Every time Apple releases a new version of its mobile operating system, there is a race between hackers to see who can be the first to jailbreak the software.
Invariably it’s Pangu, the Chinese team of hackers, that come in first, and they have maintained that reputation again by cracking iOS 9 before anyone else.
Pangu has jailbroken several versions of iOS 9, freeing up the latest iPads and iPhones to a world of external developers beyond the realm of the official App storer, report Motherboard.
Apple releases continuous minor updates to iOS platforms, fixing bugs and glitches, and this jailbreak applies to versions through to 9.0.2.
Pangu announced the jailbreak through their Twitter account, tweeting, “We are very excited to announce the release of Pangu 9, the first untethered jailbreak tool for iOS 9.”
For anyone who is unfamiliar with jailbreaking, the term refers to the hacking of Apple’s software, which allows developers to unlock restrictions that the company builds into the code of the operating system.
Apple is especially strict when it comes to their mobile operating system in that it limits users to only those apps approved for the App store.
The jailbreak allows extensive access to an array of functions and settings that are impossible to modify within the standard iOS framework.
A jailbreak offers greater flexibility with the capabilities of a device and also the aesthetic presentation of software — you can change the design of icons through Winterboard, drastically alter themes and customize fonts to the point where you would not even recognize it as an iPhone.
Apple has introduced a greater degree of customizable options within the standard iOS in an attempt to deter users from jailbreaking, but they are still very limited by comparison.
Although there are undoubtedly some great advantages to the jailbreak, one inescapable drawback is that hacking your Apple device will void your warranty and any AppleCare plan you have.
Because the jailbreak for iOS 9 has only just been released, a lot of the apps and tweaks available will likely not have been updated to be compatible yet.
Also, because the jailbreak is only for versions through to 9.0.2., if you have updated your iPhone or iPad to 9.1, the jailbreak will not work — users would have to downgrade to the previous versions to successfully jailbreak their device.
There is usually a short window of time within which it is possible to do this. In another move to deter users from opting for a jailbreak, Apple over recent years has stopped signing off previous versions of software very quickly.
If you need to downgrade, for example, from iOS 9.1 to iOS 9.0.2, Apple will still have to authenticate this through iTunes, and this requires authentication by their servers — known as signing off.
Within a matter of days or weeks, versions prior to 9.0.2. will no longer be available, and the opportunity to jailbreak will be gone. Until, of course, Pangu inevitably releases a jailbreak for 9.1.
The Pangu jailbreak is also only available if you are using Windows, report Popular Science. It usually takes Pangu a little bit longer to release the Mac OSX jailbreak, so if you are using an iMac or MacBook you won’t be able to jailbreak.
A way around this is to install Windows on your Mac, or run a virtualization program. This will connect you to an online server running Windows and you can jailbreak via that method. This way you don’t have to install another operating system on your Mac.
[Image via Pangu]