Talk of jailbreaking being a thing of the past is undoubtedly premature, but things are far from rosy in the community. There is a chink of good news here, though, because while the loss of those big repositories has hit theme makers hard, BigBoss is now going to accept them alongside the tweaks that have made it so popular.
With the popular theme repositories shuttered, theme makers were initially left out in the cold with nowhere to submit their wares. Now, thanks to an update by Optimo, the maintainer of BigBoss, we know that themes are going to be accepted by that particular repository. Keen to weigh in on the current state of jailbreaking, Optimo also took to Reddit to explain the situation with repositories as we stand today and also comment on where jailbreaking may be going in these uncertain times. What is clear right now is that nobody should be concerned about tweaks and themes that were part of the repositories that were killed off recently – they’re all safe and sound.
What about all those hosted packages?
Through some organized efforts, saurik has archived the entirety of those repos and their packages and will be serving them indefinitely for all cydia users. For most users this change that’s happened wont even be noticed – in fact it happened already over a week ago. You will continue to have access to any purchases made there too, and you will be able to purchase any archived item.
While that is obviously good news, Optimo had less optimism when it comes to jailbreaking as a whole, and while the message is far from one of defeat, it is clear the community is hurting right now.
Is jailbreaking dying?
These are some really uncertain times. The promise of a next season seems far away, but there’s always some inkling of hope. Frankly, I see the signs pointing downwards, and to be honest I’ve been advising developers and makers to seriously think about taking their skills and making them portable, possibly leading into the next big hobby or line of profession. There are some transferable skills from tweak making and theme making, of course. Given what we know about the trends now it would seem foolish to not consider an outlook that is for some their worst-fears. It’s not as bad as all that, so let’s not panic just yet. Repos have been archived and all still going just as before, in a lot of respects.
Cydia creator Saurik at the first JailbreakCon (WWJC) in 2011
Jailbreaking faces an uncertain future, and with creators of jailbreaks themselves becoming more likely to sell new-found exploits than release them as free jailbreaks, things are definitely changing across the community as a whole.