If you’ve never tried to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, then there’s a whole world of tweaks and add-ons that await you. Despite misinformed accounts, jailbreaking will not void your warranty and it’s simple to uninstall a jailbreak too – you just restore your device in iTunes. You can also access iTunes, the App Store and all your apps and backups like normal.
So what exactly is jailbreaking? In short, it’s not far short of hacking into your Apple product’s software and opening it up for customization. You can change the way it looks and feels, choose from a host of custom apps that aren’t available in Apple’s official App store and a whole bunch of other things – you’ll get customization not far short of an Android device.
For me, the most useful tweaks are the ability to force my iPhone 5 to become a mobile modem for my laptop – otherwise known as tethering. I could connect my laptop to my iPhone using USB or WiFi and use it’s 3G Internet connection while out and about – brilliant for sending emails and web browsing on the move.
Other tweaks include features similar to the new Control Centre in IOS 7, except they were even better, allowing you to add or delete icons you needed or didn’t use – something you can’t do in IOS 7 as standard.
The best thing about the latest jailbreaks is that they’re practically one-click affairs and the latest version has just been released for IOS version 7.0.4. Here’s a guide on how to do it and also what are the best add-ons at the moment.
Step 1. The latest jailbreak is only compatible with IOS 7.0.4. Therefore, I’d recommend updating to this version if you haven’t already.
If you’re already on IOS 7.0.4 and want to try jailbreaking at some point, don’t update to a newer version if Apple releases it. To check your current version, go to Settings>General> About, and half way down it will tell you under ‘Version’.
Step 2. Download the Jailbreak. There’s only one place to get this from officially and that’s http://evasi0n.com. It’s available for OSX and Windows. Download the appropriate one and unzip the two files within, placing them on your desktop.
Step 3. It’s a good idea to restore your device while connected to your computer first, backing it up as well. A clean install will mean the jailbreak should go smoothly.
Step 6. Next, the installer will ask you to complete a few tasks. The first is to click on a new evasi0n7 app icon on your devices screen – usually on the second or third page of apps and follow any instructions that appear.
Step 7. That’s it! The process will say completed on your computer – you can now disconnect your device.
Step 8. You’ll now see a new icon in your device called Cydia – this is where all the tweaks and apps are stored. It’s not quite as slick as the Apple App Store but once you get to know your way around it’s all easy to do.
There’s one small issue with the current jailbreak, which is a slight behind the scenes bust-up between the owner of Cydia app store and the people that made the evasi0n jailbreak, and the fact that the jailbreak was released very unexpectedly just before Christmas.
Tthe whole jailbreak app community was taken by surprise and only a few have managed to update their apps to be IOS 7-compatible just yet. It’s also worth noting that due to the fact the iPhone 5S sports s 64-bit processor, it’s likely that many tweaks will need additional upgrades which might mean you won’t see the benefit of the jailbreak for a little longer.
However, now you’re jailbroken and have access to Cydia, you’re in the best place – just remember not to update your devices firmware – doing so will break the jealbreak. Thankfully, Apple’s incremental updates rarely add anything significant. Before using this latest jailbreak, I was happily using IOS 6 with all my jailbreak tweaks.
There are one or two tweaks that are available already that are definitely worth considering though. The first is SwipeSelection. This ingenious app allows you to simply swipe across the screen to select text, instead of using the often infuriating magnifying glass. It can also make repositioning the cursor to add punctuation or letters much, much easier.
Another tweak is called Hidden Springboard settings. This allows you to customize the way the OS looks and feels from things like lighting to the speed of animations, while another, ModMyi 7 allows you to use tethering, even if it’s not enabled by your carrier. Of course, this looks a whole lot better in video so check out YouTube user iTwe4kz‘s video here for a full look at these jailbreak tweaks below.