jailbroken iphone 4s

Earlier this year, well known iOS developer and hacker pod2g made some comments on Twitter regarding the ‘openness’ of iOS. He argued that there are no technical obstacles barring Apple from offering iOS devs more freedom, so it should consider opening it up.

And a lot of folks agreed with him. Not only did the hashtag ‘WeWantAnOpeniOS’ hit trending status on Twitter, but more than 11,000 people signed the corresponding petition. Well it appears that someone at Apple was listening, because Tim Cook says that’s the plan…

During a wide-ranging interview at the D11 conference earlier this evening, Cook told interviewers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher that Apple plans to open up iOS more for developers. It won’t do anything that risks the user experience, but it will make it more open.

Here’s a rough transcript of the exchange (via The Verge):

Walt: Let’s talk about control. There’s a lot of talk about open versus closed. Facebook did Facebook Home, which hasn’t done very well. Eric Schmidt said it’s great, it’s fine. I understand that they came and talked to you about it, and Apple wouldn’t let anyone take over the lock screen. Your keyboard and your recognition, predictive typing and all that stuff, hasn’t kept pace with Android. They allow other people to make that technology, third parties can give you a choice. Have you given any thought to a little bit less control?

Cook: Yeah, of course. On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you’ll see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience. So there’s always a fine line to walk there, or maybe not so fine. We think the customer pays us to make choices on their behalf. I’ve see some of these settings screens, and I don’t think that’s what customers want. Do some want it? Yes. But you’ll see us open up more.

Walt: So there’ll be some features you’ll let third parties do? 

Cook: Yes.

This is huge—particularly for a company who has a reputation for being ‘closed.’ It notoriously rules the App Store with an iron fist, denying new apps and pulling old ones that fall outside its strict guidelines. It’s hard to imagine it ever taking an ‘open’ stance on anything.

Speculation on what Cook was referring to in the comments is already running rampant. Previous reports suggested Apple is exploring widgets— so perhaps it’ll open up the Notification Center or Lock screen to developers, allowing them to serve up app data at a glance.

Whatever it is, here’s hoping that we’ll get a glimpse of it at WWDC next month. Apple has confirmed that Tim Cook and team will be using the high profile developer conference to show previews of its next generation desktop and mobile operating systems, OSX and iOS.

While I agree with Cook that many current iOS users look to Apple to make choices on their behalf, to protect the ‘it just works’ element of its products, I also think that it could appeal to a much wider audience by simply offering more freedom within iOS and the App Store.

What do you think? And bonus question: if Apple did open up iOS, what would that do to the jailbreak community?

  • Nagy Konstantin

    They will never allow MobileSubstrate, so jailbreak community will stay the same.

    • Osama Muhammed

      And i hope they wont. If they gonna take such a step then it has to be really planned to avoid any security damages and to sort it out so everything becomes compatiable with the other one

    • Liam Mulcahy


  • Ricky

    Well i hope wwds will be as what i hope it would be

  • Willie

    i think they will add more API for the keyboard only, which reminds me of Apple in talks with Swype

  • bloodshed

    this, in my humble opinion, is bullsh*t.

  • RarestName

    “We think the customer pays us to make choices on their behalf.”


    • iBanks

      If you’ve purchased an iDevice in an non-jailbroken state….. Then yeah…. You do pay for the decisions they put into it.

      • Kurt

        you and 8 others don’t understand what tim cook was saying.

  • afra33

    I pay Apple to make decisions for me? HELL NO you f**** idiot!!! Now open up your stupid f***** iOS and let me DECIDE what’s good for ME and which apps i want to have installed on MY DEVICE which i paid way too much already than what it should cost to begin with!!!!

    • iBanks

      Obviously you do. Your iDevice currently has every decision Apple put into it and none of your decisions and you paid for it. Just as you will the next device. So stick with a jailbreak to include your decisions or switch to Android since they allow you to pay and make your own decisions of it…… Which is still limited.

      • Hyr3m

        You don’t seem to understand the difference between ‘hardware’ and ‘software’.

        Nor do you see it between ‘functionality people use and love’ and ‘functionality people discard and complain about’.

        But you’re right, every time you spend a dime on something (say… a big mac with fries?) you demonstrate your complete agreement with every decision the seller has ever made (like using tons of carcinogenic msg for example and other poisons that’ll prevent mold from growing on a hamburger for 20years+ and generally destroy your hormonal balance).

        Effin jackass…


    • Haha Reviews are so fake in portuguese that they are all Google translated, witch means they are all wrong and confuse.

      • mehrab

        Listen bro i have it on my ipad atm it works better then protube if you dont wamt to pay get it from vshare/appcake i guess but yeah it works and its f****ing awesome

  • I hope they make a setting for people to choose yes or no customization (Jailbreak stuff) with a warning…Restore to change it back or whatever.

    • genXhippie

      I second that opinion.

    • Liam Mulcahy

      Good idea

    • Logan

      I had that idea before.

      • Logan

        I really like that idea.

    • Markus Hudobnik

      No. I’d like to see some customization, though. Like changing colors, etc. subtle changes like that. I do NOT want winter board (if that’s what you are implying)

  • Chandler

    It will never be as open as having access to cydia stock. Like Cody said I think they’ll include API’s for the lock screen, notification center, possibly a “color keyboard” and apples version of widgets. They will never have tweaks like miniplayer or springtomize. It would be nice if they included a “winter board” they are on the right path 🙂 the future looks good for apple if they keep up with what Tim Cook said. I am very excited !

