Public 7.1 Jailbreak Looks Unlikely

The jailbreak developer iH8sn0w has confirmed that his iPhone 4s running 7.1 is currently jailbroken, but he doesn’t “have any intentions of working on a 7.1/8 jb atm.”

News of the private jailbreaks from win0cm and iH8sn0w had generated some speculation that there might be a public 7.1 jb, but iH8sn0w’s recent comments make this very unlikely. This also comes on the heels of pod2g’s open remarks that the evad3rs are not actively working on a 7.1 jailbreak, but will likely focus their efforts on iOS 8.

Private jailbreaks are not uncommon, especially when the jailbreak involves either copyrighted code or NDAs, or if the jailbreak doesn’t meet the standards that would be required for a public release. A lot of work goes into creating a jb tool that works consistently across all devices and is simple enough for public use.

 

With 500 Million iPhones Sold and a Brutal Ongoing Patent War, Engineer Waxes Nostalgic About Birth of the Iconic Device

In 2004, Scott Forstall walked into Greg Christie’s office, quietly closed the door, and asked if he wanted to work on a top-secret project codenamed “purple.”

The concept was visionary: integrate a phone with a music player, and make it all operate with a touch screen. It would become one of Apple’s most revolutionary products, and it would have an immense, enduring impact not only on the mobile device market, but on the way we live.

Greg Christie is a senior software engineer who joined Apple in 1996 to work on the ill-fated Newton. He was working on the Macintosh when he joined the “purple” project.

Under Jobs’ direct supervision, Christie’s team was instructed to completely rethink every interaction, every feature, every experience associated with the phone. They devised concepts for swiping to unlock the device, placing calls from an address book, threading text messages, and operating a music player from a touch screen.

The project was entirely clandestine. Meetings were held in secret rooms where even the cleaning people weren’t allowed. Employees working from home were ordered to work in secluded rooms and to encrypt any digital images of the device.

After several months of bi-monthly presentations to Jobs, Christie finally gave one that impressed him, and the next day they were asked to repeat the presentation for Bill Campbell, and a few days later, for Jony Ive. Then came a “two and half year marathon” to obsess over every detail. Then, in June 2007, the first iPhone went on sale — and now, seven years later, the 500 millionth has just been sold.

Geeksn0w: A 7.1 Jailbreak, With Caveats

The new Geeksn0w jailbreak tool finally offers a jailbreak option for iOS 7.1. However, there are a couple of major caveats. First, this is only a tethered jailbreak, meaning the device has to be connected to your computer every time you reboot. Second, the jailbreak only works for A4 devices, like the iPhone 4.

Geeksn0w was released by Black Geek Tutorial (blackgeektuto).

Winocm Demos Untethered Jailbreak for 7.1, Likely Only for A4 Devices

Winocm has posted a video demonstrating an untethered jailbreak for iOS 7.1, running on what appears to be an iPhone 4 or 4s.

It’s not clear yet if the jailbreak will work for newer devices, or when/if the jailbreak will be made available. As many commenters have pointed out, the demo also does not show Cydia installed on the device.

Older devices like the iPhone 4 are easier to jailbreak, so exploits that work on the iPhone 4 may not work on the newer devices.

No matter what device you have, at this point, you should definitely still avoid updating to 7.1 if you want to keep your jailbreak.

 

It Most Definitely Is Not the End of an Era

Because that “era” of jailbreaking you’re referring to has been over for quite a while.

A bunch of articles / tweets lately have been talking about how we’ve reached “the end of an era” with jailbreaking. I blame Antony Leather’s article in Forbes for starting it. Cf also Zach Epstein’s “The End of the Jailbreak Era.”

 

 

 

This is pure bullshit. The days when you could expect a quick turnaround on a jailbreak were over well before even iOS 6 was released. Maybe you’ve forgotten how long it took to get evasi0n7? This is the new pace of jailbreaking, and we’re par for the course — better get used to it. Even Leather’s article — despite its ratings-driven hyperbolic title — seems to recognize that this long and now-familiar cycle between Apple release and jailbreak release will continue.

Of course, this end of days cry is far from new. Last year, Joshua Logan claimed iOS 7 would end jailbreaking. Jailbreak Nation thought the end was nigh when comex went to Apple.

Jailbreaking has been tough for a while now. It’s certainly not getting any easier, but it didn’t just start to get tough all of a sudden. The last few jailbreaks have relied on a string of multiple exploits, and they’ve required such an intimate knowledge of the code that only a handful of people could have possibly put them together.

Jailbreaking isn’t dead yet — the evad3rs just announced they’re going to be working on iOS8. We’ll continue to see jailbreaks, but they’ll continue to be slow-coming.

Now, when planetbeing finally calls it quits — then we can start talking end times.

Keeping Your Jailbreak Now that 7.1 is Out

With the release of 7.1, there’s a danger now that if something goes wrong on your jailbroken device, you may need to restore it — and since Apple will not allow you to restore to anything other than 7.1, that would mean losing your jailbreak.

Given the heightened risk, there are a few safe practices you can employ to avoid the possibility of needing to restore:

1. Avoid installing new apps or tweaks. If you must, check for information on how the tweak/app has performed for others first.

2. Get rid of any apps / tweaks you aren’t using to limit the risk of incompatibilities.

3. Don’t go messing around with your file system.

 

Fortunately, even if you do wind up with a bad tweak, there are a few services available that may help you avoid a restore:

  • iLEX R.A.T. This service essentially allows you to remove all of your existing Cydia tweaks / apps, returning your device back to the way it was when it was first jailbroken, with just Cydia installed.
  • Semi-Restore. This service similarly allows you to “restore” your device to whatever your current OS is. Note that this tool is currently available for Windows only and requires OpenSSH.

Apple Credits Evad3rs for Security Patches in 7.1

In a security document on Apple’s support site, Apple credits the evad3rs as the “source” for a number of security issues that were fixed in iOS 7.1. i0n1c (Stefan Esser) is also credited.

This kind of credit (/taunting) is not unprecedented for Apple. They have listed the evad3rs before, as well as the iPhone Jailbreak Dream Team.

Of course, the security issues credited to the evad3rs were key pieces of the evasion7 jailbreak. With these patches, evasion7 will not work — so if you want to keep your jailbreak in tact, you shouldn’t upgrade to 7.1.