Once upon a time, jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad was really the only way for users to truly get the best experience out of their expensive devices. Fast-forward 10 years later, jailbreaking iOS devices feels almost like a distant memory. That memory might be fast fading too, as ModMy and ZodTTD/MacCiti shut down, leaving BigBoss as the last remaining major source of apps, themes, and files for jailbroken iPhones and iPads. This, in turn, could mark the slow decline and decay of the jailbreaking community.
Jailbroken devices naturally can’t get access to the Apple App Store so Cydia has become the stand-in app manager for these devices. Cydia itself, however, doesn’t provide many of the apps but instead relies on repositories to host those. The bigger the repository, the more trusted they are. Given how vulnerable jailbroken devices can be to malware, that trust becomes a very critical element.
With just one out of the three major Cydia repositories remaining, the feasibility of jailbreaking is now put into question. Mirroring the trend with rooting on the Android platform, jailbreaking has also slowly declined in interest and numbers over the past few iOS releases. For one, much of the reasons users had to jailbreak iPhones and iPads have been addressed in subsequent iOS releases. For another, each of those releases has made jailbreaking, which essentially involves finding and exploiting security holes, harder and more complicated than what it’s worth.
There are also legal and practical factors standing against jailbreaking. Unlike Android, which is open source, jailbreaking constitutes a violation of licensing agreements, which may be illegal in some nations. Even if it isn’t, it immediately voids the device’s warranty. With the increasing prices of devices, that becomes an even less appealing thought.