iOS 5.1 Convinced me to Un-Jailbreak the iPhone 4S

I was incredibly excited about the iPhone 4S jailbreak when it was released earlier this year.

I immediately jailbroke my iPhone 4S on iOS 5.0.1 and showed you how to jailbreak the iPhone 4S, but now that iOS 5.1 is out I decided to reverse course.

I spent this afternoon un-jailbreaking my iPhone 4S so that I could upgrade to iOS 5.1.

While you can jailbreak older iPhones and iPads on iOS 5.1, you cannot jailbreak the iPhone 4S on iOS 5.1 yet, and it could take a while thanks to the extra security of the A5 processor.

Rather than wait, I left my favorite iPhone 4S jailbreak apps, and the buggy jailbreak experience, to get the latest and greatest version of iOS.


Here are the new iOS 5.1 features that pushed me back to a stock iPhone 4S.

un jailbreak iPhone 4S iOS 5.1Camera Upgrades

The fast access to camera is my new favorite feature. Sure I could still double tap to get to the camera faster than most Android phones, but the new lockscreen flick to camera is just too nice to pass on. I’ll also enjoy the multiple face detection on-screen notifications.

Better iPhone 4S battery life

My iPhone 4S battery life is usable, but I’m always open to better battery life. Apple fixed bugs that affected the battery life in iOS 5.1. I’ll be testing it to see if i do get better battery life with stock iOS 5.1.


Access to Apps

I count on iMovie to make many of the videos we do here at GottaBeMobile, especially while at conventions and on the road, so I wanted the most recent version, which is only available on iOS 5.1. Same goes for Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Also, I wanted to try iPhoto, which is an iOS 5.1 exclusive app.

I’m certain that Apple restricted any of these apps to iOS 5.1 just so that users like me would un-jailbreak and come back to stock. Apple doesn’t like jailbreaking anymore than we like waiting for an iPS 5.1 jailbreak for the iPhone 4S, so anything they can do to bring users back is on the table.

I’m not a big user of jailbreak apps from Cydia, so this was a relatively easy decision for me.

Does iOS 5.1 offer enough to make you un-jailbreak your iPhone 4S?

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]


  1. I already have the camera button always on the lockscreen using a jailbreak tweak.

    If you’re jailbroken you can install iPhoto, iMovie, and the iWork apps on 5.0.1 even though they supposedly only work on 5.1.

    So the only thing I’m missing out on is better battery life (I don’t have a problem with battery right now anyway) and multiple face detection (which I don’t care about).

      • Open the iPhoto IPA (or any of the Apple 5.1 restricted IPAs) with a zip viewer, and open Payload/Info.plist.

        Change the MinimumOSVersion string to 5.0 or 5.0.1, repack the IPA (as you would a zip file) and install. AppSync is required however.

        If iPhoto crashes however, install iPhoto501Fix from Cydia. The other iWork and iLife apps shouldn’t crash, only iPhoto.

  2. i triple click my locked iPhone 4s and have camera instantly…
    Hold the lock button and my SoundHound starts listening
    I get calendar, weather, messages, BiteSMS and a big clock on my lock screen, not to mention Barrel…
    Who needs 5.1? 

    • you can get facebreak which is facetime on 3g in cydia, just go into cydia download source and its free to hack, have fun.

    • Just go to the respective device plist in System/Library/CoreServices (N90AP.plist for iPhone 4, K something for iPad 2) and make a new key.

      (without spaces)

      Respring and BAM. FaceTime over 3G.

  3. I jailbroke my 4s for one thing! Personal hotspot, which my carrier don’t support at all. Not even for a fee.
    5.1 hasn’t got a killer feature that I’d sacrifice personal hotspot for. I updated my iPad 2 to 5.1 OTA which was painless and pretty quick.

    • Google it. Ok if you have iphone 4s or ipad2 (and soon ipad3) YOU cant jailbreak yet to ios 5.1

      If you have the other idevice then google this: redsnow for ios 5.1



      • Although you are 100% correct in claiming this is a hoax, your caps lock abuse makes it less believable.

  4. There is no way I’m giving up my free personal hotspot, or my quick access to flashlight, messages and camera via lock screen. Those are just a few features that trump any reason to unjailbreak my iPhone or iPad. I’ll wait I’ll there is at proper jailbreak for A5 chip models….

  5. No way, is that a joke? This update was pretty stupid and does not outweigh jailbreak features. Lockinfo alone outweighs every single updated ios5.1 feature upgrade. Apple updates will never compete with the jailbreak community and the functionality it can provide.

  6. author is totaly out of his senses…seems like he is a sellout…only an idiot would unjailbreak 4S over these non sense upgrades.

