The Great Jailbreak

I’m going to break out of jail. Well – not literally of jail, and not me, my phone. If you don’t know what that means, I’m not surprised.

Phone manufacturers often lock out certain features on phones. Even phone companies will change features and operating systems. I once had a little motorola flip phone from Verizon.

The same phone from Cingular came with a data cable and software so you could add your own pictures and ringtones, and even copy pictures to your computer. Verizon? Nope, they locked you out, so you would have to pay to make custom ringtones and send your pictures via email. By modifying the phone you “broke it out of jail”…freed it to do what the phone is capable of doing.
My wife had a Verizon KRzr. It drove me Krazy. It was so locked down with that horrid “vcast” music and video playing software it was useless. Terrible phone.

The iPhone is no different where locked software goes. Apple locks out certain things. Locking down the system helps them maintain a certain level of reliability, and keeps them from having to troubleshoot things idiots screw up. Essentially the Apple Operating System sits on a Linux core. It’s a computer. Easily modified, provided you can get to the guts.


One of the most fun (although useless) reasons to jailbreak the iPhone is to change the ugly icons – to personalize it . Apple prefers you to keep its icons, after all they want their phone easily recognized. I like different themes, icons and sounds. My windows PC in 1994 would accept personal icons and sounds, why not my phone?

Another reason to jailbreak? Tethering. While the phone had the ability to let you connect a laptop to it, and use it as an Internet connection, AT&T didn’t allow it. Now they want you to pay $20 a month for the privilege. What? Pay to unlock a feature the phone already has? That makes no sense. Of course, I found that tethering was kind of a pain the few times I tried. I’ll stick to my iPad, but if it’s something you want to use, there it is.

There are a ton of third party apps, written for the iPhone that aren’t in the apple store- for whatever reason. These unapproved apps let you use Bluetooth keyboards long before apple got around to it. Other applications included better wi-fi signal finders, which Apple dropped from their store for some reason. True innovators come from all walks of life, not just inside approved corporate offices.

Apple tries to stop it. Congress finally stepped in and said, “the phones are the customer’s property, jail breaking is not a crime”. Finally, our government did something right.

I broke my last phone out of jail. It’s time I try again. Its fun to mess with. This should be interesting.
I think I have my old Borg (star trek) theme around somewhere.

I know, I know, the Droid fanbois probably are saying “why don’t you just buy a droid?”. I started with the originator, not the imitator. But the real reason? I bought all these iPhone apps – I’m not starting over with Droid until I have to.
Switching horses in midstream can get expensive.


Author: theosus1

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