Ask Lifehacker: How Often Do I Have To Jailbreak?

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

Hi 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.

Cheers Lifehacker


    Maybe Lifehacker readers can help me out, I've got a jailbroken iPhone 3GS on 3.1.3, but lately the phone has hard crashed a few times and it takes minutes to boot and I'm thinking of going to iOS 4+. A few apps like Google goggles also require iOS 4.

    My main concerns are
    - the multitasking, jailbroken iOS 3.1.3 implements true multitasking; apps stay fully running in the background. iOS 4+ uses a sort of shady strategy where apps are allowed to finish up and put in a suspend state, eg things like video can't buffer in the background. Does anyone that went to iOS 4 miss the true multitasking?

    - is there a way to upgrade and keep my apps with without iTunes removing them before I have the chance to jailbreak again?

    - with a 3GS is it even worth upgrading full stop?

    "Am I going to lose everything and have to reinstall it? "

    I'm assuming that this wasn't answered because the answer is yes? I'm in the same boat, just JB'ed for the first time for iOS 4.1. No idea what happens to my Cydia apps if I goto 4.2.

      Noticed that myself. I've had success with in the past and intend to use it when I upgrade to 4.2.

      If you grab 'AptBackup' which is free from Cydia and run it before syncing with iTunes it'll backup all your Cydia apps.

      Then you can upgrade to the newest iOS, re-jail break and re-run AptBack up and be pretty much back as you were.

    If you have too many apps/tweaks, you can do a restore, and start anew. This makes you think "Is this app really needed?" when you are installing an app, and it can cut down on your long list of useless apps you don't even use.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now