iOS 9 -vs- the Jailbreak: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

On the eve of iOS 9 I’m posed with the choice of whether to forego my jailbreak and make the upgrade tomorrow, or keep running an older version of iOS (8.4).

The author’s current homescreen. Pretty, isn’t it?

A few years ago, keeping a jailbreak was a no-brainer. The community had beaten Apple to features such as WiFi iTunes syncing, widgets and background apps. If you didn’t like the old skeuomorphic design of iOS, you could skin it with a more modern looking interface. Put simply, you had a superior device with a jailbreak in place.

These days, Apple has caught up with the likes of their rivals in terms of iOS features, and there’s less of a compelling reason to jailbreak your device.

That said, there are a few Jailbreak features I enjoy, and being the customisation junkie that I am it’s going to be a little hard to give them up.

Jailbreak Tweaks
Some of my favourite tweaks.

Tweaks such as Activator, which allows you to create custom gestures to do things such as launch apps. Or, ColorBadges which allows you to customise the look of badge icons so they match the look of the app’s icon.

f.lux probably needs no introduction as it’s been a staple of the desktop for a while, although installing it under iOS requires a jailbreak. MiniPlayer is a small floating controller for your music app, which you can swipe off to the side when you don’t need it.

MiniPlayer in action.

OpenNotifier is probably my favourite jailbreak tweak of all, as it lets you add custom notification icons to your device’s top bar for things like messages and email, and ReachAll brings Reachability to older devices.

Finally, Springtomize 3 if the grandfather of all tweaks, allowing you to customise many areas of your iOS device’s interface.

At the end of the day, I’ve noticed a few stability issues with running tweaks like this, not to mention the general security risks of running a jailbroken device. As a result come tomorrow, I’ll give in to the temptation of all those new iOS 9 features by backing up my device and then firing up Cydia Impactor in order to restore my device back to it’s pre-Jailbroken state. Then I can make the leap up to iOS 9.


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