Over a decade after the first iPhone was released, jailbreaking is alive and well, but for how long? Earlier this week, the ZodTTD/MacCiti jailbreak repository was closed down and now we have another to mourn, with the ModMyi (now called ModMy) repository having also been archived.
ModMy recommends that developers looking to host their tweaks should do so via the BigBoss repository, leaving that repo as the only major player remaining.
The loss of two of the big three jailbreak tweak repositories within a few days of each other is perhaps something that has been on the cards for a while now. With interest in jailbreaking still around but with the lack of public jailbreak releases, the potential upsides of running a popular repository are simply not enough to keep the likes of ModMyi or MacCiti around.
While jailbreak tweaks continue to be released, many of the most popular ones over the years have now been made redundant thanks to Apple’s continuing effort to build iOS into the best mobile operating system around. With more power-user features such as multitasking and the like having been added natively over the years, the only real reason users jailbreak nowadays is for heavy interface customization.
Recently, in an interview with Motherboard, Cydia creator Jay Freeman spoke of the decline in jailbreaking thanks mainly to the lack of any real need to following enhancements to iOS.
“What do you get in the end?” he asks. “It used to be that you got killer features that almost were the reason you owned the phone. And now you get a small minor modification.”
“That turns into, like, a death spiral, where when you get fewer people bothering to jailbreak you get fewer developers targeting interesting things, which means there’s less reasons for people to jailbreak,” he added. “Which means there’s fewer people jailbreaking, which causes there to be less developers bothering to target it. And then you slowly die.”
And as mentioned earlier, the free public jailbreaks themselves have begun to dry up as well, with those capable of hacking iOS devices from the ground up now choosing to accept big bug bounties (including from Apple) or sell exploits rather than release them to the public as free jailbreaks. There’s also the fact that people can now simply sideload apps not allowed on the App Store without having to jailbreak the device. Previously this wasn’t possible and incited many to jailbreak.
Earlier this month, KeenLab demonstrated an iPhone X jailbreak, based on the latest version of iOS, but they are likely to sell off the exploits rather than release them as part of a public jailbreak.
It’s certainly a sad day for the world of jailbreaking. But we have no doubt that a public jailbreak for iOS 11 can certainly turn things around. Lets keep our fingers crossed!