphone-dev release a jailbreak for it.
- iTunes cannot backup Cydia apps, data and themes so you will lose them if you restore your iPhone unless you back them up with an iPod browser.
So for me,the pros far outweighs the cons but it is still up to you if you wish to jailbreak. You can try a jailbreak for a while and easily do a restore if it doesn’t suit you anyway.
Decided to do the jailbreak? Check out my guide on how to jailbreak your iPod Touch to 3.1.2 firmware.