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Two Major Cydia Hosts Shut Down as Jailbreaking Fades in Popularity (macrumors.com) 90

Joe Rossignol, writing for MacRumors: ModMy last week announced it has archived its default ModMyi repository on Cydia, which is essentially an alternative App Store for downloading apps, themes, tweaks, and other files on jailbroken iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. ZodTTD/MacCiti also shut down this month, meaning that two out of three of Cydia's major default repositories are no longer active as of this month. ModMy recommends developers in the jailbreaking community use the BigBoss repository, which is one of the last major Cydia sources that remains functional. The closure of two major Cydia repositories is arguably the result of a declining interest in jailbreaking, which provides root filesystem access and allows users to modify iOS and install unapproved apps on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. When the iPhone and iPod touch were first released in 2007, jailbreaking quickly grew in popularity for both fun and practical reasons. Before the App Store, for example, it allowed users to install apps and games. Jailbreaking was even useful for something as simple as setting a wallpaper, not possible on early iOS versions.
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Two Major Cydia Hosts Shut Down as Jailbreaking Fades in Popularity

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  • my decline reason (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27, 2017 @01:44PM (#55631313)

    I stopped jailbreaking when ios incorporated enough of the features I wanted.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not interested in installing illegal Soviet hacker tools like Comet Cursor or Bonzi Buddy. Also it is a severe DMCA violation, which is something no true Apple citizen would not do. So keep your so called "jail breaking" away from me, I prefer using my iPhone the way Steve intended.

    • Just like for Linux I tend to get my software via the distribution main APT repository.
      For the key reason that what I am getting is more or less trusted and vetted.
      I haven’t rooted or jail broke my phone, for the key reason that what I can get from it, is much riskier.

      Now Apple does need to be more open in their walled garden. Allowing tools to take advantage of the device even if it steps on UI rules or is a competition to their own product. I am sad to se my phyton app no longer supported and not

    • by grub ( 11606 )
      Ditto for me. The only thing I'm missing is iBlacklist which allowed for wildcard blocking of whole ranges of phone numbers. There are currently several that kinda-sorta do this, but they take forever to reload the service and have hard limits to the number of numbers they can block. They actually count a block of, say, 800-555-* as 10,000 numbers. It's an iOS-induced limitation.
      • iBlacklist was the only reason I ever jailbroked(?), but my provider now has their own service (of course it's paid, like a dollar a month), that has a huge list of known cold-callers that it blocks for me, as well as allowing to block no-caller-ID, create my own blacklist or whitelist.

        Blocking no-caller-id is a godsend, as my family has been on the receiving end of repeated nuisance calls in the past, and it has the added benefit of blocking calls from work by anyone who can't figure out how to attach th

    • Now that Android is good enough, switching to Android is even better. So many categories of app are outright banned by Apple - including the useful WiFi Analyzer.

    • Recent updates allowed more granular permissions, blocking autostart, and many other things that traditionally I used root apps for.

      There is the aspect of maybe blocking Google's own shenannigans though, but not sure if it's worth having a device with other potential attack vectors due to having an non-updatable rooted OS.

    • Partially this, but also because the Cydia repos went downhill fast, with the package pages becoming more and more bloated with annoying ads. Once a bunch of packages (even really basic stuff) started to become paid packages I decided I’d had enough. And I know it wasn’t an issue of “we need money to fund development” because in many cases, those same exact packages used to be free.
  • Superuser access (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Monday November 27, 2017 @01:51PM (#55631373)

    Alongside net neutrality, laws should exist that dictate no owners of general technology devices can be artificially/intentionally restricted from accessing any part of their device.

    I don't mean "thou shall include a JTAG port and dongle" .. I mean that it becomes illegal to import for commercial sale any device that the manufacturer/reseller has locked down for the sole purpose of excluding access to tinker.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agree. Old phones can serve useful purposes rather than filling landfills, be it entertainment, automation, or even education. Allowing access is all that is needed.

      Apple and others should at least provide full access to hardware whose support is fading or stopping.

      • Re:Superuser access (Score:5, Interesting)

        by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday November 27, 2017 @02:02PM (#55631481)

        Yep.

        That's the problem.

        Take an older iPad where I needed to install a certain app. When I tried to install it from the App Store, it told me that the current app version was incompatible with the OS version. The OS itself couldn't be updated further.

