Stupid Question 132: What is jailbreaking?
What is jailbreaking?
If you’ve been following me on Twitter the last few days you might have heard about the iPad incidence…
On Saturday I wanted to test some new iOS6 features and since I had iOS5 still installed on the iPad I had to update the OS. I did, and the iPad went black. Everything got wiped on the iPad. No worries I thought, I’ll do a restore to my iCloud backup. The iPad chose to overwrite the iCloud backup instead, wiping out my previous backups. Photostream was also cleared. I know I had done backups, and if I look at my iCloud account there are traces of files. I lost 3 months of work preparing for my TechDays sessions, pictures and videos from my sister’s wedding, contacts, calendar and notes. Apple support told me it was a common problem with the upgrade and they could not help me recover the files, they were gone forever. My first instinct was that nothing ever gets erased on a device, not until you write over it. I wanted to access the files but to do that I would have to jailbreak the device, but there is no way of doing that yet for iOS6.1, and you can’t go back to a previous iOS version. So it is what is is.
I’ve been up until 1 am everyday working to recoup the lost work. It sucks. But oh well, a question came out of all of this, what is jailbreaking?
Apple holds a good grip around their products, they want us to be safe – very safe. And as with every OS there is a layer of access rights, and of course a layer to protect their digital rights. These layers limits what you can do with the device, such as accessing files, features, functions and installing and communicating with different apps.
A Jailbreak gives you root access, which makes you the administrator of that system (giving you full rights at the top level of the chain). You become a superuser. When not jailbreaked the OS is in a jail (technical Linux term), and the only interaction between the two of you is whatever you can do between the bars.
A jailbreak allows you to do quite a few things, as in my case access the system so I try to recover the deleted files (but since I haven’t done that I have to say that I can’t say 100% sure that it would work- but in theory and based on experiences I have with MS products I should be able to). You can change the look and feel of the device, install apps not in the App store and so on.
If you have lost data from your iPhone or iPad and you have no backup (for whatever reasons) here are a few solutions you might want to try, but you would have to jailbreak your device first.
Last modified on 2013-01-21