    • Kurt

      I wish they would open up those API’s, but, knowing Apple, I think it was BS unfortunately 🙁

      • Chandler

        I’m sure they’ll open some but don’t know when haha. I’m sure there’s some truth to it

      • Kurt

        Of course I agree, but I think it will be on such a small scale that no one will say, see Timmy told us he would open up API’s!

        I’m not holding my breath. But boy, would I love to be wrong!

      • Chandler

        Yeah it’ll never be as open android because like Tim said it will never be to the degree that it can pose some threat on the user. Apples number one priority. They will defiantly come out with a huge feature in the 5S like they did the 4S and it could be one of those features that we want

      • Kurt

        I hope you are right. But i hope its not just one big feature. There are so many I want on my iPad 5

    • Markus Hudobnik

      Noooo winter board. Everything else yes. 🙂

  • Roddisq

    Apple wants to control you, just like he said in the interview and people want to be controlled by Apple…simple as it is. Just to remind you there are other options.

  • Dan

    Jailbreaking aside… It’s too bad that
    Apple has that philosophy. When it comes to product design. they are well
    beyond the competition. Unfortunately, when it comes to software, imo they are
    lagging behind. Imagine buying an iPhone and having the choice to customize every
    aspect (like on android), it would be the best of both worlds. Right now people
    have to choose between customization and build quality.

    • s0me

      iPhone + customize like android + ios appstore = best combo ever

      • Kurt

        Galaxy S4/Note2 + android + iOS Appstore + webOS multitasking + Lumia 920 camera = best combo ever

      • Your post gave me cancer

    • felixtaf

      Yes.. Sometimes its really a tough job to choose between the two.. I have both devices and not evryone like to have both… Hope iOS7 will atleast have 10 nice features out of Apple’s so called 200 new features…

    • dmarks83

      Obviously never held the HTC one in your hands. Much nicer than any Apple phone I’ve owned.

      • Hyr3m


      • Dan

        I agree but I was trying to avoid getting a million down votes, this is IDB afterall.

      • dmarks83

        A persons opinion is much more valuable than a downvote.

  • bob

    Everybody we should all sign the petition we need a more open iOS!
    Let’s all sign it!

    • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

      Yeah, we all too have to sign a petition so i can bang Jennifer Lawrence. Tim Cook wipes his arse with our petition.

  • Hyr3m

    “We think the customer pays us to make choices on their behalf.” <- That's one huge and misplaced assumption…

    He basically just confirmed that they'll keep being douchebags but be even more hypocritical about it and probably even use this fake new openness as a marketing point to try to use the negative momentum of this issue to their advantage. Good luck with that Timmy.

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Lmao, great stuff! +1

    • Kurt

      “Timmy” haha

      • Hyr3m

        hehe ^^

        Glad someone got that and ever more glad that someone was you 😛

    • jilex

      i was thinking the same last night

  • David Villamizar

    Still not allowing for tweaks to the UI of any kind, so it feels the same. I think what they say they’ll open, will be stuff like iCloud, services that might bring them money on other platforms, where this openness is needed to compete.

  • Steven Miller

    Honestly, I’d be fine if they didn’t change anything. I like having to jailbreak my iPhone to get the features I want. It’s what makes my iPhone special and everyone else’s average. If they open it up more there’s the chance that hackers will target iOS instead of android. My device is fairly safe and customizable in its current state.

    • Markus Hudobnik

      I agree!

  • pargoff

    “We think the customer pays us to make choices on their behalf.” wow. I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything because I thought that company would make a better choice than i would personally.

  • Chris Emry

    Well, I have always jailbroken since the 1st iPhone. I will only stop when those same options are available without jailbreaking. And I think the jailbreak devs would still make money since they will be developing apps & tweak through Apple at that point.

    • Gorgonphone

      i will never ever stop

      • Chris Emry

        Truthfully I probably won’t either.

  • We have to face the fact that we as jailbreakers are a tiny minority of iOS users. Apple will continue to serve iOS as is with a few new features with each iteration for as long as it keeps selling well to Kelly the 17yr old constantly on whatsapp, Dave the mechanic who just make phone calls and plays Asphalt and your mum who got one because her friend has one and uses about 10% of it functionality.
    The opening up API’s Tim mentioned will largely be allowing 3rd parties to access Siri. This is the big announcement. Huge Siri update for iOS 7 with 3rd party API usage and Siri comes out of Beta officially. In reality Siri will suck a little less and have 15 new jokes.

    • Gorgonphone

      oh shit they will just open it up to more damn adds…..noooooooo!!!!

  • Gorgonphone

    great this will make jailbreaking easier…haahahahah

  • Matthew


  • Han Solo

    They desperately need to do this so things like lockscreen apps(I use lockinfo myself), and even parental controls apps (limit time playing games, password protect individual apps/folders etc) can be developed.

    I know from my own research when looking at what to give to my kids, iOS has the crappiest parental control options available in the entire market. Not even simple basic things like app/folder locking is available, let alone more advanced things like making certain apps unavailable during certain time periods etc., or limiting angry birds to only 1 hour a day, keeping track of what apps are run when and for how long, having a history of phone calls and messages available for audit..all of those things and more are available from about a dozen different people on Androids.

    I don’t know why apple just does not provide an “official” method to side-install apps that are not from the app store. That way people could install jailbreak apps if they really wanted without jailbreaking. Apple could also totally not have to support it because it would be termed a ‘developer’ interface or something and they can clearly differentiate between something supported and unsupported.

  • Edwin Koh

    All I want is to be able to change fonts. I don’t mind paying for fonts

  • Brian Kieffer

    In comparison to the total number of iDevices sold (>500 million), that number is extremely puny.

    • Hyr3m

      It is a minority but it’s not tiny nor puny…

  • SirAuron14

    I hope this happens soon