[GUIDE] How To Take Care and Make the Most Out of Your Jailbreak: A Guide
Congratulations! You followed the guides, you watched the Youtube videos, and you waited patiently, and finally, you're jailbroken. For you and your iDevice, the possibilities are endless. Now some of you will know exactly what you want, and why you jailbroke--you've done this before. This guide is not for you. People who are novices, who are new iOS users missing functionality from another platform, who are trying new things, however, could probably use a helping hand. It's a deep swimming pool, and sometimes floaties or an intertube would be really helpful.
So I made a guide. A list. A "how do I?" and even an FAQ. As things come up in the forums, or from the PMs I receive, I will update this. This guide will not be about how to jailbreak; too many guides cover that already. This is about what comes next: what should you do? Is there anything special a jailbroken phone requires? What is a really bad idea? I will go over all of these in depth, but first, a small history lesson.
A Brief History of Why We Have Jailbreaks
When the first iPhone came out, there was no App Store. No backgrounds. Just a black slab with a black screen and the apps that came with it, and it sold millions. When Apple allowed users to use web apps--saving webpages to their homescreen that could run on their own--it provided the spark and APIs required for developers to consider making their own apps. Some of them flunked. Others, like Twitterrific, are still kicking tail. Many of the best features of iOS and the iPhone either started from a jailbreak tweak, or was "borrowed". Jailbreakers could download games, MMS, unlock their phones for other carriers, and even theme their phone. These are all integrated features now (not so much on the theming, but we can have custom backgrounds now), but at the time it was a big deal. To be honest, it still is.
Apple cannot please everyone. There will always be a feature missing from your phone, no matter the platform. Most of the time, you just have to compromise and find the best device that works for you without driving you mad. Or you could just jailbreak, which if you're reading this, you've probably done.
A Brief Summary of Common Terms
Sometimes, you may see lingo you're not familar with, and if it's not on the list, leave a comment and I will add it.
Absinthe---the iOS 5 jailbreak. You can find it here.
AP Tickets--A special SHSH required on iOS 5 and up.
Baseband--the firmware of your celluar modem. This matters if you want a software unlock.
Custom Firmware--iOS software that has been altered for a particular device, either with SHSH blobs or baseband mods.
Cydia--The Jailbreak App Store. Just like the regular one, you will get your stuff here.
Delta Firmware--Software designed for OTA (Over-The-Air) updates. Jailbreakers need to stay away from these.
Dev-team--The hackers and generally awesome people who developed redsn0w, pwnagetool and ultrasn0w. They've been around since the beginning and made the original jailbreak.
DFU Mode--For when something went really, really wrong. It will completely wipe the phone.
Evasi0n--the current, iOS 6 jailbreak. It's available at evasi0n iOS 6.x Jailbreak - official website of the evad3rs
Firmware--the software your phone is running, such as 6.1 or 5.0.1, etc.
iExplorer--Software for your pc/mac that allows you to view the filesystem of a connected and jailbroken iDevice.
iFaith--a special windows tool that specializes in making custom firmware. It's compatible through 6.1.3.
iFile--It's Finder for your iPhone. It's really helpful when you're trying to alter or fix things on your device.
iFunBox--It's another app like iExplorer.
IMEI Unlock--Paying someone to whitelist your phone so you can use other sim cards.
Jailbreak--the act of installing code to release the bootloader of an iDevice to modify its contents. This will void your warranty and could have legal repercussions in certain locales.
Limera1n--The 4.x jailbreak. Mostly out of use.
Mobile Subtrate--A major plugin that is required for almost all tweaks. It's the platform that supports all of your little hacks. It will also protect your device if there is a problem (see safe mode).
PwnDFU--A special DFU state required for downgrades and certain other restoring features.
Pwnagetool--The mac version of iFaith, only it came first. Hasn't been updated in a while.
Reboot--Holding the power button and home at the same time. Sometimes required after installing a tweak/app.
Recovery Mode--Similar to DFU mode, but does not inject the code as deep. Generally not recommended, as DFU mode is more useful, and sometimes required.
redsn0w--A really awesome app that saves SHSH, re-restores and all kinds of things. Also, jailbreaks. You can download it here.
