So, what's the point of jailbreaking?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by knecksus, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. knecksus macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #1
    Okay, I dont see what all the hype is about with jailbreaking your touch. I've read about it throughly, and get why people would want screw with their brand new toy. Some might say because I dont want to pay the extra money for the new January applications, but seriously, you just got $400 toy and think $20 bucks is expensive? Would somebody tell me why they would want to jailbreak their pod?

    thanks
     
  2. rioting macrumors member

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #2
    While I also think Jailbreaking is risky (I have the January upgrade) I can see some benefits. Being able to play games without internet acess is a plus. And just having the third party apps is great. And there are more apps you can get from jailbreaking then upgrading.
     
  3. Road-Kill macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #3
    well

    one can you wirelessly transfer you music photos podcasts
    do you have radio
    do you have games
    do you have lots of other third p[arty apps
    well do you?
    ________________________
    :apple:jailbroken 16 pretty gig ipod touch 1.1.3:apple:
     
  4. beemerin macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Third party apps!!! Its user preference. Some people may say "what's the point of getting a Honda civic if your not going to trick it out?" or "why custom build a computer if all your doing is office work?"

    Also... To prove to apple that it can be done! I mean you can get nes games playstation games and gameboy advanced games on one system! Not to mention tons more!

    some do it to brag and others for the apps and customizing features... Plus apple is months behind what third parties are doing compared to giving the community apps
     
  5. jbarr macrumors regular

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    #5
    For me, it's one word: Wikipedia. Having 2gb of an almost complete dump of searchable text articles from Wikipedia in my pocket is worth the $400. I seriously doubt Apple will ever release anything comparable.
     
  6. knecksus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    do you have a list of applications that you can get?
     
  7. quicklook2 macrumors 6502

    quicklook2

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    #7
    all the questions in this thread have been answered a hundred times.

    just look back a few pages or do a search.
     
  8. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

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    #8

    this is a good question

    is there a list of apps?

    i'm waiting for a really simple way to JB. like one click. and no downgrading.

    I have heard of ziphone, it looks promising, but apparently only works for the 8 gig touch.

    i would love to JB, i just don't trust the technology yet. Plus i've never hacked anything.

    games sure would be nice though...
     
  9. YuriVoorhak macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #10
    Lolwut? I don't get all the people who still think jailbreaking is "risky".

    Anyway, my take on jailbreaking is that it wasn't worth the hassle. Most of the many many aps are executed pretty poorly, none were very useful to me, and (like a fool) I paid for the january update before they showed up on the jb scene. My ipod also seemed less stable in general. he only things I miss are the old dock and AFPd, and neither of those were really deal breakers for me.
     
  10. jbarr macrumors regular

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    #11
    The risk really is in how willing you are to deviate from the norm. As long as iTunes provides a restore capability that will get you safely back to "stock" then Jailbreaking really isn't that risky. But if that changes, then the situation will obviously change. I have to admit that one of my attempts at Jailbreaking resulted in a continuous reboot loop that I thought I couldn't get out of. Fortunately, I was able to eventually break out of it, but it was a very unnerving half hour or so seeing a $400 device potentially going South.

    And as far as the quality of the apps go, you have to understand that many of the apps are often the result of "first attempts" either to try out development, or to fill a specific need. While the quality is not always high, this is really not unexpected. Consider a site like PalmGear that provided literally thousands of Palm OS applications. Over the years, applications ranged from extremely lame to amazingly powerful. I see the same trend on the IPT in the Jailbreak world, and I suspect that once the SDK is released, the same will be true. Don't expect all new SDK-built applications to be the pinnacle of perfection. Also, don't forget that these developers in the Jailbreak realm are working with limited tools in an environment that is not officially supported. I personally think that many the offerings are quite good considering the current conditions of development.
     
  11. supercooled macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I'm an avid reader/user of Wikipedia; could you expand on what you mean by having 2GB of it in your pocket? I'm assuming you've cached your searches so you could refer to them anywhere without wifi access?
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    Fortunately, they don't have to. With the SDK, a developer can.
     
  13. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    #14
    For a fee, of course; SDK-created apps need a digital signature from Apple, and I doubt Apple's just going to give that away -- they need to keep the riff-raff in check, after all. :) Additionally, we don't know yet whether iTunes Store will be the exclusive distribution channel for apps designed for the iPhone/Touch, or whether developers can create their own. Knowing The Steve's desire to control and take a cut of everything he touches, probably the former. (I don't now whether this would violate antitrust laws or not, but it likely won't stop him from trying anyway)

    This is one of the primary benefits of jailbreaking: All but one of the apps currently available are free (though many devs gladly accept donations for their hard work).

