The Jailbreaking process of the iPhone has always been a cat-and-mouse game between Apple and hacker/developers. Apple releases a new operating system and iPhone, hackers comb the code to find a hole and build a program to quickly jailbreak devices, and within weeks or months Apple has a new release out with the exploited bugs patched.
Jailbreaking used to be a daunting task for the average user. It once involved all kinds of connections, coding, and such, and a mistake meant your phone became a nice paperweight, A.K.A a “brick”, and you’d need to pay hundreds for a new phone. Current jailbreaks are far safer, easy to undo, and literally can be done in one click for certain devices. The process has changed dramatically for the end user, but the people that put out jailbreaks are still in for a challenge.
Well this time Apple made it hard… Code is always going to have bugs, just as anything with millions and millions of characters in another language will, but Apple really secured the code for iOS 6 tightly against breaches. Apple is bitter about the jailbreaking, and at one point tried to make it illegal, only to find out that by law it was completely legal. Experts report that Apple has assembled an entire team of engineers dedicated to operational security in the OS which constantly combs through the code looking for ways to hack into it themselves, so that they can patch it and prevent others from downing the same.
History has shown that this team is doing a pretty good job of shutting the crafty jailbreakers down, and has made significant progress. iOS 4 in 2010, was jailbroken one day after it was released to developers, and about a month before it was even distributed to the public. For the release of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 there were some improvements, but it still took developers only two months from the time of release, October to December, to find a security bug, exploit it, test it, build it into a more consumable piece of data for the average jailbreaker (13 to 25 year olds), and release it. Now, 4 months after the release of the iPhone 5, and iOS 6, we’re still possibly weeks away from a public release.
Some insiders estimate a release on super bowl sunday, but others expect it to take longer. Part of the reason for the delay is that by the time jailbreaking devs found a proper opening, they knew iOS 6.1, a minor release, was just around the corner, and as expected, when it came yesterday one of their planned bugs was patched.
Never fear though. Most of their progress still stands, and developer @planetbeing who has been working on jailbreak teams for a while reported on Twitter a few days ago “Tons of progress the last few days. I think the future is looking bright for jailbreaking”. So if you’re looking to jailbreak your device, you will be able to soon, but current trends mean your next Apple device will probably take a while longer.
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