        However, there was a perfectly functional older version of the app compatible with an older iOS out there. App Store would just not allow me to download it directly.

        The hack was to download it first in iTunes, flagging my account as already having downloaded it, THEN reinstall it on the iPad. Since my iTunes account was flagged, the App Store would then provide the older app.

        With jailbreaking and/or ability to sideload after clicking a disclaimer, this procedure would have been much less irritating. But no, Apple WANTS to irritate you into buying a new iPad and putting your (perfectly functional) one in the landfill.

    • Net neutrality is difficult enough to get people to understand as is and I don't think stringing this albatross round its neck helps that cause at all. Nevermind that there are also some devices that we (society) definitely don't want people to tinker with at all such as catalytic converters, electrical wiring, etc. for various reasons.

      That and I can't really see companies getting on board with such an idea at all unless you include some language that means tinkering voids the warranty because they don't
      • The problem is that only geeks care about a product they can tinker with, and the ratio of geeks to the general populous who want their stuff to "just work" (tm) just isn't large enough for a boycott by the aforementioned geeks to affect the bottom line of the device makers in any meaningful way whatsoever.

      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        This is EASIER than Net Neutrality...

        It's a case of "Think you own it? You don't."

    • Unfortunately the legislation trends are going towards more restrictions. Remember how DRM killed the minidisc. And we can't buy full band scanners anymore to protect the cell phone industry from public snooping. And HDMI? oh well.. no passive cables for you

      Sorry, but curiosity and learning and tinkering are no longer approved activities. In fact they are seen as suspicious. Don't get caught drawing a schematic diagram or writing math on a napkin in public.

    • Re:Superuser access (Score:4, Informative)

      by John.Banister ( 1291556 ) * on Monday November 27, 2017 @02:55PM (#55631979) Homepage
      I don't know about tinker, but there is a "right to repair" political movement. I first heard about it in relation to tractors [civileats.com], but it could apply equally well to smartphones.
  • by neurocutie ( 677249 ) on Monday November 27, 2017 @01:57PM (#55631437)

    Don't know why this is being touted as a "decline in interest" when the real story is that there hasn't been a clean useable jailbreak available for a LONG time, nothing really useable for IOS10 and nothing for IOS11, despite reports of "demos". Apple has done a good job of shutting JB'ing down, whether by patching holes, or.... I wonder if Apple pays these hackers off not to release the JB after a demo is released.

    Yes IOS has offered many of the features that JB'ing used to provide, but not all... I still would JB if I could. But I can't be forever stuck on IOS8 either.

    • Even with a working iOS JB, (and working doesn't mean that half the phone functionality is glitchy), there is also the fact that if I want to update iOS due to a bug, I have to do a complete DFU restore and re-JB, with downloading all my Cydia apps.

      Also, there are only a few things I want from a JB these days... one is a firewall, so I can control what apps phone home to where, and a way of backing up individual app data and archiving it off, so an old game I completed doesn't keep wasting space on my devic

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Don't know why this is being touted as a "decline in interest" when the real story is that there hasn't been a clean useable jailbreak available for a LONG time, nothing really useable for IOS10 and nothing for IOS11, despite reports of "demos". Apple has done a good job of shutting JB'ing down, whether by patching holes, or.... I wonder if Apple pays these hackers off not to release the JB after a demo is released.

      Yes IOS has offered many of the features that JB'ing used to provide, but not all... I still

    • For those who can get past the imperative to own Apple hardware, Sony is taking somewhat the opposite approach with their Open Device Program [sonymobile.com]. The high resolution of the premium model makes it nice for diy VR as well.
  • Usually I've got an iPhone (I'm an iOS developer) but I've got a Nexus 5 as well. There's one feature I miss, and that's to turn on the Do Not Disturb mode for a set time. For example, you walk into a meeting, and turn on Do Not Disturb for 1 hour.

    iPhones don't have that, it's an on/off thing and I'm _very_ likely to turn it on, and then forget to turn it off.

    I bet there's a jailbreak app for that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      "Do Not Disturb" does have a scheduling switch. I think you have to turn it on.