Respring--Clearing the Springboard cache. Required after installing tweaks, theming, running certain apps.
Safe Mode--This disables mobile subtrate and all tweaks that it supports. Great for troubleshooting. In safe mode you can still get into Cydia and uninstall anything causing trouble.
SHSH--Apple's signature for the firmware you're running. Every time you restore, or update your phone, Apple approves and stamps it. The SHSH are the data blobs that make up that stamp. Saving them can allow you to spoof a firmware and trick the server. Mostly null and void for A5 devices and up, since you can't re-restore on them anyway.
TinyUmbrella--A pc/mac tool for manually saving SHSH. Download it here.
Ultrasn0w--The software hack that allows you to unlock your phone. Mostly out of use now.
Winterboard--The theming platform for iDevices
So Now that I Know What's Going On... Now What?
So now you know why you jailbreak. You understand all the little terms. Now we can get into the real meat of the guide--what the heck do I do now? It's a little overwhelming, I know, but most of us have a specific reason why we wanted to jailbreak in the first place. When I got my 3GS oh so long ago, all I wanted was a quick SMS reply. I had been using the Palm Pre, and got the 3GS as a birthday gift. I only looked into jailbreaking because I couldn't use the konomi code to side-load anymore. Luckily for me I discovered biteSMS and it all went uphill from there.
There is a lot to discuss, so I figured I would break this up into four, small, sections. What you can do, what you should do, what you can't do and what you really shouldn't do, because it's a bad idea. We'll start with the happy ones first.
Fun Things to Do With Your Jailbreak
- Theming-- My favorite thing to do is theme my devices. I like having cool, custom wallpapers and icons, and tinkering around in Photoshop. Luckily, a lot of themes are premade so all you have to do is download them from Cydia. Themes require Winterboard, which is free and made by the maintainer of Cydia, Saurik. Some themes are free; some are paid. There is also ThemeIT, a seperate theme store. It has to be added to Cydia so it can be downloaded. The themes there are awesome, but all paid. Here's some inspiration.
- Alter Device Behavior-- Maybe you hate the way the lockscreen works and you want a pattern. Or you want a pin so Find My Friends doesn't lock you out, but you don't want to put it in all the time (that one's me). When you're jailbroken, it's easy to fix these things. Most of the commonly known tweaks do this. biteSMS. Lockinfo. Springtomize. These all modify or add new behaviors to your iDevice. If you can think of it, it can probably be accomplished. Somehow. Here's a list of the community's favorite tweaks.
- Use Apps Apple Doesn't Want You to Have-- A lot of apps are infamous because they were rejected or removed by Apple, such as VLC, Grooveshark and every emulator that sneaks onto the app store. They currently all live in Cydia, just waiting for you to try them out (MobileVLC is awesome, just saying).
Things You Should Go Out of Your Way to Do
When you're jailbroken, there are some things you should be aware of, and do often. Most of these will be obvious, but I will go over them anyway.
- Back Up Your Device-- Please. Please do this. It doesn't matter if you use iTunes, iCloud, by hand or whatever. Just back up your stuff. Sync it with GMail. Or Exchange. Take screenshots. Just, do something. Because sometimes, things go wrong. You need to be prepared if that happens.
- Change Your SSH Password-- If you want to use SSH to access your device, please download MobileTerminal and change the default password from alpine. It's for your own safety, as you wouldn't want total strangers reading the files on your device. There is a tutorial here. Also, MobileTerminal is a nice app to have.
- Be Smart. Don't install five lockscreen tweaks unless you know they won't conflict. You cannot run forcast and lockinfo at the same time. DO NOT UNINSTALL BIG BOSS, MOBILE SUBTRATE* OR CYDIA INSTALLER. Most tweaks will say what they will or will not work with. Just read through, and if you're not sure, ask. We don't bite. Much.
What Can't I Do? I Thought I Had All The Power!
