Jailbreaking your iOS device has always been a pastime for tinkerers and users who want a little more from their iPhone or iPad, though the practice has fallen out of favour as of late. The process of unlocking your device never stays stagnant, however, so we're here to let you know how to jailbreak your device.
In short, you can't.
Image credit: Hamza Butt/Flickr
Current iOS version: iOS 10.3.3
iOS 10.3.3 is the latest stable version of Apple's mobile operating system. iOS 10 has proven a difficult beast for jailbreakers to take down. Thanks to faster software updates and additional security, Apple is making it harder for jailbreak programmers to gain access to the inner workings of iOS devices.
Should You Jailbreak Your Device?
You shouldn't try jailbreaking your device. I mean, you actually can't but you still shouldn't try.
It sucks, but it's true. The jailbreak community was once a thriving ecosystem of useful customisation apps and system-level modifications that added features desperately needed in iOS devices at the time. Visual modifications like the screen-dimming Night Shift mode and Wi-Fi tethering were once only available to tinkerers ready to potentially brick their device and risk it all for jailbroken apps like Flux and MyWi.
Congratulations, you've downloaded the iOS 11 beta! No doubt you've by now had your fun experimenting with Apple's latest operating system packed with new features like a QR code-friendly camera app, a customisable control centre, and a file manager app (named, unfortunately, Files).
Now, Apple's incorporated the best work of the jailbreak community into later versions of iOS, making jailbreaking your iOS device more trouble than it's worth. According to Motherboard, famous jailbreak programmers have since abandoned the jailbreak scene and have turned to other projects, with some choosing to work at Apple itself. Even the founder of the jailbreak App Store Cydia has given up on the practice, citing its potential to be used to hack phones for malicious purposes rather than add functionality.
Can You Jailbreak?
A functional jailbreak method for iOS 10.3.3 doesn't exist in the wild yet, and Apple has stopped allowing users to downgrade to lower OS versions susceptible to jailbreaking. Callum Jones of Can I Jailbreak, a site that tells you which iOS devices are jailbreak-ready, doesn't think a public utility will be released anytime soon. What's more, prominent jailbreak programmers like Luca Todesco have publicly stated jailbreaking is more trouble than it's worth. Todesco tweeted he was ending public research into iOS jailbreaking, so your chances of installing Cydia on your iOS device anytime soon are slim to none.
From the hacker's mouth:
Apple's release timing, (they're pushing iOS updates faster than they used to, with a heavier focus on security), and the complex nature of the jailbreaks means so much work is required.
Even Sites like iOS9Cydia and DownloadPangu claim to have current jailbreak tools, but according to Jones the sites "hijack common names or brands to hit high in search traffic by promising new jailbreaks." There are other factors that go into releasing a jailbreak as well, factors Apple is taking steps to make more difficult.
Since some jailbreak programmers solicit donations to support their work, "Timing is important to jailbreak developers to maximise the impact of their jailbreak," according to Jones. Faster updates and a focus on security have made the practice of hacking iOS more difficult, and the payoff just isn't worth it.