iOS 5 has still yet to get an untethered jailbreak, and unfortunately, a tethered jailbreak is kind of a bummer. Although iPhone hackers are making progress, it still may be awhile before an official untethered jailbreak is available. In the meantime, here’s how we’re coping without it.
Jailbreak apps added a lot of lacking functionality to iOS 4, but since iOS 5’s release, many of our must-have jailbreak features were integrated into iOS by default. The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system provides a notification drawer, lock screen alerts, cloud backup and a number of other features that almost make jailbreaking pointless — almost. There are, however, still some things you can’t do on a jailed iDevice, but here are a few ways you can tide yourself over while you wait.
Share Your iPhone’s Data Connection
For a very short time, the App Store carried iTether, a tethering app you could install without jailbreaking (for a one-time price of $US15). If you jumped on that app when we posted it, it works like a charm. Unfortunately it was quickly pulled, and there’s no other subscription-free means of tethering your device without jailbreaking.
While you might be adamantly opposed to paying your carrier more money to use a data connection they’re already charging you for, you might want to suck it up and just do it if tethering is really important to you. If you remember that you’ll only be coughing up your hard-earned dollars for a few months until an untethered jailbreak is available, it’s not so bad. Just be sure that you’ll be able to remove it from your plan in a few months when you won’t need it anymore.
Alternatively, you can start making use of free Wi-Fi a little more often. Grab an app like Wi-Fi Finder from the iTunes App Store so you can easily locate free internet access wherever you go. It might not be as nice as flicking a switch and borrowing your phone’s data plan, but at least the connection will be more reliable and a little bit faster.
Customise Your Home Screen
Utilise Text Expansion
In iOS 5, however, text expansion is built in. Apple just failed to mention it, perhaps thinking it wasn’t that big of a deal. Now you can set up specific typing shortcuts with any triggers you want. It’s almost identical to Xpandr’s functionality, making the jailbreak utility pretty much irrelevant.
Play Retro Video Games
Square Enix has found a new home for Final Fantasy I, II and III, as well as Secret of Mana and (most recently) Chrono Trigger. Although this is a tiny selection when compared to the vast catalogue available when emulating, it should be enough to keep you distracted until an untethered iOS 5 jailbreak is available.
There’s Always The (Semi)Tethered Jailbreak
The upside, however, is that you’ll still be able to boot your device into a special state where some apps will work and some won’t. For example, none of your jailbreak apps will work until you do a tethered boot with your computer. A few of your standard apps won’t work either (e.g. Safari). You will be able to send emails and make phone calls, however, which is really the more important functionality. If you’re desperate for a jailbreak, this is currently your best option. If you’re not sure, check out our pro and cons of (semi)tethered jailbreaking.