Defining Jailbreak and Cydia – Pros and Cons

Ever since Apple became very popular with it’s products and especially it’s mobile devices we keep hearing the term “jailbreak”. People say that they’ve done it, some others are willing to do it and some others don’t want to do it. And then there’s that bit of people who has no idea what jailbreak is.

Well in very very simple terms, performing a jailbreak is when you give your device the ability to think out of the box. How is that even possible? Apple uses some strict restrictions on all their devices blocking all third party applications. Jailbreaking your device will set it free allowing for tweak installation as you can alter the device’s root settings.  As soon as you gain access to the root you open a whole new world of possibilities. Applications, extensions, themes and tweaks can be installed on your device which are not available on the regular App Store.

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So we can already see some pretty good reasons for you to jailbreak your device. Hold on we haven’t finished yet. Jailbreaking seems to be a really nice idea, but we have to know the cautions before we decide whether to proceed or not. Despite all the benefits you get there are a plenty of dangers hiding behind the whole process.

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Let’s start with the advantages and we will see the disadvantages later. Jailbreaking nowadays became so easy to get done, almost everyone can do it. All you need is your computer, the required software and your device. All it takes is a little dedication and basic computer knowledge. There are thousands of applications that you can get for free instead of buying them from App Store. That’s probably the number one reason someone would jailbreak his device. In addition you can get a ton of other apps which are not available on the official App Store either because they are “illegal” or they can alter the way other apps work (tweaks). And the best part? Jailbreaking is fully reversible which means that you can undo the whole process in case you don’t like the way your phone works after you’ve jailbroken it.

Everything seems to be perfect till we mention the downsides. Unfortunately there are plenty of them, however from my own personal experience no downside is that bad to stop you from jailbreaking your device. The benefits are greater than the cautions. Anyway here are the most important disadvantages.

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First of all, by jailbreaking your device you’re automatically voiding your device’s warranty and that’s something you don’t want to do especially if you are not an experienced iOS user. Moreover as jailbreak gains access to the root files it’s almost guaranteed that you are going to get a lot of bugs out of it. People who develop jailbreak tools are programmers (people) not machines therefore the appearance of bugs it’s very common. Some people may experience lag issues after jailbreaking however that usually happens to the older devices. Another downside is that once you jailbreak your device you can’t update it. If you do so, the jailbreak will be gone. So if you want to be jailbroken you have to stick on your current firmware for a while or till a jailbreak is released for the next firmware. And last but not least… Bricking. While you’re attempting to jailbreak your device there’s an extremely high risk of “bricking” it as you might do something wrong due to the lack of computer knowledge.


Now that we have clarified what jailbreaking is it’s about time to explain what Cydia is. Cydia is an application that you get by jailbreaking your device which allows you to search, download and install different software from online repositories (Cydia Store). Those software can only be installed on jailbroken devices.

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You can think of it as the gateway. Through Cydia you can get all the different extensions, tweaks and applications I have mentioned above. As I said many times the possibilities are endless you can customize your phone to your own liking with no more restrictions and limitations. Cydia is free, however some of the offered packages require a fee to download. Don’t worry though most of it are available for free.

Bottom Line:

Jailbreaking your device isn’t much of a big deal. If you want to do it and you don’t mind voiding your warranty (which it might has expired already) then you should proceed. In case you don’t like it you just can restore or update your device and the jailbreak is gone. As an iphone user for the past seven years I would recommend jailbreaking. I’ve always been using a jailbroken device and I never had to face any massive bugs or lagging. If you know what you are doing then you should be fine. And the fact that you cannot update it’s not a big deal and even if you update by mistake there’s gonna be a new jailbreak released for the specific firmware in the near future.


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