iPhone – Jailbreaking and problems

It’s customary these days to spend time with your family and friends, preparing for New Year’s Eve and the various festivities. Me? I have spend about two whole days now, trying to upgrade my iPhone. How funny can that be?!?!?

Let me give you some background details to understand my frustration and the reasons behind this blog entry.

About three years ago, I purchased my first iPhone. And since then, I’ve been perfectly happy with the various iPhones I got (original, 3G, 3GS and finally iPhone 4). The only times I cursed my luck (and my lack of common sense) is when I upgrade my phones to the new iOS versions.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Apple has made sure that the upgrade process is painless, easy and quick. The problems start, if like me, you want to jailbreak your iPhone. For the uninitiated, the term “jailbreak” refers to the action of changing your iPhone software, so that it can do more things than Apple allows you. There is a whole community out there, of people who try to bypass Apple’s code and allow the rest of us to enhance our phones with additional functionality. The jailbreakers exploit various bugs in every new release of Apple iOS software (the software that makes your iPhone work) and create ways to unlock the phone so you can add programs in addition to those found in Apple’s App Store.

From the moment you enter the jailbreaking trap, you can never look back. You are hooked to the charms of these additional programs, which admittedly make your iPhone so much more useful. However, jailbreaking is NOT without cost. Take for example my latest two days of banging my head on the wall, trying to make my iPhone 4 work again, using the latest iOS that Apple has released.

Three days ago, I had my iPhone right where I wanted. It was running iOS 4.3.3 and I had installed all the applications I wanted from Apple’s store and from the jailbreak community. It was working just fine and I was a happy camper. Then I read on the internet that the jailbreakers had finally released the tools to jailbreak the latest release of iOS 5.0.1! And of course, like an idiot, I upgraded my phone to the latest Apple release and jailbroke it. I had of course backed up everything, using a special tool that exists in the market, and all I had to do (I thought) was to restore my backup and be up and running.

Guess again John! No luck! As soon as I restored my backup, nothing was working as before. It took me two whole days to figure out why: several programs that were working just fine under iOS 4.3.3 didn’t work under iOS 5.0.1. Why? Search me, probably because Apple has changed something significant in the latest release and the programmers who wrote those programs haven’t bothered to update them for the newest iOS.

The worst part is, that Apple doesn’t allow you to go back to a previous version of their iOS, once you have installed a later version on your phone. So once you installed the latest version, you’re doomed.

Right now, I am working to do just that. Go back to the previous version, because I can’t stand my phone the way it is today.

So for all of you, new iPhone owners out there, before jailbreaking your iPhone, please understand what you are getting into. Either be prepared to spend countless hours trying to make your phone work as it used to do, or once you have your phone in a condition you like, don’t bother to upgrade. Stay there and avoid the frustration. Better yet, forget all about jailbreaking and use only software, that comes from Apple. Your  phone may not be doing fancy things like the phones of your friends, but at least you won’t have to spend hours figuring out how to bring your phone back to the condition you liked.

As for me, wish me luck in downgrading to the previous iOS release, I do not care for the new one, all I want is to have my phone as it was three days ago.



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