Jailbreaking is loved by many iPhone and iPad users, but for Apple it’s a continuing love/hate relationship.
When you jailbreak your iOS device, you’re opening up the restrictions that Apple has set, allowing you to do all sorts of things that Apple wouldn’t normally allow you to do on an iPhone or iPad. It’s not illegal at all, but the Cupertino-based company loves having control over its devices and how you use them. Jailbreaking…well…breaks that.
iPhone and iPad owners can do all sorts of stuff with their devices after they jailbreak, like customizing the look and feel of iOS and installing various tweaks to add new features and even get rid of some of the annoyances of iOS.
Yes, jailbreaking can be used for less-than-ethical motives, but that’s really just a trivial tidbit of what jailbreaking truly is and what it can do.
In fact, jailbreaking has been pretty awesome on iOS 9, where users of older iPhones have been able to get features of newer devices like the iPhone 6s. The new device comes with a 3D Touch display that lets you do all sorts of neat stuff in iOS 9, as well as some exclusive camera features, but a handful of tweaks have been released that allow jailbreakers to mimic these features on older iPhones.
It’s no surprise that people think that Apple doesn’t take too kindly to jailbreaking, and you would be right, but it’s also no surprise that Apple secretly enjoys jailbreaking because it gives them a ton of ideas to implement into future versions of iOS.
Both iOS 8 and iOS 9 came with a handful of new features that originally started out as jailbreak tweaks. For instance, iOS 8 introduced Quick Reply, QuickType, support for third-party keyboards, and opening up third-party access to Touch ID, all of which were available to jailbreakers beforehand.
In iOS 9, Apple introduced an easier way to move the text cursor by swiping, showing lowercase letters on the keyboard, Picture in Picture Mode, Split View multitasking, and Low Power Mode, all of which (as you might have guessed) were jailbreak tweaks long before iOS 9 was even announced.
Of course, you could say some of these features Apple got from Android, but there are plenty of cool iOS features that originally started out as jailbreak tweaks, which means that Apple is definitely paying close attention to whats out there in the jailbreaking world.
It’s no doubt that Apple is taking notes about all the cool jailbreak tweaks that release, and we wouldn’t be surprised at all if Apple’s research and development department were full of jailbroken iPhones in order to try out various jailbreak tweaks to see if there’s something cool that could be integrated into iOS by default.
However, at the same time, Apple needs to do its job and patch up any jailbreak exploits as quickly as possible. When a jailbreaker discovers an exploit in iOS that allows them to jailbreak their iPhone, that’s essentially a security risk. If Apple didn’t patch it up, they would be in big trouble ethically.
Plus, jailbreaking “can cause security vulnerabilities, instability, shortened battery life, and other issues,” as noted by Apple in a support document. If Apple didn’t patch up jailbreaks, users would likely blame the company for their iPhone’s instability since Apple isn’t taking initiative to close up exploits.
It certainly puts Apple in a tough position. On one hand, jailbreaking opens up a whole new world of ideas for Apple to consider and it can truly make iOS better in the future, but on the other hand, it’s Apple’s job to close up jailbreak exploits to ensure that all security bugs and holes are attended to.