The iOS 6 jailbreak front has looked bleak of late, as anyone who checks the news daily for updates on the iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5 and other non-jailbroken devices knows, the last 2 months have been painfully silent..
As a result of the long silence and the seeming loss of key players such as former Chronic Dev-Team member Cyril, aka @pod2g, from the scene, many are beginning to fear an iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5, 4S, iPad Mini and other non-jailbroken devices may never come about and that perhaps Apple has finally squelched the innovation, leaving the Devs defeated.
In the last month, and particularly this week, we have, however, seen @pod2g resurface on Twitter. First, informing us of a DJ contest for WWJD, and then yesterday, letting us know about some work he has been focused on recently and his status on the iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5.
In a tweet to his followers yesterday this is what @Pod2G has to say:
Today I submitted my first application to the AppStore. Really happy with this. Not sure how long it'll take for the Apple reviewing team...
— pod2g (@pod2g) January 1, 2013
While it’s interesting to discover a world renown iOS jailbreaker / hacker like pod2g, who has been instrumental in more than one jailbreak in the past, is expanding his territory into the app-making business, still this was’t exactly the news most of his followers were looking for. Take this in conjunction with @Musclenerd’s recent interest in Wii hacking, and many may feel perhaps a jailbreak for iOS 6 is nothing more than wishful thinking and that an untethered iOS 6 jailbreak for iPhone 5 is just a dream.
However, when asked pointedly if he will return to the iOS 6 jailbreak front, @pod2g did give Twitter followers the answer they were hoping for:
With this bit of good news many within the jailbreak community felt their hopes were restored, that the New Year was looking brighter and perhaps they could hold out a bit longer for an iOS 6, 6.01 or 6.1 untethered jailbreak for their iPhone 5, 4S, iPad mini or other iOS 6 device.
Despite this beam of hope, it still seemed the odds were against us all as the last several days we’ve heard plenty of negativity ringing through the jailbreak community with the death of “Hackulous” server for imfamous piracy app vendor Installous, and the rising of two alternatives to take its place, allowing individuals to pirate apps regardless of their jailbreak status. Indeed the death of” Hackulous” makes quite an interesting point of discussion with jailbreakers as some would say, without piracy, the community is but few.
In the words of Stefan Esser,
So hackulous is dead. Best news of the week. So 95% less people that require jailbreaks. — Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) December 30, 2012
Still, there are plenty within the community who support the Developers’ true intention for jailbreaking iOS devices—to give consumers the power to control the devices they own--to modify and “tweak” them to their hearts desire with the tools provided by developers on Cydia. Indeed, for a very long time we have known that though @pod2g and other developers enjoy the challenge of hacking iOS devices, they fervently believe Apple should find a compromise in which customization and security can meet.
In the HITB panel discussion in Malaysia @pod2g , @MuscleNerd, @planetbeing discussed the progress made this far on an iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5, 4S and other non-jailbroken devices, but in one section particularly, @pod2g and @MuscleNerd call on Apple to relinquish some control to users of their devices.
In the words of MuscleNerd, the best way for Apple to kill jailbreaking would be by “offering all the same freedom you get with jailbreaking...there are some things they will never be able to do because of security…but one policy way of doing it is to continue to offer more and more flexibility”
This rings true as indeed we have seen Apple make changes to its system which seem to cater to the wishes of consumers who jailbreak for customization. Adding to this @pod2g had this to say in the panel discussion about Apple’s drive toward such extreme security measures:
“With every iOS version the security is reinforced more and more but…I don’t see the point in fact of Apple trying to secure iOS in a way that we can’t execute tweaks on the system…I’m sure they could find something that could serve to secure their business with the App Store, but letting people do tweaks on the operating system. I’m sure they can find something. And this is my message to Apple: Please open your system!”
Well today, it appeared @pod2g once again was looking to drive a message home to Apple, but this time in the form of a Call to Action and a trending Twitter hashtag--#weWantAnOpeniOS The call began early this morning for those of us in the USA, as around 4:45 AM EST @pod2g tweeted this message:
Hopes: the fact that there's no jailbreak for the iPhone 5 may push Apple to open a little more their OS for tweaks and mods. — pod2g (@pod2g) January 3, 2013
For those who were awake instantly a discussion emerged.
As one Russian hacker, @NTarakanov replied
“haha! It's not gonna happen!”
To which @pod2g answered back with,
“I really have the feeling it will happen. Not sure why”.
From that time forward, the long time iOS hacker and exploit finder responsible for key pieces of the most recent iOS 5x jailbreaks, continued tweeting in this strain leading to his call to action for Apple.
"I have already some geek friends of mine leaving iOS for Android. Reason: closeness of the system...Prediction: 2013 will be the year of the openness of iOS."
To this Stefan Esser had something to add which bears some heeding:
"The amount of people that do Jailbreaks for Tweaks instead of Piracy is so small that Apple will not be hurt at all from them going away. When those that JB for piracy die out due to lack of JB it will result in a measurable (but still not alarming) impact on Apple sales. Also considering that those that want to pirate stuff will not buy iPhones anymore, the Apple platform gets even more attractive for Devs.There have been about HALF A BILLION iDevices sold. few millions of that that are actually jailbroken should be in the 1 digit percent area."
At this point, @pod2g chimed back in reestablishing the message he was bringing:
"1% doesn't mean others don't want tweaks and customization. They just don't know how, or fear to jailbreak.'"
To which Esser replied,
"Others DO want these things, but they buy iDevices anyway, because it is Apple.'"
