Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why I Might Jailbreak My iPad

Despite recommendations from friends and colleagues, I've never seriously considered jailbreaking my iPhone.  I don't use a landline for work so my iPhone is my only voice communication tool.  Why would I risk disabling it just so I could multitask or run a few apps Apple doesn't want to sell?  It's just not worth it.

On the other hand, jailbreaking my iPad sounds very appealing to me.  Why?  First of all, I'm going with the wifi-only model.  No 3G for me.  I already pay AT&T too much every month for data service for my iPhone and the family plan my wife and kids are on.  More importantly, if jailbreaking my iPad means I could tether it to my iPhone and tap into my existing data plan, well, how could I resist!  My iPad won't be as critical a work device for me as my iPhone and enabling 3G access for it without having to pay an additional monthly fee sounds like a great idea.

Yes, I know jailbreaking my iPad means I'll void the warranty.  But after repairing my daughter's iPhone screen awhile back I'm much more confident fixing Apple's devices on my own.  And since we're still a week away from the iPad's release it's hard to say whether the jailbreaking process will be easy or hard.  I can't wait to find out though!

P.S. - I'm hoping nobody at Apple is reading posts like this...  Wouldn't it be ironic if my iPad is the only one that doesn't show up at the Apple Store next Saturday?

P.P.S. -- I couldn't resist the opportunity to embed the cover image of one of the greatest albums by one of my all-time favorite bands: Jailbreak, by Thin Lizzy!


  1. Hi Joe. I'm confused as to how jailbreaking your iPad would help you here. The iPad you ordered only has the hardware to connect to WiFi, and I don't see how jailbreaking it would change that.

    On the other hand, if you jailbroke your *iPhone* and set up tethering, that would presumably let you connect your iPad (or your notebook, or any other WiFi device) through it. But it wouldn't require jailbreaking the iPad (or other device) at all.

    Or am I missing something?


  2. Hi Raja99. The assumption I'm making is that the jailbreak process will enable me to make my iPhone look like a wifi connection when tethered to the iPad. You've probably heard of how other smartphones can be tethered to a laptop, enabling the laptop to go online through the smartphone. That's the same model I'm hoping I'll be able to apply to a jailbroken iPad.

  3. Joe, I think you're a bit confused. In order to tether your iPad to your iPhone, you have to jailbreak the IPhone, not the iPad. There's nothing to jailbreak on the iPad since WiFi is not tied to a carrier.

  4. Richard: The iPad and iPhone both have Bluetooth. Apple has stated that they will not allow the iPad to connect to the iPhone's net connection over Bluetooth.

    The options are: jailbreak both, connect via bluetooth, pay nothing; or, jailbreak ipad, connect to iphone, pay AT&T for tethering plan (assuming they offer that).

  5. From someone who has previously jail-broken their iPhone, there is nothing permanent about the process. In other words, it's completely reversible. I've heard stories of 'bricked' iPhones if something goes wrong, but never heard or seen this first-hand. Quite frankly, jail-breaking the iPhone was the best thing I could have done (I've since moved on to the Nexus One). Multi-tasking Pandora, Skype, and the ability to use Skype out/Voice over 3G were huge for me.

    I imagine that it will be the same on the iPad. A jail-broken iPad will free it from many of the limitations beset by Apple.