My iPad mini is mostly a productivity device for me, and it being jailbroken is a necessity for some of the things I do with it. As such, jailbreaking it was an easy decision, and the process itself was extremely simple and quick. That’s why it surprises me to see what I can only call prejudice against jailbreaking, with people thinking it will essentially turn their precious iOS device into a slow, unstable monster. In my experience, that couldn’t be further from the truth, so I wanted to do a post on how I’ve experienced stability with my jailbroken iPad mini over the last few months.
Jailbreaking an iOS device used to come at the cost of stability and speed, but that was quite a few hardware upgrades ago. These days, a jailbroken device is generally very stable, and speed-wise you’re unlikely to notice a difference unless you load it with visual tweaks that use up a lot of resources. It generally works just like a stock device, and if reliability was an issue, I wouldn’t be doing it.
Stability and speed does however depend on what you load your device with. There are tweaks that can cause problems, either immediately and constantly or simply cause the occasional hang or crash, but the core tweaks that most people use are generally updated to prevent such issues. The most common way a jailbroken device does crash is to have the so-called springboard crash, which is when the iOS home screen crashes. There are however fail safes in place to make sure that such crashes doesn’t actually do any harm, and you essentially just have to wait a few seconds and then unlock the device again.
These types of crashes have happened to me a few times while installing or configuring new tweaks. I have also had a couple of reboots, but once again, they haven’t done any permanent damage. Now, this might sound like it’s actually far from stable, but you have to remember that iOS itself doesn’t shy away from random crashes and issues at times; there’s a reason there’s a hard reboot option built into the devices! Furthermore, issues tend to pop up right as you’re installing or configuring new tweaks, and on a daily basis of just using the device, they’re extremely far apart. My iPad stays on and sleeping all the time, is never off, and I never have to reboot it to get it to behave. I dare say that the iPad is the most stable device I have, despite the fact that it’s jailbroken and has dozens of tweaks installed.
I think that jailbreaking an iOS device is seen as some sort of scary hacker thing to do by a lot of people, and I frequently have people who just run in the other direction when it’s brought up. The things I use jailbreak for are not malicious things like pirating software, it’s things like connecting a USB drive or a Bluetooth mouse for office purposes. It pains me to see people’s eyes light up when I show them that it’s actually possible to do these things, and then see them react very differently when they hear how.
Right now there’s no universal jailbreak out there, as the method that works for iOS versions up to 6.1.2 was patched in 6.1.3 (if your device runs 6.1.2 or below it still works). Reports from the early iOS 7 betas however say that there are still unpatched methods that could be used for a jailbreak when iOS 7 comes out, and if and when that happens, I hope that some of the people who have been hesitant to try it will make the leap. I can guarantee you that it will do more for your device than Apple ever will.