SemiRestore is a restore solution for jailbroken iOS devices. It allows you to restore your device to almost stock levels, removing everything from settings to jailbreak apps and tweaks, to even App Store apps. It’s probably as close as you can get to a stock iOS device without actually restoring using iTunes.
We’ve reviewed an early version of SemiRestore before, and while it showed promised, we had mixed feelings about it. This was namely because the app forced you to go through a lot of steps in order to achieve the desired result — a clean iOS device that allows you to maintain the current firmware and jailbreak.
But we’ve got some very good news: SemiRestore has come a long way since that early preview. In fact, on the beta 4 version that I tested, it’s a true one-click solution. Yes, literally, all you have to do is plug in your iOS device, open the SemiRestore app, and click the SemiRestore button.
I once praised iLEX RAT for its ease of use, but this is probably about as easy as it gets. Check inside for our very own video walkthrough of SemiRestore beta 4 in action.
As stated, using SemiRestore is as easy as it comes. Just plug in your iOS device, and launch the SemiRestore app. After you launch the app, you will see the SemiRestore screen, and it should auto recognize the device you have connected.
The device that you use must be running the required firmware — iOS 5.0 through iOS 6.1.2 — in order to function properly. Once you are ready to start the restore process, then a single click of the SemiRestore button will initiate the restore.
Once the restore is initiated, SemiRestore will immediately get to work backing up files, patching files, restoring, and performing the cleanup. It’s a relatively quick process, as it only took about 5 minutes for the process to complete on my device.
One thing that you must be aware of, is that like other restore solutions, all of you data will be deleted after initiating the restore. There is no way to selectively choose what you want to keep, and what you don’t want to keep; SemiRestore blasts away all of your apps, tweaks, settings, photos, documents, etc. It’s essentially a brand new device, only you retain a few essentials — Cydia, repos, and perhaps a few packages if deemed necessary.
SemiRestore is still technically in beta, but its status shows 85% complete on the new official website for the app. I have to say that I was impressed with the simplicity of SemiRestore; it really makes restoring a jailbroken iOS device a completely painless affair.
If there’s one thing that I would change about the app, it would be to add advanced settings. It’s a bit unnerving to have SemiRestore take control of your iOS device, with absolutely no input from the end-user. I understand that the developer is aiming for utter brainless simplicity, but advanced users would benefit from a few options to select and choose what data and settings to restore and/or keep on their devices.
But if you’re looking for a genuinely simple solution, there is no easier solution than the one-click SemiRestore. The app still continues to bake on platforms like Windows and Linux, but as you can see, the OS X solution is pretty much completed.
How well do you think SemiRestore has progressed since our last hands-on trial with the app? Better yet, how do you think it stacks up with its primary competition, iLEX RAT? Sound off in the comments below.