iOS 8 on iPhone 5s

Since Apple seeded the inaugural beta of iOS 8 last week, we’ve been asked seemingly hundreds of times if the upgrade is worth giving up a jailbreak. As we all know, once you update past iOS 7.0.6 you lose the ability to jailbreak, and there’s no way to downgrade.

Now, we already touched on this subject during last week’s episode of Let’s Talk Jailbreak, but given how popular the topic has been, we wanted to cover it in a post. It’s not exactly the easiest question to answer, but I’m going to do my best to break down your options…

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that the iOS 8 beta is currently only available to registered developers. We’re aware that some users have found a way to workaround this requirement, but we don’t educate on or condone those methods.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

If you own one iOS device

The rule of thumb, with any operating system beta, is you should never install it on your main device. Beta software, by nature, is buggy, unstable, and incompatible with other applications, so you don’t want it hindering your primary means for communication.

The same holds true for iOS 8. While I’ve heard various accounts of its speed and stability, pretty much everyone agrees that the software still has several hiccups. Few developers (if any) have updated their apps to work properly with iOS 8, and a lot of the features shown off in the keynote last week are not available yet—i.e. third party keyboards, widgets, etc.

Additionally, a lot of the new stuff in iOS 8 that you’d want to try is already available in Cydia, in one form or another, and what isn’t will likely be in the near future. Jailbreak developers have, in the past, brought various features and designs from new versions of iOS to their predecessors, and I see no reason why it would be any different this time around.

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, we don’t recommend updating to iOS 8 on your main device. Once the newness wears off, you’ll want to downgrade, and you can only go back as far as iOS 7.1.1—which isn’t jailbreakable. At this point in time—remember this is just the first of what will likely be many betas—the trade-off just isn’t worth it.

If you own multiple iOS devices

If you have more than one iOS device that is eligible to be updated to iOS 8, this becomes a much easier question to answer. I, for example, have a jailbroken iPhone 5s and an old iPhone 5 I use as a testing device, and I didn’t think twice about installing the beta on the latter. This gives me the best of both worlds, allowing me to checkout the new features in iOS 8, while still enjoying the benefits of a jailbreak.

Keep in mind, though, that even in this scenario, you’ll still be installing beta software on your device that will affect its usability and likely break most of your favorite apps. And, in the event that we don’t ever see a jailbreak released for iOS 7.1.x, you’ve doomed the device to stock until an iOS 8 jailbreak is released—which may not happen until next year, if ever. Once again, I’m not sure it’s a worthwhile trade-off at this point.

Ultimately, whether you give up your jailbreak for iOS 8 or not is your decision. Just make sure to weigh the pros and cons we laid out above, instead of acting on impulse in the midst of all of the excitement. The last thing you want is buyers remorse on something that can’t be returned.

  • Fikri CanCankurtaran


  • Max Rojas

    I have it and it is buggy, spanchat and instagram fail on me, as well as the settings app. Dont upgrade till like the third beta or so.

    • Stephen Rector

      I have found on the settings app if you open it and let the scroll bar show and then fade out before touching it you don’t get the initial crash.

    • Markus Hudobnik

      That’s your experience. My iPhone 5 and iPad air are running extremely smoothly with only some minor hiccups here and there (like not being able to scroll left or right, etc.)

      Just wanted to post that this will not happen to everyone! Obviously use it at your own risk, just shedding some light on a positive outcome of upgrading

      • RarestName

        I second this. This is one of the most stable iOS betas I’d ever used.

  • Anmol Malhotra

    Obviously dont ever give up jailbreak for iOS 8 betas! They are unstable buggy & features wont work properly. As far as iOS 8 GM is concerned I think I will give up on my jailbreak and will upgrade to 8. Apple has done a great job in iOS 8 : 3rd party keyboards , quick reply , continuity , extensibility , screen sharing on OS X Yosemite. These were never expected from them or they were never released as rumors. Best iOS with many surprises. #WWDC14

    • Agru

      Why are you using # on disqus

      • James Gunaca

        His post could have been syndicated to Facebook or twitter in which case the hashtag is relevant.

      • Agru

        Not Twitter (too long) but I didn’t know that was possible

      • DeAndre Enrico

        Some syndication platforms will auto-shorten for Twitter.

      • Agru

        With a custom URL right? That’s cool. I’d love him to reply and enlighten us!

      • Anmol Malhotra

        Are u enlightened? 😀

      • Agru


      • Anmol Malhotra

        Hahaha 😀

      • DeAndre Enrico

        I believe so.

  • August Ebbesen

    Jailbreaking is good, actually very good indeed. Because Apple learns from the community and that kind of tweaks people like.. In IOS8 there is a new feature “quick reply” which originally was a jailbreak tweak. But as times goes on, and IOS gets more tweaks and improvements, I really do not see the point of jailbreaking.

