Hey Lifehacker, I have a bit of a problem. I am running iOS 5.0.1 jailbroken on a old beast of a 3GS. I really want to update to iOS 6 but how can I keep all my contacts and mail accounts? Thanks, Phone Panicker
Image: Richard, enjoy my life!
Jailbreaking is always a risky procedure, inasmuch as it's not what the device was built for; that's not meant to read as a condemnation of jailbreaking -- it's your device, do with it what you want -- but where it contrasts with what the software (and in Apple's case, hardware) manufacturer offers, there's no warranty on everything working.
Upgrading to iOS 6 will almost certainly involve a factory restore of your 3GS if it's a jailbroken device. That shouldn't stop you from using a utility such as iFunBox or similar to back up your mail and contacts, presuming that iTunes doesn't restore those regardless, especially if you were only using the stock mail and contacts apps to begin with.
There's a side area to consider here; while the 3GS will run iOS 6, you don't get all of the new features of the OS; I'd carefully consider whether whatever you're getting out of jailbreaking is worth losing for the sake of a limited iOS upgrade, especially as iOS 6 jailbreaking is still in its infancy. Then again, while I regularly use Apple's iDevices, I rather quickly tired of the jailbreak arms race, so perhaps other Lifehacker readers will have a different point of view?
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