If you go on any technical forum about phones you’ll likely stumble across the term “jailbreaking”. But what is it and why do enthusiasts and developers talk about it so much?
In this guide we’ll explain everything you need to know about jailbreaking, including why it’s really not a good idea unless you have a clear reason to do it and know what you’re doing.
What is jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is a process that allows users to run third-party apps or even install custom software on their iOS device. It’s similar to rooting and has become quite popular among Android users in recent years.
What is the difference between jailbreaking and rooting?
Jailbreaking and rooting are often used interchangeably, but there is a key difference between the two. When we talk about rooting an Android phone, we’re talking about gaining access to the core Android operating system. The reason for this is that rooted phones are still controlled by the manufacturer, whereas jailbreaking an iOS device is purely about allowing users to install apps from outside the App Store.
Rooting and jailbreaking are both methods to improve the functionality of a phone or tablet. Rooting allows users to gain access to the “root” level of Android or iOS. This means that you have access to the “root” level of the operating system. This allows you to access and control features that the manufacturer otherwise controls.
But there are also side effects to the practice.
Disadvantages of jailbreaking a phone
Rooting or jailbreaking can make your smartphone less secure and vulnerable to hacking as you are circumventing the device’s inbuilt protections and potentially using stores that don’t check their wares for malware as effectively.
There have been numerous incidents where malicious apps have targeted jailbroken devices to siphon data or spread dangerous software, like ransomware.
It may also become difficult to install updates in the future or completely brick your device as the software you’re installing may not be optimised to work with the operating system or device.
This is why we don’t recommend regular phone users jailbreak their device.