Hi Lifehacker, I'm a first-time jailbreaker and am wondering how I go about updating my iPhone software now that the new version has been released. Am I going to lose everything and have to reinstall it? Cause that sounds like a drag. Thanks, Blake
The path of the jailbreaker is often fraught with risk and annoyance. There's always a gap between when Apple updates iOS and when jailbreak developers can incorporate those new features into their own releases. How long that takes depends on how major the changes are. Sometimes it's within days; sometimes it takes longer.
Rest assured that most major jailbreak platforms will eventually update (or be supplanted by one that will), and that if you're patient a release will come out that should be able to be installed without too much drama. Whether or not you can use those updates sometimes depends in part on which device and firmware you have; Jailbreak Matrix is a useful tool to deal with that issue.
There are undoubted benefits to jailbreaking, even though it's become a less prominent choice since Apple started selling phones unlocked and some major feature omissions in iOS were dealt with. Once you've gone down the jailbreak path, you have three choices regarding updates. You can decide that you're happy with the version you've got and ignore any future updates. You can wait for your preferred jailbreak developer to come out with an update. Or you can oscillate between a jailbroken phone and an official one, which is time-consuming and riskier but keeps you on the cutting edge.
None of these choices is ideal. But regardless of which path you choose, you should always make sure your phone is fully backed up and synced before attempting any update, official or jailbreak.