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Me, iDevices and jailbreaking

The term "jailbreaking" refers to the process of circumventing the security features found in Apple mobile devices in order to get access to the entire filesystem, which, among other things, allows for the installation of applications that are not allowed in the App Store.

If you are unfamiliar with the term “jailbreaking”, please read the corresponding Wikipedia article.


It all started in winter 2009. Apple had just unveiled the third generation iPod Touch. I got my first iPod Touch that christmas and loved it from day one. It was the cheapes model available at the time, but the 8 GB of storage were enough for me back then. I did jailbreak my iPod, but only for a few tweaks such as Activator (gesture-based actions) and SBSettings (quick settings toggles).
Some time later, around June 2010, iOS 4 dropped. It brought some amazing new features to iOS, most importantly: multitasking. However, after installing the update, I was shocked to find out that my iPod was actually a second-generation iPod Touch (see last paragraph here), which did not support multitasking.


Jailbreaking claimed to be the solution to my problem, as there were numerous applications (“tweaks”) available that would enable the missing feature. However, none of them really worked. In the end, I think I even stopped using “Backgrounder” and made the most out of what I had. This involved themes (icon packs), changing my home screen wallpaper, status bar and much much more.


After lots of complaining and nagging, I was finally allowed to get the newly released iPod Touch 4 with 32 GB. Problems like sluggishness, missing features and storage space disappeared, but the jailbreak stayed. I just couldn’t give up on all the great enhancements it brought to iOS. iFile (basically Finder for iPhone), Activator and SBSettings, plus some themes, to name a few. The jailbreak tools at the time were redsnow, Absinthe and evasi0n.


After being frustrated with my 4th Gen iPod because it was lagging  behind the new one pretty badly, I somehow managed to convince the majority in parliament (parents) of my need for a new device. I had to buy it all myself, so I held off with the purchase until Black Friday (23.11.12). Please have a good laugh at my unboxing video from that date (text and video in German as it’s on my old blog). I jailbroke it using evasion and later on evasion7. The major new jailbreak apps that I tried at that time were Auxo, Springtomize and Bochs, the latter being a virtual machine software for iPhone!


My dad and my grandparents got me an iPad Mini with Retina Display for my exchange to Australia. I originally wanted 32 gigs, but my dad said “if you pay the extra 100€”, so that was that and we got the 16 GB WiFi-only model. The trip to Australia also came with a travel credit card, which finally enabled me to pay for apps and tweaks in Cydia! Combine that with the iPad and you’ve got some major new tweaks I tried, like “OS Experience”, a window manager for iPad.


As my iPod and my dumb phone were both falling apart, there was only one logical next step: buying an iPhone! After doing two summer jobs, I was finally able to afford a used iPhone 5S. You’re thinking, “that’s so cheap”, but that’s not true.
1. I waited until after the iPhone 6 was released because the price for the 5S would drop significantly after that. Of course I tried the 6 in store, but it’s way to big for my small hands.
2. I didn’t go for 16 GB, but 32 GB and the phone I got was in perfect condition with a brand new screen. Plus, it came with a dock and was a great deal (450€).
3. Because of the great deal, I had enough “summer job money” left to upgrade my iPad Mini to 32 GB (by getting a new one and selling the old one) without touching my savings.

The iPhone 5S has Cellular (obviously) and TouchID, which allowed me to use even more tweaks than before. The most notable one here is probably “VirtualHome”.


You can find a running list of all the awesome tweaks that I have installed on my devices >here<. The list will be updated on a regular basis. The list is currently not up to date because my iPhone is not jailbroken at the moment. Sorry about that.

Please contribute your own device history, jailbreak goodies and everything else down in the comments and feel free to share this post with the world. Please do also catch up with me on Twitter, as I hang out there most of the time.