  • Wolfer

    I think it is not worthy at this time to update if you are jailbreaked on iOS 7.0.x!!! But if you are not jailbreaked and are in iOS 7.1.1, well then do it, try it and if you dont like it go back to iOS 7.1.1 using iTunes restore option!! Remember to back up first your iPhone, iPod or iPad!!! Good luck people and God bless us all

    • Anmol Malhotra

      Damn you and yours “!!”
      So many of them -_-
      Be cool man.. Using these !! often wont make Jesus to read your comment. -_-

      • édith Dupont


      • Wolfer

        Well SOORRYYYIM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER BUT ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE!!!!! AND DONT TALK ABOUT JESUSCRHIST IN THIS PLACES!!!!! FOR ME I FALLOW HIS FIRST COMAND GOD IS FIRST IN ALL OF OURS LIFE AND HEARTS!!!!!!!!!! You dont like how I write, just do not read my comments!!!!! Exclamations marks!!!! Wow what a problem to read with them!!!!!!!!! Want more???? Yes I think!!!!!!! God bless u all!!!!! 🙂

      • Wolfer

        Dam me??? Hey Be careful who u dam!!!! I love exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anmol Malhotra

        Are you a psycho or what?? :O -_-

      • Wolfer

        LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!!! Why man? Because I love to use a lot of exclamation marks? OMG

      • édith Dupont

        Just let it go , he can’t

  • Tom

    I own one 5s and I have updated.

    • TeddyBearStand

      isnt it sooooooooo slow? if you went back to ios 7.1. you would be see clearky how slow it is

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Remember not everyone has the same results. Mine runs really smoothly with all my apps and runs pretty fast.

      • TeddyBearStand

        Thats awesome. Maybe its just you and I that differ rather than our devices? 😉

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Orrrrrrrrrrrrrr it’s a beta and everyone gets different results

  • “As we all know, once you update past iOS 7.0.5 you lose the ability to jailbreak, and there’s no way to downgrade.”

    Indeed we can’t downgrade, but Evasi0n does support 7.0.6

  • Mario Britten

    I updated my main device (iPhone 5s). Worst decision ever.
    iOS 8 is highly unstable, even more unstable than the first iOS 7 beta.

    I could live with that, but the most important point is: Almost EVERY app crashes and has a lot of bugs. Definitely not useful for daily usage.

    Trust me. Don’t.

    • Fikri CanCankurtaran

      “…even more unstable than the first iOS 7 beta.”
      Nope, not that much.

      • Mario Britten

        Well, at least that’s my opinion/impression.

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        Will have to agree with mario

    • Martynet

      I agree… I manage to go through all the betas of iOS 7. But iOS 8 is just too buggy and I went back to 7.11. Apps were crashing too often and whatsapp was useless.

      • Mario Britten

        Yep, WhatsApp was one of the main reasons why i switched back to 7.1.1.
        I (have to) use it daily and the crashes when I send/someone sends me long texts are terrible, not to mention the other bugs..

        But I will try the second beta when it’s out, i have nothing more to lose 😀

    • Ryan Roberts

      Its super buggy for me too, but I have a feeling that many of these bugs will be squashed in Beta 2.

      • Mario Britten

        I hope so. Let’s see

  • Jeremy

    I’m okay with giving up my jailbreak. I only ever install moviebox and quick reply/compose tweaks but I already have moviebox on my iPad so really I’ve got nothing to lose. Only thing I hate is when I have to constantly restore my phone because the bugginess makes my phone respring and I am not a registered dev.

  • abdullah575

    yes of course (jailbreak sucks)

  • Franklin Richards

    No. It is still beta and has no guarantee that everything will work as usual. Even in between the beta updates functions may disappear or fail without warning.

  • iBanks

    I updated as soon as beta became available. I can honestly say, I have no regrets and there’s nothing I really miss from when I was jail broken other than Guest Mode and even that was buggy as hell.

    • TeddyBearStand

      what device. it ran like ass on my 5s. crashing (apps) sluggishness and battery drain.

      • iBanks

        5s as well.

  • redjazon

    Nope! I like my jailbroken iPhone 5s. I like being able to arrange my app icons my way -gridlock; I like different clock sizes, colors and style-iWidgets and many more 🙂

    • h4nd0fg0d

      Damn skippy!!!!!

    • deepdvd

      If only Gridlock worked within folders, ugh.

    • You’ve changed the font colour of your lockscreen clock? Which tweak did you use to do so?

      • redjazon

        No, Colorclock isnt updated. I use groovylock to customize lockscreen 🙂

  • Andy

    Even if you own multiple devices, it’s still not worth it. Besides, the beta will be buggy. Just wait a few months for iOS 8’s final release. There’s a reason why it’s currently only available for developers, you know.

  • Fadi Freij

    The new features of iOS 8 are really awesome but there are lots of bugs and battery life is short! I say wait for other beta versions before you updgrade.

