Unlike Google, not every company wants users to hack and manipulate their operating system seven ways to Sunday. Look at Sony for example. They weren't exactly keen on Geohot turning their PlayStation 3 into a playground for hackers. They took action and, after some time, put an abrupt end to Geohot's fun with a lawsuit and a restraining order. Apple is another company notorious for falling on this side of the fence.

Much to Apple's dismay, the Library of Congress made an exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and deemed jailbreaking of iOS devices legal as of last July. This was mainly a precautionary move to prevent you from being sued by Apple if you jailbroke your device. Since then, Apple has made it very clear to users that jailbreaking will void your warranty and they will not have your back if something happens to your device in the act or afterwards.

Apple has made this all a little more serious though, by asking for the government's help in their fight against jailbreaking. I completely understand a company having rights and wanting to protect them. Apple's software is copyrighted and for hackers to manipulate and tweak software to achieve a new end product is – as Apple calls it – copyright infringement. To be more specific, Apple's claim is:

“Current jailbreak technologies now in widespread use utilize unauthorized modifications to the copyrighted bootloader and operating system, resulting in the infringement of the copyrights in those programs.”

Even so, jailbreaking gives devices a serious leg-up in functionality over non-jailbroken devices. Some of the developers who offer their tweaks and mods in Cydia – a known breeding ground for pirated apps and limitless customization options – have some brilliant ideas that take the platform far beyond its stock abilities. They even offer ways to correct the faults that Apple has chosen to ignore. In reality, this is something that Apple should embrace.

Take a minute to look at MobileNotifier. Notifications on iOS are horrible. They are obtrusive, annoying, and always in the way. They also leave loose ends. If you get a text message and close the pop-up, the notification gets swallowed. With the help of MobileNotifier, the notification system on iOS can be what it should have been nearly four years ago. Rather than popping up right in the middle of whatever you are doing, MobileNotifier pops-up at the top of the screen. Tapping the notification will spawn a drop-down box that will allow you to open the notification or dismiss it for dealing with later. To view a dismissed notification, double press the home key like you would to switch applications. In what would normally be blank space, MobileNotifier caches your unattended notifications.

We do know that Apple plans to improve their current notification system in the next iteration of iOS. This is something that may be introduced as soon as tomorrow, but it doesn't change the fact that this horrible implementation has been left cooking for nearly four years. MobileNotifier is just one example. Within Cydia and the countless repositories, there are thousands of tweaks and mods that you can use to make your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch more functional and perform better. That said, there are also many that are poorly coded and will take a chunk out of your precious battery life.

One of Apple's biggest beefs with Cydia is the endless list of pirated or "cracked" software available. Something that might cost you $10 in Apple's App Store may be available to you completely gratis by way of Cydia. I can only imagine the emails Apple receives daily from developers. Something should definitely be done about the piracy going down. However, the harmless tweaks and mods that can be found add a bit of excitement to a platform that would otherwise be drab and boring.

With a serious competitor like Android, having customization options to those who dare is vital. I know of many people that wouldn't think of buying an iPhone or iPad if they couldn't jailbreak it. Apple needs Cydia as much as Cydia needs Apple. If they put an end to jailbreaking and shut down Cydia, Apple will likely feel the pain of hundreds of thousands of user; possibly by those users jumping ship to another platform. (Not Mac-heads, of course.)

Is your iOS device jailbroken? Do you install themes, tweaks, and other software from Cydia? Would you own an iOS device if you couldn't jailbreak it?

Don't forget to VOTE! Each week, PhoneDog Fans vote for their #1 smartphone in the Official Smartphone Rankings. Vote now and contribute to the industry's most relevant weekly ranking charts

Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Apple iPhone 4 16GB Black

Related posts

Comments & discussions  

54 Reactions to this post

"Should Apple embrace Cydia and jailbreaking?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Eric Kroh
Eric Kroh no one should embrace unlocking something which makes it more prone to being hacked into....but if one wishes then they should make it easily available
Albert Tavarez
Albert Tavarez I think that the only reason the average consumer would jailbreak the iPhone would be to unlock the phone. Since the iPhone isn't exclusive apple should unlock the phone after your AT&T contract is over.
David Gabriel Peck
David Gabriel Peck If they don't they will be left behind
Abdullah Al-Hulaibah
Abdullah Al-Hulaibah Yes all the way!!!
Ahmed Jamal Ibraihimi
Ahmed Jamal Ibraihimi Why fear abt warranty, if any thng goes wrong while jailbreaking or after jailbreaking then simply restore the device using iTunes, restore removes any trace of jailbreak frm the phn.....
Ahmed Jamal Ibraihimi
Ahmed Jamal Ibraihimi Hell yes........ Jailbreaking is sooo coool, if thr was no jailbreaking available I wud hav accept the argument of android fanboys that android is better than ios...... But jailbreaking makes ios sooo much better, Apple shud thnk abt it as jailbreak is reason many people gets attracted to iPhone, bcoz they knw they can use their iPhone in more better ways than stock iPhone, and they knw that they wll also be able to remove all restrictions imposed by apple on iPhone......jailbreak rocks....
Rockne Newell
Rockne Newell I have a Iphone 3Gs and I waited to buy it till there was a Jailbreak for it I like it, it is a good phone But I am a hacker & will not support a phone that can not be Hacked!
Brandon Worley
Brandon Worley Sure why not...if u want to void the warranty on a perfectly good device go ahead...and hope u don't kill the phone and then expect the manufacturer to replace something that u took upon urself to reformat because u are obviously much more able then the fleet of engineers & Developers that originally put the thing together... roll the dice
Sam Rick
Sam Rick I would say who gives a crap!
David Waghmare
David Waghmare Never in a million years will it ever happen
Hardeep Bajwa
Hardeep Bajwa Keep dreaming
Henry Harden
Henry Harden Hell ya
Michael Mcdaniel
Michael Mcdaniel What a bunch of losers if u don't lime the iPhone operating system then don't buy an iPhone look at it this way android is alot like Microsoft they make a platform for any phone that wants to support it so when u have problems it's hard to pin point the operating system so they can fix it with apple there's one operating system so when u call for a problem it's fixed in a matter of minutes not days or hours and u don't have to send it off now that is the way a business should be ran with great easy customer service
Ted Qiaohua Hu
Ted Qiaohua Hu As long as I can jailbreak I'm happay
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz Who care about ios
David Cervantez
David Cervantez I love my iPhone 4 at least now that is jailbroken for more than 4 mos!!! Awesome idevice now!!!
Matt Weber
Matt Weber They should. Doesn't mean they will
Adelmo Vasquez
Adelmo Vasquez Hell ya plus anyone know of any good video themes for iphone 4 msg me pls thanks
Thea Koeuth
Thea Koeuth anyone know the theme they had in the picture?
James Brian Carrera
James Brian Carrera Yes
Christopher Manic Johnson
Christopher Manic Johnson They need to. The hacker community can seriously help Apple counter anything out of Android's camp. Even Microsoft is embracing the hacker community for WP7..
Matt Cain
Matt Cain When I've seen videos of jailbroken iPhones, people had given themselves the features they wanted. When an iOS update would come around, that feature would be there (folders, multitasking.) I think Apple is paying attention to the jailbreaking community, but I think they want to roll out certain features when they want to instead of when we need them to.
Tim Gruber
Tim Gruber yeah but don't count on it for at least a century
Allan Monteclaro
Allan Monteclaro Yes time to upgrade...
Francisco Salgado
Francisco Salgado No
Artefacto Misántropo
Artefacto Misántropo A HUE-VO
Douglas J Kmiotek
Douglas J Kmiotek Yes!!!
Nat Rice
Nat Rice yes thats a retorical question !!!!!
Eric Shayna
Eric Shayna Cydia is amazing! You can do so much more! Even if most of the things in Cydia are illegal!
Shawn Sanchot-Wilson
Shawn Sanchot-Wilson Yes set it free
Lorenz Angelo Barcelona
Lorenz Angelo Barcelona Yes, stock iOS SUCKS
John Cruz
John Cruz Apple isn't good anymore android is better
Felicia Wylie
Felicia Wylie Yesss
Michael Nestor
Michael Nestor Definitely because hacker gonna hack them regardless...
Zach Ross
Zach Ross Yeah they should. Might come close to how legit android os is
Maurice Hall
Maurice Hall Apple should embrace open source...
Michael Higginbotham
Michael Higginbotham apple would be a trendsetter once again if they just would accept cydia and its tweaks i've have friends that had jailbroken phones that operated better than my phone (which is not jailbroken-don't wanna void that warranty lol). What is there to be scared of really? i mean if they would just work with teh developers within cydia and have their official team help make their "illegal" apps even better and more functional
Stefan Chapman
Stefan Chapman Yup
Troy Schwenk
Troy Schwenk Yeahhhhh
Erick Contreras
Erick Contreras Yes, there are many great tweaks available in cydia that make iOS even better. Apple should work with these developers to help improve the overall experience of iOS.
Johny Alvarez
Johny Alvarez Why? If they don't a hacker would find a way to get it on. Why would apple allow there users access to something that lets their phone be customized?! It breaks what apple is know for haha.
Alec Williams
Alec Williams No, Jail Breaking is BEAST. Apple needs to let people do with thier electronics as they wish. I mean after all, we fork out the money for thier easily breakable iPods an iPhones. An on top of that.. People are smarter than what they think. I mean they "addressed" it before an more an more poeple developed Jail break software.
Brian Zumbach
Brian Zumbach The only apple I've ever had was a granny Smith so I can't decide lol
Jerry Adney
Jerry Adney Nah. As much as I can't stand their model, it has a legit audience. They make the whole widget and their whole market is people who want stability and predictability even at the expense of flexibility. Google just makes the OS so they don't particularly care if you port it to various devices. Maybe your phone carrier or manufacturer would prefer to lock you into something or bundle software or restrict you for various reasons but thankfully the base OS itself is open so with the time and skill, any dev can customize it to run on your phone in whatever form they are able. There is a place for very open solutions and very closed ones. As long as I have options that suit me I can't really bring myself to worry too much about companies like Apple.
Cameron Tanner
Cameron Tanner It would save people so much trouble and it is a love hate thing
Israel Leiva
Israel Leiva Apple should embrace death. Android is here to stay.
Terry Starkey
Terry Starkey I love my iPhone the way it is, but hell yes they should!
Martin Vispo
Martin Vispo Hel yeah.
Brian Zumbach
Brian Zumbach Apple should just give me a free ipad so I can see what apple is like
Christopher DeLong
Christopher DeLong Damn straight they should!!
Dat Boy Named Dannee
Dat Boy Named Dannee HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
Jessica Stinson
Jessica Stinson First comment!!
Joaquin Oreta
Joaquin Oreta Yes
Jessica Stinson
Jessica Stinson Yes!!!!!?

Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos

Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions

This weeks "People's Choice Rankings" best smartphones
People's Choice Rankings

See all hot devices