Is Jailbreaking Still Needed With iOS 8?


In the past few years both Google and Apple have aimed to bake as much functionality of 3rd party, unapproved software into their respective mobile operating systems. Not long ago Android required rooting to take screenshots or add native quick settings.

Almost every feature Apple has introduced in new versions of iOS first came from the jailbreak community, from the early days of video recording, multitasking, and MMS, to more recent additions such as 3rd party widgets, control center, other keyboards, and auto-updating apps. Additionally, iOS 8 focused on opening up default and 3rd party apps to be able to use specific services from others you’ve downloaded, such as using 1Password or Evernote in Safari, or editing a photo in the camera app with filters from another, allowing desktop-like extensibility not even found on Android.

iOS 8 extensions and widgets

Jailbreaking in the past has been both to extend the functionality of the device, and to customize the appearance. Apple’s default design standards took a leap forward with iOS 7 and many no longer feel the need to modify it. That said, there are loads of tweaks that could potentially improve your experience, and it’s likely they’ll continue influencing the future of iOS. 


Michael Simon of Gizmodo makes an argument that jailbreaking will always remain relevant

And so it goes. Apple has made it easier and more enticing than ever to develop for iOS, but there’s a reason why designers like Choukeir, Bach, and countless others are drawn to jailbreaking. In a word, freedom. While everyone was complaining about the crude, candy-colored icons in iOS 7 last year, jailbreakers were imagining new ones, whether it’s the flat long shadows of Zanilla or the sophistication of Elite 7.

“Opening a door for opportunities that would otherwise not be possible is what jailbreaking is,” Choukeir said. “And that’s what it always will be.”


Top 8 iOS 8 Tweaks (from Quinn of SnazzyLabs)
  • BioProtect – require fingerprint or passcode to access any certain app without locking your whole device. $3
  • ForceGoodFit – makes any application not yet optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6+ adjust to display properly, without pixelation. Free
  • BattSaver – Turns off all but the lower power EDGE antenna while your device is locked to provide better battery life. $4
  • F.lux – adjust your screens color temperature based on sunset and sunrise to grab back your natural circadian sleep rhythm in a world of constantly looking deeply into artificial light. Free (also available on Mac/Windows/Linux)
  • Springtomize 3 – change any aspect of your device’s appearance, including animations, carrier text, colors, and more.  $3
  • Activator – lets you make any action activate a non-default shortcut, including button presses, gestures, and more. Free
  • Lockspeed – call your favorite contacts from a swipe left on the lockscreen. $1.99
  • UntetheredHeySiri – use “Hey Siri” voice activation without being plugged in to a charger, like “Okay Google” on Nexus and Motorola devices. Free
Additional apps to consider from Cydia
  • SafeAlarm – Make alarm volume independent of device volume. Free
  • Upscale – Change the DPI of your device, allowing it to run like a larger model – even all the way from a 4″ iPhone 5 to a 9.7″ iPad. Free
  • iFile – completely open the Darwin file system up, allowing manual file management in a way only Android users are permitted to and desktop users are accustomed to. $4
  • NoSlowAnimations – Change Animation Speed. Free
  • Bytafont – change system fonts. Free
  • Flurry – increase or decrease transparency effects. Free
  • MyWi 8 – tethering that uses the data you pay for and ought to have the right to use, no extra carrier fees necessary. $20