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      I agree, that would be great. Lacking that, here's what I do: swipe up, turn on DnD, then set an alarm that says "turn DnD off". Manual, but better than nothing. You can even leave that alarm in your alarm list, but off, and re-use it other times, adjusting the time as needed.

      Or, "hey siri, set a reminder to turn off DnD in one hour". Again, better than nothing.

      • Ah yes, immediately follow up with Siri is probably the fastest way. Thanks!

        Perhaps I wrote my post poorly, but you're the only one who got it -- I wasn't looking for a scheduled way, I was looking for: "don't disturb for the coming hour".

  • Rooting has faded in popularity on Android too.
    Even on xda-developers.com , which is the place to go for everything related to root, some people start discouraging the practice.

    The reason is that most legitimate reasons for rooting have disappeared, and even some illegitimate ones. Most tweaks that required root can now be done without it, and features that were only available to custom ROMs are now stock. Also, by rooting, you lose regular security updates (if your phone is still supported) and some featur

    • Re:Android too (Score:5, Insightful)

      by r_naked ( 150044 ) on Monday November 27, 2017 @03:25PM (#55632215) Homepage

      Rooting has faded on Android for the same reason as iOS -- damn near impossible, or completely impossible on most carrier branded phones.

      Thank you Qualcomm. The QSEE (Qualcomm Secure Execution Environment) has pretty much ruined rooting when combined with Android TrustZone and SELinux. They pulled fastboot a while ago, and it is just a matter of time before all carriers do OTA upgrades and they pull firmware update / download mode.

      There just really aren't any attack vectors anymore.

      I am telling anyone that wants to root to buy a phone from a developer friendly OEM like OnePlus or Razer.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Rooting has faded on Android for the same reason as iOS -- damn near impossible, or completely impossible on most carrier branded phones.

        Actually its because it's rarely needed these days.

        Apart from that it's quite easy. In fact on the S8 its far easier and safer than how I used to do it back with my old unlocked HTC's (Dream and DesireZ). But the usage cases for root are reducing rapidly as Android has matured and most features do not require root access (and userland access has increased dramatically since Android 3.x).

        Now you've got a point with IOS, to have control over your device, sorry, your "Apple" device, you are going to have

        • by r_naked ( 150044 )

          LOL, your idea of "easier and safer" are a lot different than mine...

          But let's agree to disagree on that point.

          From: https://forum.xda-developers.c... [xda-developers.com]

          One of the steps requires firmware update mode. As I stated in my post, the carriers don't NEED to include the ability to flash firmware. Some have already made it difficult to enter download mode, and if they pull it, then you won't be rooting your S8. The carrier branded LG G6 has yet to be rooted, and the LG V20 was only rooted because an engineering aboot

    • You humanoid livestock are ridiculous.

      How afraid are you of existing yourselves??

    • Re:Android too (Score:4, Informative)

      by dmbasso ( 1052166 ) on Monday November 27, 2017 @03:44PM (#55632351)

      Coincidentally, just today I had an issue that's only solvable by rooting the
      phone. It is a pretty stupid bug too, I want to connect through WiFi to an
      isolated LAN, but the device *requires* Internet access otherwise it
      auto-disconnects. The only way to change this behaviour is by changing a setting
      with adb, with su access, which I most probably won't be able to get (Galaxy S6 /
      T-Mobile locked).

    • Rooting is still common for android, because android vendor unlike iPhone won't stop putting system bloatware. To completely remove them, you'll still need to root. One example, Galaxy Note 8 rooted on Oct 8 [xda-developers.com]. Another example, Galaxy S8 rooted on Aug 20 [xda-developers.com].

      They only major things are there are more custom roms than root thread on xda-developers, and xda devs have their life too where they can't provide that much support on an exponential phone market.

  • When I first started jailbreaking, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of crap that was available. The overwhelming majority of the stuff (by what appeared to be multiple orders of magnitude) was "themes" and other trivial nonsense. Of the stuff that was useful, it seemed like 9/10 of it was no longer maintained and/or didn't work for the version of iOS I had installed, or were buggy enough that the phone became unstable. I think out of the 10s of thousands of packages available, the number of genuinel

  • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Monday November 27, 2017 @02:33PM (#55631769)
    It's been a long time since I've touched iOS, but I wonder if part of it is the old JB scene moving over to Android? A lot of features I used to have to Jailbreak my phone for were readily available OOTB or in the Play Store with no need to root the device.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      It's been a long time since I've touched iOS, but I wonder if part of it is the old JB scene moving over to Android? A lot of features I used to have to Jailbreak my phone for were readily available OOTB or in the Play Store with no need to root the device.