  7. NOOOOO i just HAD to restore my JB iphone 4s. wow ios 5.1 is lame. JB is soooo much better, ACTIVATOR, WINTERBOARD, TETHERmE. game, set, match.

  8. I jailbroke my iPhone4 on the b6 version yesterday. Works great and got it back up and running as it was before, only now, I have better battery life…Once the untethered version is out, it’s ON!!

  9. NO. 5.1 doesn’t lead me to un-jailbreak my phone.  In fact it REENFORCES the reason to jailbreak, to have access to other content and to use a phone WHICH I HAVE PAID FOR on any GSM system I choose to patronize.

    This is what is WRONG with the APPLE model.  90+ % of IPhone owners will stick with the stock stuff, so why jack with users who want to experiment?  Make it easy to go back to a stock iOS.  The monopoly that Apple is trying to enforce and the restriction of choice is just flat anti-competetive.

    If Apple would allow and support the use of my phone on whatever network I want, they would win more customers, not fewer.

    • Oh and as a side note, How about the fact that this blog is advertising StraightTalk mobile and their new “bring your own phone” program.  Apple DOESN’T support me bringing an iPhone over from ATT THAT I HAVE PAID FOR, and using on this network.  What is with that?  Oh, yeah, I guess they’d rather force me to buy a new phone and stick with a carrier that charges 2-3 times as much for similar level of service AND GET A CUT OF MY MONTHLY PAYMENT to ATT.

      Sorry Charlie, not this boy.  GO DEV-TEAM GO! on the 5.1 unteathered jailbreak!!!!!

  10. I had to restore my iphone 4s because the sound would not play through apps…..i can’t wait to jailbreak again, i feel like i have a piece of crap in my hands if my iphone is jailbroken

    •  good cause my iphone 4s isnt the same without a jailbreak its kinda lame and i dont like it.. apple just want more peoples money.

  11. Not a single comment in support of the author’s logic, yet multitudes criticizing it. Hmmmm… Maybe I’m the anti-progress because I have numerous installous apps, but for those alone I can’t go back. They are vastly more valuable to me than anything 5.1 has to offer. This article seems like Apple paid for it.

    • an un-jailbroken iphone is a worthless iphone. i rely on apps like My3G, IntelliID, among many others. given the choice between an iphone 4s that’s unjailbroken and a crappy android phone, i’d go android.

      my battery life has always been fine. the problem arises in the OS when you install poorly program apps, like imo, that don’t close when they should and run in the background when they shouldn’t. it could also be an issue in the way iOS closes apps, who knows. but if you stay away from shitty apps, your battery life will be fine.

  12. To each his own, but the benefits of My3G, MyWi and iBlacklist alone are worth jailbreaking even with tethered boot.  I hate the hassle, but hate not having those jailbreak apps even more.

  13.  I updated to iOS 5.1. Works awesome, and the benefits are somewhat noticeable. I switched from a jailbroken iPhone 4S 5.0.1 to the 5.1. Thanks for the article.

  14. How about the 5.0.1 phone issue, where you have to hit the speaker button.  I’ve had many issues when making a call, with or without a wired headset or bluetooth, and the call connects, but you never hear it dialing, connecting, or the other person.  Only a restart will fix it, and then it’s only for the initial call, then it happens all over again.  Very consistent and a big pain in the ass.  Same happens answering calls as well.  Speaker button lights up, you hear sound, then you can’t change off speaker….  5.1 fixes this.  This is huge.  I loved by Jailbreak on 4s 5.0.1, but dealing with the calling issues, not worth the benefits.  I can’t wait for the 5.1 A5 jailbreak.. 

    • Funny is I had the same issues with my launch day 4S, Restoring it didn’t fix it at all, ended up exchanging it a couple days later since it was still within the return/exchange policy

  15. The benefits of a jailbroken iPhone are far greater than the benefits of upgrading to IOS 5.1, so I’m going to stick with 5.0.1 for now (until a jailbreak for 5.1 is released).

  16. I ended up relocking my 4s by upgrading, but mostly due to one of my broken apps causing my speakers to act funky (hands free Siri, I think)

    In the long run, I will most likely unlock it again, but I do agree with the folks who say the benefits of jailbreaking outweigh the benefits of not.

  17. BiteSMS, Activator, AssistantExtensions, Twitkafly, etc. Each of these individually outweighs all of 5.1’s features.

  18. If you like a boring phone sure don’t jailbreak, but I would never go without jailbreaking. I would die without Intelliscreenx and pwntunes just to name a couple of Cydia tweaks

  19. Hi there, I have a iphone 4s IOS 5.0.1, with Jailbreak, and want to remove the jailbreak and update to latest ios version.

    Can I just hit update on the itunes, won’t that give me a problem?

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