Productivity

Ask LH: Should I Upgrade To iOS 6 And Lose My Jailbreak, Or Stick With iOS 5?

Dear Lifehacker, Now that iOS 6 is almost out, I’ve been wrestling between upgrading — and thus losing all of my jailbreak tweaks — or staying with iOS 5, and missing out on iOS 6′s new features. Which is better? Sincerely, Jealous Jailbreaker

Title image remixed from TerryM.

Dear JJ,

This is something we jailbreakers have to deal with every year, and the answer’s different for everyone. The biggest bummer is that once you upgrade, you can’t go back, and you never know how long the next jailbreak will take to come out. Here’s what I did to decide whether it was worth upgrading:

  1. Open up your phone, head into Cydia, and start listing out all the jailbreak tweaks you actually use. While you’re there, it might be a good idea to unisntall the ones you don’t use — that’s just good housekeeping. List out which ones you actually use and why. We’ll come back to this list in a second, so keep it on hand.
  2. Next, figure out what you’ll actually be getting in iOS 6. If you have an iPhone 4S, for example, you’ll be getting all of its awesome new features, but iPhone 4 users are getting a fraction of that. The iPhone 4 won’t have flyover, turn-by-turn navigation, Siri, or FaceTime over 3G. This chart at MacRumors breaks it down very nicely.
  3. Lastly, compare that jailbreak list with the list of what you’re getting in iOS 6. It should be pretty clear which path is the right choice. If your jailbreak tweaks are mostly getting iOS 6 features now, then you probably won’t miss them when you upgrade. However, if they’re conveniences you’ve come to rely on — like SBSettings — you may want to stick with the jailbreak.

At first, I was struggling with the same question, until I realised that my iPhone 4 wouldn’t be getting the main feature I was looking forward to (navigation) and that my jailbreak tweaks have all become pretty essential to my daily routine (NCSettings, PDANet, F.lux). I’m willing to give up Facebook integration and Passbook for the time being — especially when I can get a lot those features now. Of course, your conclusion may differ, so fire up Cydia and see what you’re dealing with!

Cheers
Lifehacker

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