10 Jailbreak Apps for Getting Work Done
Updated · Nov 23, 2015
A recent ruling on the legality of mobile device jailbreaking has cleared the way for productivity enhancing applications that Apple seeks to prevent.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibits circumventing technological measures put in place by Apple to prevent access to its iOS mobile operating system. But last month the Library of Congress added “portable all-purpose mobile computing devices” (and specifically Apple iPad tablets) as well as smart TVs to a list of devices that are exempt from the DMCA. Smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone are already exempt.
So with the legal barrier now out of the way, let’s look at why you may want to jailbreak your iOS device by connecting it to a PC or laptop and running a jailbreaking application such as PanGu.
If you are an IT administrator, developer or security professional, many iOS security and penetration testing tools will only run on a jailbroken device. A more general reason to jailbreak is so that you can install software that has not been approved by Apple and is not offered in Apple’s App Store.
This includes useful applications and operating system enhancements and tweaks that are offered either free or for sale in the Cydia app store, an alternative to the App Store that is automatically installed as part of the jailbreak process, as well as applications which can be downloaded from numerous websites. You can either install these using iTunes or side-load them directly onto a device with the help of a desktop application such as iFunbox.
Some of the applications and tweaks offered on Cydia bring genuine productivity gains to users to such an extent that many end up being imitated by Apple and introduced into iOS months or years after they were first available to jailbreakers.
Jailbreakers enjoyed a tweak available on Cydia that brought copy-and-paste functionality to iOS long before it was introduced by Apple in iOS 3.0. And an app that allowed users to turn their phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot so they could connect their tablet to the Internet was available for many months before Apple introduced its functionally similar Personal Hotspot feature.
It is important, however, to understand that jailbreaking your iOS device makes it less secure, because doing so undermines some of the security measures such as sandboxing that Apple has baked in to the operating system kernel.
If you do jailbreak your device, though, these 10 apps are worth considering.
Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.