Anyone who has owned at least one Apple device that runs on iOS (such the iPod, iPhone, and iPad) will most likely know about the term “jailbreak”. The act of jailbreaking pertains to breaking out of the security-enabled “jail” set forth by the operating system’s root directory, where the most critical files reside. And because iOS is a proprietary, closed-source operating system, hackers that are not connected with Apple in every way have the first crack at unlocking the secrets behind the mobile operating system.
Reasons for Jailbreaking
Users of Apple devices choose to jailbreak for several reasons. First, they want to install applications that are outside Apple’s jurisdiction – app developers need to pass Apple’s iOS Developer Program License Agreement before their apps are distributed on the App Store. Once the device is jailbroken, the user has a freedom to enjoy more apps. Second, they want to break free from the restrictions brought about by cellular carriers (iOS devices are usually tied in to the carriers they are bought from) – international travelers who do not want to buy a new iOS device for every country they visit will find jailbreaking useful. Third, hackers produce jailbreaks to indirectly assist Apple in fixing security holes and exploits in iOS. Fourth, jailbreaking enables greater customization on the iOS device, such as changing its user interface.
If you plan to jailbreak iPhone 4, you will possibly unleash a virtual Pandora’s Box. Since the restrictions are broken down, digital rights management laws can be violated if the user decides to jailbreak his iOS device in order to run pirated versions of applications. Some countries such as Canada, India, Singapore, the United States, and New Zealand actually allow jailbreaking as a means of amplifying the device’s capabilities. The use of jailbreaking to circumvent copyright and DRM laws is considered unlawful – and thus jailbreaking in itself is a double-edged sword, depending on the purpose.
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