      Not quite. The hardcore phone hacking scene has always been on Android. Jailbreaking was just to give Iphone users the same basic functionality as Android enjoyed. However as more features became standard with Android and more software can be run in userland these days it's only a small scene these days.

      Jailbreaking on IOS always had two problems, 1. you were fighting the phone's true masters, Apple, every step of the way. 2. Users just got fed up waiting for the next exploit and moved over to Android s

  • My main motivation for jailbreaking my ipad was to gain access to the filesystem and use it like a normal tablet/computer. Has this been resolved yet or does iOS still regard RAW/DNG image files as hazardous to my health?

    • There is a "Files" app now, which indicates that there is more of a filesystem there. Still not really that functional.

    • iOS11 gives you a file browser for iCloud files, so you can browse files in a way you could not before... also many apps can open files "in place" now which means you are editing the version that is in iCloud, so you don't have to round-trip it to the app and back to iCloud.

      If you are using RAW/DNG you should take a look at Affinity Photo on the iPad which provides a full desktop photo editor on the iPad.

      • Not everyone wants to save all of their work to someone else's computer (aka the Clown aka iClown).
        • I believe you could also choose other storage options and open in place from there - sadly Dropbox I seem to remember does not support opening files in place. The key point is that you can have some kind of central file repository and work on files in it without copying, wither that is Apple's or some other is up to you.

          • What if you want to work on a local file? Or one stored on your own server and accessed via SMB or WebDAV?

            Why should you have to share a file with a korporate kloud service just to be able to view it?

            • What if you want to work on a local file?

              That's what all apps do by default (local file in app storage).... but I'm not quite sure what you mean, since any file you work with will be "local" - if you choose a file from iCloud, it will be downloaded locally and that's what you will work with - if you save changes they would be pushed back up to iCloud.

              Or one stored on your own server and accessed via SMB or WebDAV?

              There are probably a million apps (I know there are at least a few but it seems so easy to do t

  • It was always destined to be a losing battle. How do you convince people to not only "hack" their phone but trust a third party service that was shady at best to purchase and support applications from a place that by definition requires you exploit security bugs in your phone to use. The risk/reward may be in favor for the few that like to tinker but not for the other 99.9% of the world. For those that will chime in that they own the phone and should be able to do as they please with it, if you don't like
  • I stopped rooting my android phone, and flashing anything other than stock roms, after Jellybean 4.3 I went from Jellybean to lollipop, then marshmellow, nougat, and now Oreo. All have been smooth as silk (huawei + nova launcher). Buying direct from the manufacturer, leaves out most of the bloat, all features are unrestricted and what built in apps I don't want, are either uninstalled or just blocked. I don't bother rooting or flashing now, which I'm guessing is pretty much the same reason some of the jai
    • Buying direct from the manufacturer, leaves out most of the bloat, all features are unrestricted and what built in apps I don't want, are either uninstalled or just blocked.

      Android-based devices often come with bloatware, even if you brought it directly from the manufacturer. Also, Built in apps you don't want could be system apps, which you cannot uninstall and can only be disabled (it is still questionable if disabled is truly disabled when you might still get it re-enabled on restart and services running in the background).

      This actually puzzles me, are you using a google fully supported phone? Only the likes of Pixel and Nexus are well known for their clean android.

  • this kind of makes sense. ive had this 6s plus for like two years now and for some reason until seeing this i actually kind of forgot jailbreaking was even a thing. iirc the ios 10 jailbreaks were not keeping up with updates fast enough- and the real clincher for me was when att redid their plan packages so i could share the full quota tethering for 2$ less than my old grandfathered unlimited plan without tethering.
  • Since iOS has allowed Sideloading of Apps outside of the App Store through XCode since iOS 8, and, coincidentally enough, using a Cydia cross-platform tool called "Impactor", without requiring XCode or a Mac, Jailbreaking of iOS devices has become less and less desirable.

    So, it doesn't surprise me that Jailbreaking has fallen off in recent years.

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