#ProTip: The upside to jailbreaking your iPhone

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Jay "saurik" Freeman, maker of Cydia, says there are legit reasons to jailbreak your iPhone.
Jay "saurik" Freeman, maker of Cydia, says there are legit reasons to jailbreak your iPhone.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac is at WWDC and AltConf, fishing for ProTips. The world’s biggest gathering of Apple developers is a rich hunting ground filled with alpha geeks, experts par excellence. What’s a ProTip? A ProTip is a nugget of knowledge, a little bit of expertise from someone in the know — a pro.

SAN FRANCISCO — Has Apple ever contacted you? This is one of two questions gray-hat hacker Jay “saurik” Freeman gets asked all the time. It happens so often, he has thought about putting it on a T-shirt.

“I have been contacted by Apple twice — once about a job and the other time a 50-page response to request sent to the copyright office,” he told Cult of Mac after his AltConf presentation on copyright in the digital era.

Jailbreak superstar Comex is working on a Cydia alternative

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Photo: Cult of Mac
Photo: Cult of Mac

Since the very earliest days of jailbreaking, Cydia has been the go-to source for jailbreak-specific tweaks and apps. What makes tweaks work is the Cydia Substrate, low-level software written by Cydia founder Saurik that lets third-party programmers hook into the iOS operating system in ways not endorsed by Apple. But Cydia Substrate is closed-source, which makes it harder for alternative jailbreak stores to compete with Cydia.

That could soon change, though. Jailbreak superstar Comex — the developer of JailbreakMe, and a former programmer at Apple — is working on an alternative to Cydia Substrate.

iOS 8 jailbreak finally ‘stable enough’ to use

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An iOS 8 jailbreak tweak that replicates the Apple Watch UI on the iPhone. Kinda cool, but not much more than a parlor trick. Photo: Jeff Benjamin
An iOS 8 jailbreak tweak that replicates the Apple Watch UI on the iPhone.. Photo: Jeff Benjamin

iOS 8 has been technically jailbroken since October 22, but it’s taken weeks to get it polished enough for Cydia, the jailbreak alternative to the App Store.

Now that things are “stable enough,” Cydia creator Jay Freeman has flipped the switch to start allowing the sale of iOS 8 tweaks and themes.

iOS 8.1 blocks ‘date trick’ loophole that allows emulators on iPhone and iPad

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Playing Pokemon on iPhone 6 Plus using GBA4iOS. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Playing Pokemon on iPhone 6 Plus using GBA4iOS. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A neat trick that allows old console emulators and other unapproved apps to be installed on iOS devices without jailbreaking is set to be wiped out with iOS 8.1. Apple has finally taken action against the “date trick” many users have long been taking advantage of, and it’s going to make playing your favorite SNES and Game Boy games much harder.