You do have a lot of power, fellow jailbreakers. You're just not a god. Here are some things you cannot, and I really, really mean cannot do:
- DO NOT ERASE ALL CONTENTS AND SETTINGS--For all of the cute, fuzzy animals in the world, please, do not do this. I see a lot of threads every day where some poor soul has and it always turns into a nightmare. When you jailbreak, you alter the basic core of the firmware. So if the phone tries to restore itself (which is what the erase is), and the files are different, it's not going to work. It leads to boot loops, restores, and possible loss of data. So just stay away. If you must kill the contents of your phone, just sync to a blank iTunes. That ought to do the trick.
- DO NOT DELETE THINGS*-- The iPhone has flash memory; it's not like a hard drive where you can bring things back. If you delete something, it's gone. So unless you're absolutely sure of what you're doing, don't go rooting around in your phone and killing things all willy-nilly. I promise you it will not end well.
- Get Service-- Jailbreak voids your warranty. You cannot take a jailbroken phone into Apple for service. If you absolutely have to, just restore it in iTunes (after making a backup of course). You'll be fine after that, and if you're lucky and your replacement device is jailbreakable, you can totally restore from backup and get back to where you were (with some help of course, but that's a different guide).
Things that I Know are a Bad Idea, but I Cannot Stop You
With absolute power comes absolute responsibility, and some people are just going to do bad things. While I cannot physically stop you, I can explain to you why they are really bad ideas.
- Piracy-- This is the big one. Not everyone does this, of course, but there are people who jailbreak just to get paid apps for free, or people who steal tweaks from Cydia. Please don't do this. Morals aside, if developers don't get paid, they won't work. That means no new apps, tweaks, updates, etc. The fact that people pirate is why developers put jailbreak-detecting software in their apps. TV companies love to do this (if this affects you, just install XCon. It'll fix it). Piracy gives us all a bad name, and most pirated apps are buggy from being cracked and don't even work right anyway. It's just not worth it.
- Mass Install Tweaks--Some people say it's OK. I say stay away. If you're installing thirty things at a time, can you really know exactly what you're putting on your phone? Probably not. It's much better to do them in small groups, or individually so you know everything is working correctly.
- Change System Files-- We all hate Tri-Tone. There are guides that will tell you have to change it, or images, or fonts, or anything. Just take them with a grain of salt, and back up the files before you rename/move/delete them. It's much easier to copy a file back than restore your phone.
In short--jailbreaking is awesome. Jailbreaking can make your device unique and make you very, very happy. It can also leave you restoring your phone at three in the morning because you deleted a font file (I never claimed to take my own advice...). Hopefully my experiences will help you, educate you but most of all prepare you for what you're getting into. I love my iPhone. I wouldn't change it for anything, and I would even run it stock.
I just don't want to, or want to have to. And neither should you.
*Sometimes you have to do this for troubleshooting, but unless someone tells you to, you probably shouldn't touch these.
Last edited by Laelipoo; 07-18-2013 at 09:50 PM.
- 05-02-2013, 12:26 PM #2
Re: (DRAFT) How to Take Care and Make the Most Out of Your Jailbreak: A Guide
Very well thought out and concise guide for sure. I am sure this will be very useful for what all of us hope to acomplish here. I don't see anything you left out even though i am leaving my phone stock....lol
- 05-03-2013, 11:37 AM #3
- 05-03-2013, 12:12 PM #4
- 05-05-2013, 06:19 PM #5
- 05-05-2013, 06:41 PM #6
- 05-06-2013, 05:15 AM #7
- 07-15-2013, 07:17 AM #8
- 07-18-2013, 09:06 PM #9iPhone Nanite
- 1 Posts
re: [GUIDE] How To Take Care and Make the Most Out of Your Jailbreak: A Guide
This might be the wrong place to put this comment up. I jailbroke my iPad 1 running ios 5.1.1 and i had some problems with it. I restored my ipad to try and clear all the jailbreak data out and it did not work. I deleted all my cydia tweaks and i deleted cydia itself. I plugged my ipad into my laptop and tried to jailbreak it again using redsn0w and it says it is already jailbroken. Can someone please tell me how to re jailbreak my ipad.
- 07-18-2013, 09:19 PM #10
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