  • MrDnQ

    I updated and must say, except the respring now and then I’m really happy. Also with Yosemite on my mac it’s a great combo. Can’t wait for the next Beta…

  • Rodney Coleman

    I did…

    Jailbreak isn’t nothing fun anymore

  • Decio Arruda

    Just do. Unlike previous versions of iOS (specially iOS 6 & 7) it is not as buggy as previous betas. I use it on my main phone and also use Yosemite on my only computer and I like it. I know betas are buggy but these ones aren’t as buggy as previous betas.

    • I expect iOS 7 was so glitchy only because it was practically a brand new system, built from the ground up. I don’t recall so many bugs with the previous few iOS versions

      • Decio Arruda

        iOS 7 wasn’t built from the ground up. Some things were, but not everything

  • h4nd0fg0d

    Nope, only if ya stupid or something.

  • h4nd0fg0d

    My 7.0.6 32G 5s is a fck’n perfected beast. No sluggishness, no slow downs. Proly have 20 tweaks all working perfectly in unison. Will forgo my JB for iP6 tho.

  • JF Camarena

    No. Jailbrake always makes the iphone a more complete device.

  • Vic O.

    I gave up my Jailbreak for iOS 8 Beta… No regrets 🙂

  • Tony

    I was going to give mine up but just couldn’t do it yet. I did however put IOS 8 on my ipad mini retina and it’s been stable for me. Maybe a future beta of IOS 8 will convince me to switch but not quite yet.

  • blastingbigairs

    HELL to the NO!!!!!!

  • Marlon DeNon

    I too upgraded to iOS 8 & have zero regrets with losing my jailbreak.

  • Aden Bauer

    Gave up my iOS 6 jailbreak for iOS 7 beta on my iPhone 5. Never again lol.

    • DR234

      iOS 7 betas were proven to be some of the worst betas in all of iDevice history. The iOS 8 beta supposedly is a lot more stable like iOS 6 and before were.

  • Coming from a 7.0.6 jailbroken 5s to the new iOS 8 beta, my experience has been a solid one so far. There’s a few hiccups, namely the springboard crashing every so often after going in and out of the settings app and the slightly subpar battery life to 7.0.6, but it’s not bad at all. Much better than 7.0 beta 1, which had horrendous battery life on my iPhone 5. The main reasons I jailbreak are for quick reply and CameraTweak’s separate focus/exposure mode on the camera app, both of which have been incorporated into iOS 8. Themes are pretty, but aren’t that important and neither are many of the tweaks I had installed when I was jailbroken. I’ll admit, I’m missing Auxo 2 and iBlacklist terribly, but I’ll trade for a smooth new OS, which by the looks of the unveil and the current beta, seems very promising. Idk about others who have commented, but I’m not fazed by minor app problems. Nothing has been updated for iOS 8, nor is the OS itself meant for public use right now, so it’s to be expected that certain apps aren’t working and may crash right now. Quit your bitching behind the keyboard and just downgrade.

  • Blip dude

    Was going to Jailbreak my i5, but then I realized I needed AirFloat (for private listening with Apple TV), so I said no way. I may however, install beta 3 on my iPad Air and check it out. But the one thing I wanna know is do I need to have my iPhone on iOS to take advantage of the continuity feature (phone rings, can receive call on iPad that is on iOS 8). Of course I mean my phone being on iOS 7 and iPad on iOS 8?? I am looking forward to the public beta of OS X Yosemite though.

  • iPhoner

    Was jailbroken ios 7.0.6. Upgraded my only device iPhone 5 to ios 8 beta and lovin it. 😉

    • Luism27

      idgaf.. that’s not going to make anyone to upgrade!

  • Susie

    No way in hell would I give up my jailbreak… the things Apple continues to add are great but they will never give me the theming options I love so much. I had planned on getting a new iPhone when they’re released but I may put it off until a JB for iOS 8 it out. As far as I’m concerned this has been the best JB yet!

  • Antonio

    I have an gold iPhone 5s with 7.0.4 (jailbroken) and i bought another iPhone 5s Space grey,and installed iOS 8 beta…My opinion is that iOS8 is very buggy and is NOT WORTH LOOSING JAILBREAK! if you still have it.If you’re on 7.1.1 than you can try it and if you don’t like it,you can easily downgrade it.

  • DR234

    Honestly jailbreaks are so glitchy and crash just as much as betas do so I don’t see why not?

  • Ryan Roberts

    I would have kept my jailbreak, but when iOS 7.0.4 came out, I decided to go ahead and update and lose the jailbreak because over half of my apps were crashing. I know, it’s most likely something I did, but I was just sick of so many things going wrong.

  • James Gunaca

    Since we are now at Beta 4, and the current iOS 7.1.2 is jailbreakable, can you guys revisit this?