“After all most jailbreak users are only in it for running unlocks and pirating apps.” This was the last line in a series of tweets by infamous iDevice hacker I0n1c, talking about the state of the jailbreak. While I’m not typically the kind of person to get riled up over such an ignorant comment, I feel like there’s a similarly negative consensus about jailbreaking that needs to be addressed.

It’s a fairly true statement to say that all iOS app pirates are jailbreakers. After all, I don’t know of any other way to pirate apps – and if there is, it can’t be easier –  than by jailbreaking. But to say that all, or even “most” jailbreakers are pirates is asinine. From where I’m sitting, the jailbreak community looks pretty awesome. And it’s made up of much more than just pilferers….

Let’s start off with the talented group of hackers that make jailbreaking possible. Guys like pod2g and the Chronic and Dev teams put in countless hours of work to enable the average user to unlock their device’s true potential. And these guys don’t ask for money – outside of optional donations of course – or anything else in return for their hard work. Some might say that’s crazy.

Then there’s the developers. Jailbreak devs are constantly blowing my mind with the things they come up with. And I’m not just talking about the thousands of free and low-cost tweaks that turn tedious tasks into swipes and taps. Although, those are awesome too. I’m talking about the truly helpful tools that make life easier for iPhone users — tools that Apple would never allow in the App Store.

The best example of this I can think of is WiFiSMS, a free jailbreak tweak by developer treAson. While the utility is often overlooked by most people, it’s actually helping improve the life of some folks. JailbreakCon’s Reza Malayeri tells the story of how the app is allowing people with muscular dystrophy, a group of muscle diseases that weaken the musculoskeletal system and hamper locomotion, to text.

Admittedly, the video is kind of long, but the story is still pretty cool. Because of their disabilities, texting on an iPhone is difficult, sometimes impossible for these people. But thanks to jailbreaking, and WiFiSMS, they can use the full-size keyboards on their desktop computers to send and receive text messages.

And finally there’s the people. While this is the part of the jailbreak community that is the most likely to pirate apps, not all of them do it. Or at least that’s my opinion. Maybe I’m just naive, but I think that a majority of jailbreakers (over 50%) hack their devices for reasons other than pirating. Don’t agree? Come out to JailbreakCon this fall and see for yourself.

The second annual jailbreak convention will play host to hundreds of hackers, developers, and jailbreakers. And you know what? I bet app pirating will be the furthest thing from everyone’s minds.

What do you think? Are most jailbreakers pirates?

  • JayKay

    I never used pirated tweaks and apps and since last two ios updates i dont do jailbreak anymore, i like tweaks but i cant buy them, cydia requires paypal and its not in my country, i cant buy what i like in cydia store, this is far more closest system then Apple, i so hate jailbreak, all they do is tease u about new apps and tweaks and dont let u buy one cuz paypal stupid isnt in ur country. You can accept direct credit card.

  • AppleAnalist

    I Jailbreak to add functionality to my devices that suit my lifestyle. I live spending money to support the hard work done by devs on Cydia and the AppStore. These idiots pirating are ruining our reputation and encouraging devs on the AppStore to make more games that require always online. Trust me the people who endlessly hound Jailbreak devs to release a Jailbreak are mostly pirates cause they are too poor to buy stuff yet own an iDevice. I wish they’d just go buy and android and pirate till their hearts content.

  • JoshuaHulgan

    MuscleNerd posted at least one legitimate statistic. Cody may be appealing to heart strings, and it even pains me a little to admit, but the truth is probably the majority of jailbreakers do pirate. :/