    As to what's available -- there are hundreds of apps, skins and themes available. As has been said, not all are exactly top shelf material, but there are some real gems in there. The ability to completely customize through apps like Summerboard and Customize is a handy feature too, and the ability to organize your springboard through Categories really cleans things up.

    The risk, frankly, is nil. Even if you screw it up horrendously, you can always force the device into restore mode and put everything back to a factory-fresh state. The Touch cannot be truly bricked.
     
  14. TouchPodium.com macrumors newbie

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    #15
    There are hundreds of apps available.

    There are thousands of games available (when you take into consideration all the iphysics level packs and roms! ;))

    you have NO idea what you're missing out on.

    The true potential of the iPod Touch is not seen until you've jailbroken it. (at least, not until the SDK is released.)
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    Apple has already said that developers will be able to charge or not charge for software developed with the SDK and distributed via iTunes. Digital signatures are not censorship or an effort to claim a share -- they are for user security. All these dire predictions, I don't know where they come from.

    From what I am reading here, hacking the iPod does come with risks. While it might be technically true that it's impossible to irretrievably "brick" an iPod, it certainly is possible to be forced to invest a lot of time and effort in recovering one. I know it ticks off the hackers when I say so, but I think the argument for hacking becomes far from compelling with the arrival of the SDK.
     
  16. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    #17
    Apple has not said that at all. Steve has said virtually nothing on the subject, in fact. The "leaked" MacWorld keynotes claimed this, but that was a hoax, just like the many hoaxes before it that have become a ritual.

    I never said it was censorship. I implied that it was a means of control. The Steve never wanted third party development to begin with; the SDK is a bow to public demand for it, but he wasn't going to do it without tight restrictions on system access to prevent just anyone writing just anything. He wants quality apps to be developed with the SDK, and the most effective way to do this is to price the digital signatures out of the range of the average Joe Hacker. Pricing signatures will ensure that those who want to write software for the iPhone/Touch will be serious about doing so, and not just some scruffy dude off the street covered in Cheetos dust and smelling of Bawls who may or may not have it in mind to try and write some sort of virus or trojan or some damn thing. (Speaking from a reasonable facsimile of Steve's perspective here, not my own.) Steve wants security, and the best security is tight control of the environment he needs to secure.

    The SDK doesn't make jailbreaking irrelevant. It's two sides of the same coin. SDK apps will likely cost money. Jailbreak software usually doesn't. Jailbreak software has virtually no limits on what it can accomplish with respect to the filesystem and access to all system calls. The SDK will have restrictions. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    Like I said, I know it ticks off the hackers to suggest that hacking isn't worthwhile, and will become even less compelling when legitimately-developed software starts showing up. I've been in this debate before, and the response is always the same.

    Apple did say long ago that they were not going to dictate whether or how much developers charge. Also, digital signatures are not about "control" they are about security. Even Leopard supports digital signatures. Think for second: it would be an unprecedented policy if Apple decided to restrict software developed for the iPod in the ways which some seem to think is almost certain.

    These dire predictions come completely out of left field and are totally without foundation. It seems that hacking has a kind of appeal which has little to do with practical realities, when all is said and done.
     
  18. JAT macrumors 603

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    #19
    And even without it, they already have. Neato!
     
  19. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    #20
    Frankly, this depends entirely on the quality of the software available in the hacking scene that isn't available in the legit scene. Until suitable replacements for the likes of iPhysics, TTR, the various emulators, and so on, turn up on the SDK side of the fence, then jailbreaking is not irrelevant.

    I don't recall reading this -- not that I am implying that it wasn't said -- but if you have a cite handy I'd appreciate reading up on it.

    Security is control by definition. If you have no control over your environment, then you have no security. Digital signatures are a means to control which applications get through and which don't in order to ensure that those that get through are safe to run.

    There is a significant difference between developing for a Mac and developing for the iPod or iPhone. The latter are closed systems, never originally intended to have third party apps developed for them. The Steve doesn't want any old Joe messing with the system and potentially screwing it up. That's where the SDK and digital signatures come in.

    Hacking has been and continues to be about opening up a previously closed system to third party development. Whether or not it's practical depends both on your definition of practicality and the applications that are developed on a hacked system. I think you can agree however that there has been plenty of practical apps developed on the jailbreak scene outside of entertainment software. The predictions, too, aren't out of left field. They are based on a combination of Apple's track record and logical speculation as to how Apple is likely to handle certain scenarios, knowing Apple as many do.
     
