Saurik talks MobileSubstrate, 64-bit jailbreak tweaks and more

By , Dec 26, 2013

Cydia iOS 7 Featured

The unexpected arrival of an iOS 7 jailbreak has been a welcomed touch to the holidays for most iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users, except for those with the latest devices. The all-new iPhone 5s, iPad Air and second-generation iPad mini, each powered by an Apple A7 chip, have faced compatibility issues with most popular jailbreak tweaks. Thankfully, that shouldn’t be the case much longer… 

Cydia founder Jay Freeman (saurik) is currently working on an update to MobileSubstrate, a framework for code modification that is used by most jailbreak tweaks. That update is required because of the new 64-bit architecture that A7-powered devices use, versus the 32-bit technology that older-generation devices have. When that new version of MobileSubstrate arrives, the next step will be for developers to recompile their iOS tweaks and extensions.

Freeman spoke to me about the technical details of this change:

All of Apple’s programs are [now] 64-bit and will require 64-bit extensions. Luckily, an extension can trivially be both 32-bit and 64-bit in the same way apps can, but this will require the developer to recompile them.

He also elaborated about what role MobileSubstrate plays in this process:

Substrate is a platform for injecting code into another process, and a library that injected code can use to modify its host program. Any “tweak” that is in fact a “substrate extension” (or anything attempting to be remotely as powerful as a substrate extension) will have to be recompiled.

It is important to distinguish that a Substrate extension is “code that runs in a process and extends its behavior and modifies its logic,” whereas a jailbreak tweak in general could be as simple as a package that changes an iOS plist file. This is the reason that some Cydia tweaks work with 64-bit devices like the iPhone 5s, yet others don’t.

Freeman neglected to provide an ETA for the MobileSubstrate update, citing that he wouldn’t give one even if the release was five minutes away. The technology consultant already moved insanely fast to push out a new Cydia version for iOS 7, so the best thing is to give him patience with Substrate. Perhaps take a look at Zeppelin or BiteSMS while you’re waiting.

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  • Chris Gilmore

    So what CAN I use for my 5s right now?

    • Scott Curry

      I hear iMessage and texting still works :P

      • Chris Gilmore

        lol gee, thanks.

    • Jae. Just J.

      I know Movie Box and PowerApp works. I have them on my 5s.

    • Ryan J Roderick

      I’ve got Music Box, iCleaner and iFile on my 5s. All I’ve found to work so far.

      • zak

        f.lux as well

  • Jordan Carter

    Is mobile substrate working on iOS 7 for non A7 devices yet?

    • Michael Nigro

      For the most part, yes

  • JayDee917

    So do any tweaks/apps work on the 5S at this point?

    • Michael Nigro

      Yes, just not all

      • JayDee917

        Which ones work? Not being lazy, I just feel like I’ve tried a lot of them and none of them seem to work.

      • Frazer Leal

        Fluxie flux flux

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    Im just running switchspring; zepplin and lock screen tool; yet I’ve noticed my apple weather forecast is missing from notification center. Anyone else have this issue?

    • Frazer Leal

      Theres a fix for that cant remember

      • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

        oh; please remember….

    • Clorky

      Also having this issue. Have you found the fix?

  • Ernie Marin

    lol i’m happy I have the Cydia icon on my iPhone 5, and this time it was twice as fast than with ios 6, so I can wait a couple of more weeks for updates to start rolling in, at least now we know there is an actual working JB, no need for devs to start posting pictures about every single update with the JB.

  • bgibson72

    This.

  • az hamid

    I like my 5s

  • Moses Zeitouny

    Mr Saurik, when the mob sub update for a7 chip will be released?

  • Mark

    Guys are there any tweaks that will bring back the unlock sound I hate the silence as you unlock

  • Ben

    What’s a good way to contact Jay with a question?

    Thanks: Ben!

  • Jordy Pyott

    Shit unjailbreaked so I can not jailbreak again I thought I just stuffed up something anyone know if can jailbreak ios7.1.1