This may be partially true of course, but I think that with the coming of the iPhone 5S we will truly see where Apple fans’ loyalty lies. I have always been a fanboy myself, and will continue to be, but with the death of Steve Jobs, I believe even us hard-core fanboys must admit, the innovation of Apple is on the slump. With market hungry competitors like Samsung beefing up devices and working on innovative methods of their own, Apple could see itself losing customers who want to have their cake and eat it too.
It seems that I am not the only one who feels this way, as pod2g and other notable hackers such as @mdowd also commented to this affect:
As the conversation moved forward, we saw many reaffirming the things @pod2g was saying about those who are truly in the jailbreak community for the right reasons. To customize their devices and support legintimae developers on Cydia through purchase of tweaks and themes on iOS. At this point, @pod2g issued an epic call to action for Apple and introduced a worldwide trending hashtag #weWantAnOpeiOS:
"If you agree that iOS needs more openness, why don't we make #weWantAnOpenIOS trend on twitter! That would be our answer to Apple!"
He then followed up with these tweets:
"Faith: iOS 7 will allow tweaks and mods. #weWantAnOpenIOS"
"I am maybe naive, but #weWantAnOpenIOS !"
It didn’t take long for the jailbreak community to respond, and in just about an hour, the hashtag #weWantAnOpeniOS began trending worldwide, causing even some who doubted that @pod2g could achieve this dream to turn their heads.
Prior to the trend I had spoken to JailreakCon founder Craig Fox, asking for his commentary. Here is what he had to offer:
“I agree with Cyril that it would be an amazing moment if Apple stood up and opened up iOS and allowed us the freedom to do what we want to our expensive devices. Do I think it will happen? I highly doubt it, but I live in hope like Cyril. I guess it would be great for Apple to listen to us, but in fairness we are such a small portion of their sales that we won’t be heard, so I thank you and hopefully other blogs for allowing us to be heard”
Moments after the tag started trending worldwide, this was what he posted on Twitter:
"I think what has happened this morning shows the power @pod2g and ALL of us have on social media, maybe Apple will listen, if they don’t then its us that needs to open up iOS. We are the only ones that can. #WWJC"
Of course all this talk of getting Apple to open its system or extend its SDK had many believing that this was just a way for @pod2g and other developers to admit defeat and let everyone know an iOS 6, 6.0.1 or 6.1 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5 will probably never be a reality.
Even amongst his peers, @pod2g found himself receiving patronizing speeches and a slight bit of heckling.
For example, when seeing pod2g’s campaign, @nitoTV was quick to chime in with tidbit, but the reply from pod2g issued yet more hope for an upcoming jailbreak:
In reading these tweets I think it's obvious that @pod2g is still interested in continuing with a iOS 6, 6.01, or 6.1 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5, $S, iPad Mini and other non-jailbroken devices, but at the same time, his vision extends much further. It is a vision to find a solution rather than bandaging the immediate problem—a problem that only grows larger as iOS security increases.
When asking him about why he was doing what he is doing, pod2g said,
“I just want Apple to change their direction a little. Let people theme and mod their device if they want…”
Later on Twitter @pod2g went on further to explain his vision like this.
He’s not requesting that Apple allow “unsigned code" nor "open source", but rather that,
“They allow tweaks by extending the SDK…. [Apple] continues to lock down iOS more for security reasons. The flaws used by jailbreak have to be closed. They do it right. They also want to close piracy, and this is great for app developers. A lot of users jailbreak for tweaks and mods, by it opens the door to piracy at the same time. The only way to introduce safe tweaks and mods is to review them, and have a dedicated SDK…A switch to allow unsigned code would be great, but I doubt Apple will go this way.”
Pod2g has agreed to speak with me tomorrow in more detail about his future plans, including his iOS 6 untethered jailbreak work and beyond. Once we have spoken, you can expect I will be submitting a new post.
In addition, I alluded to another possible newbie to the iOS 6 jailbreak scene in my last article, and that information will be coming your way soon--do not give up hope on the iOS 6 jailbreak yet. The winds of change may be coming my friends.
In the meantime, however, if this discussion about opening up Apple’s system interests you in the slightest, @pod2g would be happy to see more join the cause.
Craig Fox was good enough to get a “twittiion” or petition started, which you can visit at this link to sign it. At this point it bears over 2,000 signatures in counting but still far more are needed if an impact is to be made.
If you are a Twitter user, or willing to become one, we are planning to get #weWantAnOpeniOS trending again tomorrow at 10am and 10pm EST. If you are willing, during one of these times, tweet a message using this hashtag -- #weWantAnOpeniOS to help @pod2g’s message reach Apple through another worldwide trend.
At this point in time a forum and website are being developed which will provide more information about this Call to Action. As more information becomes available, I will be posting updates. You may follow @weWantAnOpeniOS in twitter to learn when the website goes up.
In the meantime, feel free to share ideas in the comment section below.
As a closing note, there was a lot of excitement today, yet some have said my enthusiasm is misplaced, and will be fruitless. Admittedly they could be right. However, it is from crazy ideas such as this that great things are often born. All it takes is a spark-- lit and cared for-- and before you know it, it grows and grows.
Is it crazy and naive to believe we could garner the attention of Apple or make a change to its enterprise? Emphatically yes! But my question to you is this: What do we have to lose?
In the words of a well-known Apple commercial,
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
If nothing more, at least it could offer some diversion while we wait for an iOS 6, 6.0.1, or 6.1 untethered jailbreak for iPhone 5, 4S, iPad Mini and other non-jailbroken devices to emerge.
As always, stay patient, stay hopeful. I think 2013 will bring some light.
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