  20. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Possibly. It has not been proved yet that this security system has to be a binary, all-or-nothing sort of deal. I think it's perfectly credible that Apple might have a multi-level tiered system of signatures.

    For example, there might be a free "public" signature that can be applied to any app for free, (or course, it would still contain the name and valid contact information for the person who compiled the app, so that any bugs or intentionally malicious acts can be attributed back to the responsible individual) but it would force the app to live in a smaller sandbox - no access to the microphone, or to the cellular radio, etc.

    Maybe it would force the app to be stored in an isolated filesystem with no access to private data belonging to other apps. Maybe the signature might optionally include some sort of "mutually trusted apps" list - and any two apps that have each other listed as mutually trustworthy would be able to share data with each other, but untrusted apps would not. That would impose a requirement of extra collaboration between developers of different apps, to make sure that they each list each other as trustworthy. But on the other hand, the extra collaboration would mean that that apps intended to share data with each other are more likely to be designed with standardized, less error-prone data exchange interfaces.

    Beyond the free public signature, Apple might offer a fee-based quality control service, in which an app is submitted to Apple for review, and if successful, it is granted a signature granting a higher level of access - like, access to Bluetooth, or permission to read from the address book.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    Apple's statement about the cost of software developed with the SDK being up to the developer appeared on the front page of MacRumors some months back. It was a comment from someone at Apple, IIRC. Sorry, but I don't know how to find this article again. Maybe somebody else does.

    I don't get this argument about "closed systems" and "never originally intended" to have software developed for it. Number one, the term "closed system" is essentially meaningless. It's obviously not a "closed system" by any useful definition of the term if software has already been developed for, it even without benefit of a developer's kit, which Apple is now releasing in any event. Number two, you have absolutely no way of knowing what Apple "intended" for this platform, but the evidence suggests that claiming that third-party software was never intended seems quite wrong.

    Again, it seems the dire predictions have more foundation in fear than fact.
     
  22. jbarr macrumors regular

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    #23
    Patrick Collison has an excellent application (for a jailbroken iPhone/iPod Touch) called Wikipedia.app. It is a 2GB file containing a compressed text dump of almost all of Wikipedia text content from October, 2007 along with a simple search application. You enter a search term or phrase, and it will return any found hits. Select any of the hits, and the corresponding Wikipedia article is displayed--ALL OFFLINE. It contains no images, some of the links are broken, and the app occasionally crashes, but seriously, I have yet to enter a search term for which I was not eventually able to get an article.
     
  23. TP-Eric macrumors member

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    #24
    That seems rather complex and strikes me as the sort of thing Apple wouldn't much want to deal with, much less develop. Anything is possible of course, I just can't really see The Steve going to the trouble. He's basing this digital signature system on Nokia's example, after all (though making it mandatory rather than just throwing a warning with unsigned apps) so he's probably going to want to stick to that model applying only whatever modifications are needed to ensure that apps can't wander outside the sandbox.



    I'll see if I can dig it up, but thanks for the heads up.

    Closed systems are those that weren't intended to allow public access for the purpose of writing and executing arbitrary code. Almost all DAPs and PMPs are closed systems; they were not designed to allow the public to access any part of the system's infrastructure to be able to design applications. That some can be hacked is a function of both the ingenuity of the hacking community and the vulnerability of those devices to hacking attempts; that doesn't make them any more open by design than they were originally, it just means that hackers were able to get in and make an opening.

    Apple's idea of third-party development was web apps. That was the extent to which they were willing to go to open the system to third party development -- which didn't really make the system any more open so much as simply offer support for Javascript and AJAX. Native development was still very much sealed off by design; the OS didn't even support it and had no intention of supporting it. (Evidence: Everything was run as root; there were no security measures or user structures in place to deny access to any part of the OS. This only appeared in the 1.1.3 update which switched everything over to run as user Mobile with limited privileges in preparation for the release of the SDK. The Steve may never have explicitly stated that an SDK was never planned, but it was strongly implicit in his statement that AJAX was how developers were to develop for the iPhone.)

    AJAX wasn't enough though -- and for good reason; it's slow and clumsy and very limited and you needed WiFi access to use any of the apps developed by this method. Developers wanted more; they wanted native apps. The continued interest in jailbreaking, which Steve is very aware of, is ample evidence of that. Apple's only logical response to that is to give the public what they want -- but with restrictions that protect the system against being compromised by poorly written or malicious applications. Hence, the SDK.
     
  24. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

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    #25
    Can you explain how this is possible? I've seen no such app where you can transfer music wirelessly... at least not directly to into the music player app.
     

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