What is Jailbreaking?

What is “jailbreaking” you ask? What does it mean? Why is it called that?

Jailbreaking is the term used by owners of iPhones and iPads when they want to use more features of the device than Apple will allow. If you have an “Android” device, the term is “rooting” because you are being given “root” access to the device.

People in the computer press often describe Apple products as a “walled garden.” Imagine a beautiful walled garden filled with all the things you could desire; happy people, fun parties, all the desirable things you might find in say, a Hollywood stars mansion or a luxurious spa resort.

But, some people feel that this beautiful garden is nothing but a prison.
A prison that gives everything a person could want, except freedom. These people feel as though they are in “jail”.

So they break out of jail; they perform a “jailbreak”. They find ways to get around the restrictions that Apple (the jail warden) has put on them.

Like in the real world, breaking out of Apples’ “jail” carries consequences. You could cause your iDevice to stop functioning, a condition called “bricking”; because your shiny device is now nothing more useful than a brick. Or, Apple could sneakily re-capture you and put you back “in jail.”

One consequence that no longer applies is going to real-world prison. Yes, thats right; until last year, you could have gone to real jail because of un-jailing your phone.

So, now you know. Any questions?